Today is a special treat in my office, if you consider ‘treat’ used in the context of: ‘I have a special treat for you, Mr. Bond.’
In my building’s apparently endless renovations, there have been many sights, sounds and sensations to cherish, from the freshly-painted lobby smelling like a rubber beachball, to tender pieces of drywall ceiling falling onto my head just outside my office door. The fruits of this expert craftmanship are not without their downside, however.
Today, for instance, there is a man in a window washer scaffold directly outside my floor (well, slightly above–this is relevant because his position affords me a breathtaking view of his crotch, steadily at work). To give credit where credit is due, the man’s job (where a bad day for him could include his small intestine spilled onto the pavement below) is considerably more dangerous than mine (where a worst-case scenario day would be accidentally putting a stapled sheet into the photocopy feed).
But the cacophony that this man is able to produce! That, in itself, is a art. I mean, this guy’s making sounds that I heretofore had never even equated with the trade of construction. From some sort of a double hammer that creates a heart-beat like rhythm, to abnormal squealing, to comically flatulence-based drilling sounds, I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy has a night job as a foley guy for sports bloopers videos. ziiiiiip-boioioioing!
Then, as I am wont to do, I began musing about philosophical conundrums as the noise reached a fevered crescendo. For instance, this could very well be one of Satan’s more creative punishments.
One is plunged into an office with a career-making-or-breaking article deadline half-an- hour away. As you type empassionately and determinitely, a black scaffold rolls down outside your window and begins its demonic chorus of scratches, bangs, screeches, and twangs, just keeping you on the brink between concentration and insanity. As the clock ticks closer to your deadline, the soundscape becomes more voluminous and intense and imposes itself into every corner of your throbbing mind. And then the clock strikes five.
Hell’s projectionist then cuts to a scene of you getting fired and humiliated in front of tanned coworkers and buxom secretaries. You exit the building into the rainy Chicago night and throw youself in front of a street sweeper.
Then it begins all over again, your ambition and focus as sharp as ever.
I think this punishment would work best for corporate frauds, but also for people who got sent to hell for being poor.