If I Worked in Hell

If I worked in Hell, the whole “yeah, work’s Hell” thing just wouldn’t work anymore.

I’d have to find an alternative way of telling you work was Hell, but if I did actually work in Hell (don’t ask me what kind of job although I suspect it would have something to do with making sure everyone was really unhappy and in extreme pain) I’ll bet you people who hated their jobs would walk around saying things like, “Yeah, work is heavenly” or “Although work sucks, it is so NOT Hell…”

And that would mean, it was hell but it wasn’t Hell.

But even more than the lexiconical phraseology or the inverse-meanings of work being Hell and now no longer being able to be referred to as “Hell” because the workplace actually is, really Hell, is the fact that I probably would be sweating up a storm cause it was so damn hot down there.

This brings up an even worse problem — my dress shirts. Now that I work in Hell, I would have to wear an extra layer of shirts underneath my dress shirts because if it’s that hot down there, you know I’m going to be sweating and you know that I’m going to sweat right through my dress shirts and that would just simply not be acceptable. Sure, I work in Hell, but it doesn’t mean I can’t look assured and confident (i.e., no sweat stains underneath the arms) while I’m doing it.

And you just know that the A/C units in my office (in Hell) are never going to work right, and even if they do work right there’s gonna be these shrieking women down the hall always complaining that it’s not hot enough for them and why can’t we all agree on one temperature and just stop it with this see-sawing A/C temperature contest that goes on every day and then because of this whole conflict, work would be even worse than what I had imagined Hell was because not only am I now working in Hell and sweating through my dress shirts but there’s women who won’t let me turn the A/C up higher because they’re already so warm with their over-abundance of estrogen coursing through their bloodstream.

And then, of course, we’d have to take the whole damn argument to the “big guy” who has so many other important things to worry about (like stealing people’s souls and stuff and lunch meetings) who would probably get pissed and fire someone because we couldn’t handle such a petty issue on our own. And you know him — he’ll probably make us all feel like crap for even bringing it up in the first place.

“This place…is this place,” I would say — happy that I had finally found a way to refer to the hellish conditions here in Hell, where I work because that’s the concept of this whole piece, and if you don’t suspend your disbelief and get your head into this whole “this guy’s pretending he works in Hell” then everything is ruined.

But more than the constant smell of flayed skin and hearing people screaming from outside my window all day long, and the nightmare it would be to actually get a hold of a ream of holed paper or a brand new toner cartridge for the copy machine — that whole A/C thing would really ruin my whole mood when it came to working in Hell.

I wouldn’t want to work in Hell. I think this has helped me make my decision on that matter. No, I am confident I wouldn’t want to work there at all.

It would just be too much like life.

24 comments on “If I Worked in Hell

  1. tami - August 20, 2005 at 11:01 am -

    Work is sorta like being metaphysically static free… as long as you use the store brand dryer sheets, you won’t have to worry about having a pair of undies being stuck to your shirt.

    Not like I know anything about that.

  2. nic - August 20, 2005 at 11:19 am -

    Being a lexicostatistical expert and not withstanding suspension of disbelief, I have confidence that you (i.e. The Devil Himself)* would thrive in Hell!

    *see above photo

  3. Amy Steier - August 20, 2005 at 11:33 am -

    Work is what I do to live the life I am living. That’s my motto. Now that I’ve become a Mother, I’d so much rather be home with my baby. Before I had my son, I worked all the time, even at home. Now, I must budget that time so that my son benefits more from it, not my work.

    I’m a teacher and people think that we stop working once the bell rings. It’s not true, at least not with great teachers. In a career like that, you wind up thinking about it all the time.

    I’m not going to say that teaching defines me; I’ve added a new dimension to my life since I became a Mother. And I think I’m going to have a hard time adjusting to going back to work, leaving my son at home.

    I don’t work in hell, but I might as well. Being apart from my baby is all the hell I can handle.

  4. nic - August 20, 2005 at 11:44 am -

    That is SO sweet.

  5. Glen C. - August 20, 2005 at 11:52 am -

    You really went to town on this one.

  6. Glen C. - August 20, 2005 at 12:05 pm -

    But Amy, do you have hot stakes driven into your spinal cord as a teacher? (I almost wrote “steaks” -_-)

  7. Hilary - August 20, 2005 at 1:10 pm -

    Wait…there’s a flaw…

    In my own office Hell, only G-d or someone close to him can control the thermostat so either everyone on the floor freezes/sweats or we have to call Operations who then calls Maintenance who, then, by the end of the day, raises/lowers the thermostat.

    Then it all starts over the next day…

  8. Mark K - August 20, 2005 at 2:34 pm -

    Wouldn’t the extra layer make you sweat even more?!?

    I’m sure being Hell and all they’d most certainly make you wear a tie. Even on Friday.

