A cloud of woe. Returning on a Monday from Thanksgiving holiday this is what one finds at the office. People are unhappy. I am reminded of the Bukowski poem: "youth fenced in,/stabbed and shaven,/taught words/propped up/to die." Except that in my work situation (a union local) most are not young; a majority are over 50. In this environment there is a sense of being not only trapped but exhausted.
When extruded from the university and placed by a headhunter, who liked my blue suit of light wool, in a career track rat race job (at the Foundation Center on Fifth Avenue and 16th Street) I quickly realized this is where theological concepts of rebirth are hatched. My co-workers were miserable -- obsessed with eating, consumed by petty grievances, managed hierarchically, filled with regret. How else to digest this bilious daily fare other than by concocting an afterlife? The next life would have to be better.