This Job Is Ruining My Creativity Like A Bat Out Of Hell

Pictured: Gerald William Bunson

Here's a question for those brain doctors you hear about, sitting around and doing studies on why we like apples but hate spikes through the eyes or God knows what: how can anyone work at an office and still retain a single ounce of their creativity? Because I've been here day in and day out for over two days now, and I'm already starting to feel as if irreparable damage has been done to my gray matter.

I used to have ideas all the time! Ideas for cool things that would've really helped some people if I would've followed through, or just had a little bit more of that k-hole. For example, what about a plane that has water landers on it, so that it can land and take off from water? I mean, yeah, that's in the movies and stuff, but obviously nobody has thought of it for real life yet. But after almost 24 hours of work (32 if you count the day off I took yesterday, which I frankly do because I thought about work almost the whole time), thoughts like these are few and far between.

It wasn't just society-improving inventions, either -- I used to be able to make quick and clever commentary on things that happened that would impress and delight my friends. "George W. Bush -- that guy's so dumb he almost choked on a pretzel," I'd say, and they'd all laugh with surprise, because suddenly they remembered that yeah, he did almost choke on a pretzel that one time, but none of them thought to bring it up in a topical way like I did. What the hell am I going to be able to talk about now that I'm a 9-to-5er? TPS reports, or maybe how there's always people who ask you if you have a "case of the Mondays"? Actually, both of those are pretty good. Maybe they haven't completely broken me just yet.

Look, this kind of environment might be fine for most people, but somebody like me is bound to be wasted here. Nobody even appreciates the witty-yet-true advice I dish out, like "Use a pencil instead of a pen if you're going to be writing something that might need changing," or "If you kill the hooker after you have sex with her you can get your money back." Okay, I admit that second one was from Grand Theft Auto, but still, you have to be pretty creative to think to bring that up in a work environment and make it seem relevant, which I'm pretty sure I did somehow.

Those kinds of moments will grow farther and father apart, though, as the daily grind busts my hump all the way to the bank. I'll probably soon forget that I even once thought of a hover car. Yeah, it would be a car that hovers and gets you through traffic a lot faster by skipping over the other cars. I know, it sounds awesome. But I can't even remember the complex system of ions that I probably thought of that got it all to work so perfectly. Now, thanks to work, it's all just a multi-colored blur that looks kind of like my one friend's crappy apartment.

Is this kind of environment that's holding America back from leading the world in mechanical ingenuity and artistic innovation? The answer has to be yes. I don't know what passes for the average job in another country, but if it's something like picking beans, or oranges, or something involving picking, I'm sure it's a lot more conducive to original thought than this rat race.

If there's one good thing that's going to come out of all this, it's my inevitable book that I will write on the subject when I finally break free of this stifling hell. It'll be called "Stick It To The Man: Keeping Your Creativity In The Workplace", and it will have all of these mental exercises that you can do to keep yourself sharp and in good shape even as the dullness of life tries to get you. For example, drawing little three-dimensional cubes on the margins of office memos, or bringing a little smack with you to the bathroom.

For now, though, I guess I just have to keep on truckin', and keep working for the weekend. That's what everybody does.

Gerald William Bunson currently lives in North Dakota, where he writes usage directions for toilet paper. He doesn't consider himself the sharpest tool in the shed.

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