Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pitting: myself against the system

Today at work I sweat so profusely that the sodden cotton of my work shirt started chaffing against my armpits.

Usually I arrive to work sweaty (from the bike ride). With only five minutes to change before clock in, I peel off my street clothes with a relief I'll quickly smother under my "uniform". I'd like to say that putting fresh clothes onto my sweaty body is my least favorite part of the workday. But I'd be lying. There's something about being paid poorly to work that makes each slightly unpleasant task seem like it's the worst thing you do. It's a negative meditation technique I think. Keeps my body sharp and my mind off the numbing crawl of time spent on the clock.

I'm a sweaty person by nature. And I swear that I am just getting sweatier and sweatier as the years go by. But usually once I've been working for a half hour most of my bikesweat has dried. And I just sweat a bit throughout the day from doing my customer service work. That sweat accumulates throughout an 8 hr shift and by the time I clock out I'm grateful to change into my still slightly moist-pitted street clothes. Which I proceed to make even sweatier with a quick-as-I-can-make-it ride home.

This morning a customer and I went through an extremely stressful transaction before I was even able to hit the 30 minute mark (a cascade of system/equipment errors were mostly at fault) and my sweat glands got kicked into high gear. Which is where they stayed for the rest of the day. Today was an anomaly. But I pretty much sweat my way through two shirts on a workday anyhow.

Now I know I could probably avoid so thoroughly dirtying as many garments as I do on a workday by riding more slowly. But riding slower goes counter to my style. And its means spending 10 more (unpaid) minutes doing stuff related to work. And at just a scrape above minimum wage, they ain't paying me enough to smell like roses or do work off the clock. It's pretty fucking lazy, but I see my pitting as a quiet, revolting yet beautiful sort of resistance.

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