  9. Mark K - August 20, 2005 at 2:35 pm -

    Ummm… I meant “Triday”.

  10. nic - August 20, 2005 at 2:43 pm -

    Really, Paul! You’ve been stealing from the odoriferous garden of Dante again, haven’t you? Flayed skin!? Divine.

  11. Will - August 20, 2005 at 8:06 pm -

    In most of the depictions I’ve seen (unless it’s a cheesy “Far Side” type catoon), the workers in Hell are all disgusting, evil demons and the like, which doesn’t make much sense to me, because the Devil seems quite determined to PUNISH the evil, so it seems to me that he would be eager to employ good souls to be his employees. Logically, Satan would probably think of working for him as more of an reward than a punishment, considering that, according to my understanding, he believes he is conducting matters the way God should be doing things.

    But yeah, working there would probably be sweaty and unpleasant regardless. Be glad you’re here on Earth.

  12. Lauren - August 21, 2005 at 4:46 am -

    I was always the one who controlled the AC at my last job being the forward brazen american in an office of europeans. Does that make me God or the Devil?

  13. Fun Joel - August 21, 2005 at 12:37 pm -

    Just because of my evil rule-breaking tendencies, I’m using this space to comment on your NEXT post, “You Cannot Comment On This Entry About Me.” Keep up the good work! 😛

  14. Amber - August 21, 2005 at 4:02 pm -

    I work in Hell. It’s a place where the AC is at meat locker levels all day every day, and so inside, you never know whether it’s winter or summer.

    I figure if I worked in ACTUAL Hell, the days would go like this. I’d have dial-up internet that would crash pretty much 9 times out of 10, but that 10th time when it worked would just be to lull me into a false sense of hope. There would always be a pungent smell of burnt things — coffee, popcorn, the skin of an eternally burning soul. The temperature of the office would always be different, and so you’d never know how to dress for work. I’d spend every morning fielding emails from the new damned souls in which they ask stupid questions like “can we fix the AC and/or heat” or “can we get a Starbucks contract going” or something equally ridiculous. The afternoon would be orientation for the new damned, which is pointless beause they’re either so pissed or so stunned to be there, they don’t retain a single thing and so I’ll spend tomorrow answering their emails about stuff I already covered.

    And then at 5, I’d leave. That’s the good thing about working in Hell — the Devil’s a cheap bastard and so he never makes you do overtime.

  15. Pauly D - August 21, 2005 at 4:10 pm -

    Amber – does the Devil ever treat you to lunch? That would be pretty damn cool.

  16. Keith - August 21, 2005 at 5:51 pm -

    Well, I guess this proves that I don’t work in Hell, since I have the hex wrench set that’s been passed down from employee to employee, and whenever I’m too cold or too hot, I just break into the thermostat and change it myself. Or maybe my office is someone else’s Hell, and I am the Devil to them.

    Actually, I kind of like that.

  17. Ivan - August 21, 2005 at 11:10 pm -

    check this out

    @ my job… they created this new position

    Air conditioning Manager

    no, i’m not kidding… and just after reading the thing about women complaining it is not ho enough …i just had the image of this guy ahahah he has go through that every day.

  18. monkeypup - August 22, 2005 at 5:51 am -

    I’m commenting on the future post that, for some reason, the site admin has chosen to ban us from doing…
    Just to prove that I can, in a roundabout way, comment on it.

  19. Fun Joel - August 22, 2005 at 7:03 am -

    monkeypup clearly needs to read my comment above! 😉

  20. Amber - August 22, 2005 at 8:14 am -

    The Devil does treat me to lunch every once in a while. The reason is that he enjoys the snide comments and horrible faces I make every time the damn damned ask me yet another stupid question. He says I make him laugh, which is a rare occurence, being that he’s the devil and all. We go out for sushi. Which is interesting as well, since the Devil is allergic to shellfish AND sushi is rather expensive, especially to a cheap bastard like him.
    He’s a mystery. Wrapped in an enigma.

  21. Sarcomical - August 22, 2005 at 10:42 am -

    okay, this is a lot like “deconstructing harry”, that scene with billy crystal as the devil. ever seen it? it’s just fresh in my mind because we watched it yesterday.

    your what-if scenarious are so original and funny!

  22. monkeypup - August 22, 2005 at 1:42 pm -

    Well, Joel, I didn’t see it because I wanted to be a trendsetter. So my brain didn’t let me see it…

  23. xta - August 23, 2005 at 7:46 pm -

    there is a bar here named “hell”. so, like, the bartenders know what it is to work in hell. people also get drunk in hell, and that can be a lot of fun. peeing in hell is a bitch, though… the restrooms are filthy.

  24. sheehan - September 15, 2005 at 3:51 am -

    Hey!! wait. It’s confusing. Didn’t you mean working is just like one is living in hell?

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