She felt the tiny bits of crushed rock under her heels as she walked along the trail. Why didn’t they tell her she had to park and then hike a trail to get to the office? This seemed like a bad omen for her first day on the job. How could she focus with a twisted ankle? The interviews had gone well, except for that one odd ‘work culture’ response from her new boss. What did he mean by ‘teamwork forged by individuals’? Corporate claptrap. The marketing director must have watched a TedX for that one.

She continued on the trail and now she could see the gleaming steel through the trees. Eight stories in a u-shaped building. Corporate efficiency: LEED certified and filled with 1,300 eager employees who had scampered in through security checkpoints, ready to put in their ten hours.

She came to a halt at the end of the trail. Her new messenger bag made her feel lopsided. Nausea washed over her and she felt as though she might tip over right there. Was this her body trying to tell her what her mind already suspected? This job will kill you, woman. Forty hours a week will never be enough to get ahead and what would you actually get if you were promoted? More work that your boss would take credit for, less time with your husband, and an aching sense that life is a program and you are on a loop.

Take off your heels and turn around now. Tell them you quit and don’t ever look back. The trail goes two ways.

© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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