A Day at a Toxic Workplace

You walk in.
The board above reads, ‘Welcome’,
but you know you are not.

You stop,
take a deep breathe,
and tell yourself that you have got this.
That today,
the day will be yours.
That today, you will do better.
But you know you will not.

You take your seat,
you look around
expecting to get noticed in the room,
expecting a kind gesture,
a nod,
0r at least a smile.
But you know it will not happen.

You work,
you concentrate,
you set your clock,
you make your to-do lists,
you wipe your tears,
you get a good feeling.
But suddenly,
the deadline nears.
you start panicking,
the files drop,
the pen stops,
and the computer starts updating – yet again.
You thought you would win today?
But are you winning?

You look behind,
your hands trembling hard,
you expect someone to hold them,
you expect someone to tell that it’s okay
you stretch your hand out,
under the table.
You look behind again,
but you know no one is there,
in a room full of people.

You persevere, regardless.
you put in all your effort.
you know they won’t acknowledge,
you know they won’t support,
but you continue working,
while you think about the same routine–
that will follow a day later,
and the day after that.

Panic ensues again.
You don’t want to look behind,
but you do.
You walk up to those crude hands,
you tell them,
“I can’t take this anymore.”
You shout, you scream,
you throw away the files,
the books,
you scream loud,

You wake up,
from an unexpected nap,
all in the middle of a chaotic room,
full of hands,
all painted with different shades of
‘Empathy’ and ‘Kindness’.

It’s time to go back home.
You pack your bag,
save your unfinished assignment,
collect your papers,
rearrange them.
You promise yourself to work better tomorrow,
you know you don’t want to come back to this place,
ever again.
But you know you will–
you have to.

Featured image credit: Pariplab Chakraborty