In The Trench

Like a submarine in the Mariana Trench,
Morale explores new depths.
It may be that deeper is darker
But that doesn’t mean it should remain unexplored.
The further I travel into the darkness,
The closer I am to finding the truth.


Unable to bear the silence and tedious task before her, Mira reached for her headphones and began her familiar quest for inspiration on the internet. She’d stopped caring whether her boss could tell that she wasn’t working months ago. With everyone perched at their desks reviewing compliance data and quietly scheduling meetings, she secretly hoped someone would catch her not doing work and make a big fuss just for something interesting to happen.

Mira hoped this was not the way the office would always be, but the future was so uncertain during the reorg and the industry teetering on the brink of collapse. Jobs were being shuffled, redefined, and cut, and since she was only a contractor, her future was even more unknowable – lowest on the totem pole. In the two years she’d been working there, whenever the whispers began to circulate that cuts were coming, her boss always tried to reassure her that she wouldn’t be affected but couldn’t say for sure whether she’d still have the job in a month. She appreciated his attempt to prepare her, but she had already tested the waters in the job  market and they were torrid for anyone, let alone for a twenty-something still fighting to prove her value in the workplace.

Sometimes, when the team went out to lunch together, Mira would hear stories of the good ole days, when the office was in the city, each person would have their own office with a couch and the company would pay for lunch at one of the authentic Cajun restaurants. The company showed its appreciation for its people and they responded by dedicating their entire careers to it. Mira could imagine that it would be easy to stay in a situation like that. But, alas, times were different now. This was a time for business efficiency and optimization and, after Katrina, the threat of another massive hurricane triggered the move to a quieter town across the lake.

Imagining a better reality, however, or wishing for one, doesn’t change the way it is, as Mira was discovering. She felt so far from her ideal life, and coming to grips with what seemed like perpetual disappointment was painful.

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