It’s not easy. Here are some simple steps to follow if you’re looking at challenging Shorty McCantholdajob for the world’s record in Briefest Employment:
1. Get a job. This is relatively easy and mostly involves showing up on time and leaning forward with a bright-eyed look at meetings, interviews and watercooler chats.
2. Have a higher uppityup person come to your cubicle to congratulate you on your recent hire while you’re downloading some YouTube thing your boyfriend emailed you.
3. Sit, accepting congratulations and kind compliments while behind you, but still in plain sight, the computer grinds away at the download, and the empty page shows the spinning-clock thing that seems to be ticking off the seconds you’ll actually hold this job before some totally workplace-inappropriate video pops up on the screen.
4. Realize your smile of thanks is more rictus-death-grin as you have NO IDEA what the video is he sent you, you just felt cocky and invisible and clicked on it like a fricking idiot, and for all you know it could be nude Wal-Mart shoppers frolicking on a beach before one of them falls bits-first into the firepit and catches his pubes on fire and runs screaming AWAY from the water—it’s just the kind of thing your boyfriend would find hilarious. And your new boss, perched on the end of your desk just now, wouldn’t.
5. Continue to make incredibly awkward conversation as the new boss is being extremely nice to come tell you—at length— what an asset you’ll be, when right now you’re feeling the first three letters of that word are so much more appropriate than the last two. The screen is behind you, you’re dying to turn and see what’s happening on it; the speakers are turned off, and this could be a good thing (avoiding audible inappropriateness to go with visible inappropriateness) or a bad thing (you don’t know what’s happening, goddammit!). Grind teeth. Try not to flinch every time your boss’s eyes flick toward your monitor. It could mean nothing, or it could mean he’s just noticed the Wal-Mart Human Tiki Torch video and is wondering how fast he can get security up here to escort you out.
6. Calculate the number of possessions you’ll have to carry out in that cardboard box that always seems to materialize when people lose their jobs on TV or in the movies. Wonder idly where they always get that one plant that sticks out the top. Realize you could fit your work-place possessions in the box the staples come in—you’ve been here that briefly.
7. Conclude conversation with as much grace and subtlety as possible. Whirl around to check monitor even before boss’s back foot has entirely cleared your cubicle space. See “Page unable to load” error message. Breathe deeply. Thank fates.