I started my first real job yesterday at an internet start-up, and I am already amazed at how awkwardly I fit into corporate culture. Although the business I work in could barely be construed as corporate – there was a total of two other people in my temporary office with me today – I do work now officially in a corporate park.
Being in an isolated corporate structure – and I do mean isolated, there is nothing else around here within walking distance – I expected to be surrounded either by people from Office Space or Haiku Tunnel. So, when it came time for me to have my lunch, I decided I wanted to get away from my desk and eat outside; it is just so beautiful outside.
As I ate my leftover pad thai underneath a gigantic statue of nothingness at the lone park bench at the corporate center, I decided it would be a waste of both the date and my lunch break to go immediately back inside. So, I settled on strolling around the massive parking lot surrounding the complex. A walk in any other location would be as sweet, right?
During my first lap around the park, I felt incredibly isolated and out of place. What other corporate person walks around a car-park during their lunch break in a desperate bid to be outdoors? Well, as it turns out, plenty do.
Towards the end of my first lap I saw a man and woman, maybe each separated by 100 feet, power walking towards me. Maybe they’re just walking into the office, I pondered; however, as they slowly caught up on me and lapped me, I realized that they too were doing exactly as I was. They too were trying to desperately grab what small part of they day they could to fully experience, and not be dumbly placated by the flickering of their computer screens.
I could tell they were even as anxious as I was to be outside, judging from their awkward hand arm pumpings and uncomfortable gaits, most likely earned from a lifetime of power-walking in business shoes and sitting at corporate cubicles.
I thought I was unique at first, daring to go for a walk during my small lunch break around the parking lot. Turned out I had accidentally stumbled upon a fairly common lunch-time culture. I guess it’s just like the rest of corporate life – difficult to be unique.
Image from: online.wsj.com.