Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Being on Bottom (Satire) by Wanda Morrow~Clevenger

by Wanda Morrow~Clevenger

Riding on top has its advantage. Subjugation is a fiery aphrodisiac, and the leverage it affords is a rock hard asset. Self-righteous, alpha male domination lifts everything to prodigious heights. It feels damn good being on top of your game.

Unless you live in a monastery, or have retained just one significant job in your adult life, by the time you reach middle age you will have made the rounds. It’s inevitable. Lousy jobs with loathsome bosses come and go, as quick as teenage boys in backseats, and like their fly-by-night counterparts leave a hunger for something more substantial. They are the moo goo gai pan in the banquet of careers.

You can work at a dead-end job with great employees or you can hold a fabulous job with backstabbing co-workers and a sociopath boss. Whether it’s a case of crappy personnel or a crappy profession, it’s always the same crapshoot. Unless you own the business or are related to the owner, get used to it, you’re gonna be on the bottom taking a pounding.

I was almost on top once. I had a pretty decent job, but unfortunately it came with a psychopath boss. I popped Nexium and bit my tongue for eight years convinced he would grow tired of riding me and I would gain the upper hand. Whoever coined the phrase “do what it takes for job security” was never pinned under an ego-maniac getting royally screwed over.

I knew I was fucked. That’s not hard to figure out when your only view is the glass ceiling. But I was under the false assumption I could impress with deft technique and skilled execution. If I held my shoulders back, head high, maneuvered with style and grace, proved my talent, proclaimed love for God and country, and flashed my pearly-whites at Bert Parks, in the end the crown would be mine. “Not so fast girly,” said the judges. The closest I came was Ms. Congeniality.

At my age the flip from underneath to the lofty top spot takes some finesse, it’s not the time for greenhorn fumbling in the dark. Timing is everything. If you don’t finagle it just right you could end up looking ridiculous, or worse. You could actually fall off the horse and land in the barn mucking out stalls nine-to-five, weekends included.

I recently took charge and made a drastic adjustment, and in the process pulled myself out from under an oppressive weight. It was a dubious decision fraught with insecurity and fear. Switching jobs can be like selecting from the Kama Sutra; you want to try something different and exciting, but some positions aren’t a good fit for everyone. Just as Lotuslike Position looks like an offensive wrestling move and The Turning Position-Fourth Stage appears counterproductive to say the least, not every job is going to fill your secret needs and desires.

As the new employee I was prepared to be back at the end of the line. That’s how it works with most businesses. Like I said, unless you own the business or are related to the owner, don’t expect a corner office the first day. My new desk sits on the back wall of a long building. The locale infers it is the least relevant job and is thus removed from the main hub. To the casual observer it seems I’m back on the bottom, as submissive as a twenty dollar hooker. But that is an incorrect presumption. For the first time in my working career I am in a comfortable, private space where nothing unpleasant distracts and no one grinds away at my self esteem. I absolutely couldn’t be more on top.

Author bio:

Wanda Morrow-Clevenger is a freelance writer living in Hettick, IL. She has published fiction, nonfiction, nonfiction disguised as fiction, and some irreverent poetry in the online and print magazines: The Storyteller, Nuthouse, The Nocturnal Lyric, Up the Staircase, Flash Fiction Offensive, and Leaf Garden.

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