You’re A Professional Now, You Can’t Nap in The Workplace
A recent letter from a friend, started this way: “Dear Lani, You’re probably the person I like most in the world, aside from my cat–but then again Jupiter isn’t a person. She’s a cat. I sometimes forget. Anyways, seeing as you’re all around great, and really a very special friend, I feel comfortable acknowledging this little secret of mine: I go to work, in the morning, as you know. I pretend to drink some coffee with office-mates, I check my email to see if any interesting youtube link is circling, and then. Well. Then, I go to sleep. For 90 minutes, or until a phone call comes my way.”
I won’t bore you with the rest of the details–many of which are personal and all of which are completely fictional.
Napping in the workplace is a hard-earned treasure, and not easy to come by. Neither is talking loudly, dressing provocatively, or really, having much fun in general. For some reason, in the name of productivity, we have made a lot of our workplaces sterile and largely joyless spaces.
I once imagined that Panera Bread would be a fun place to work. For one thing, you get to smell fresh bread baking all day! For another thing, you get to meet all sorts of bagel and pastry loving people, who aren’t creative enough to find a locally sourced and independent bakery. But then, I talked to insider who assured me that it was a pressure cooker, and that they didn’t let you taste test new recipes so much as they made you calorie count them.
While I’m on the theme of adult life being dissapointingly unlike carefree childhood ( I think I have another three years before I exhaust this trope), I think there’s no greater representation of what grown up life lacks than the absence of true nap time. I think of it as a metaphor, even. You get no time of comfort and complete self-absorption; no respite from the weariness of a stressful morning; no break from having people punch you in the gut, over and over, and over, and over again.
I hate sacrificing pieces of my soul to the capitalist giants, and I don’t mean that I hate making money. Because that’s just not the truth, and I’ve already told enough lies for one blogpost. I mean that I’m tired of having to give in to the realities of the “way things are,” what a higher up mandates, or what is commonly acceptable practice in an office.
Life is in part about cashing in your giant dreams for more mundane realities, I know. I know that you have to compromise, at times. But I still can’t give up all hope that there’s a (work)place for me where I can take lots of naps, drink loads of rum punch, hang with dogs, and make all my other dreams come true, as well.
Because of all the places I thought my name would be written–bylines, playbills, movie tickets, oaths of office–I never imagined it’d be printed in caps on the speeding ticket I just got.