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You wake up early in the morning all groggy and tired, and drag yourself out of bed to the sweet sound of your alarm clock. You force yourself to take a shower that's just not hot enough, to brush your teeth with a toothbrush that smells funny, and to stagger over starving cats and piles of laundry out the door on the way to your car.

You sit in traffic for half an hour on a drive that's always too long, no matter how fast or how slow it goes by. You fight with other drivers doing the same thing, hating the same life, and despising the same roads every morning.

You get to work late, and sit down in your tiny cubicle in your gloomy overcrowded building. You long for buildings with lots of windows where the sunlight helps you grow. You wish you could thrive in the great outdoors with the smell of flowers and the warm weather. You think your head has become disproportionate to the rest of your body since the cramped workspace has stunted your growth.

Your back hurts. Your eyes burn. You nose won't stop running.

You work a job with no results, no deliverables. You help ensure the quality of a software product that will only be used by huge corporations to monitor the status of their servers that are monitoring the status of other servers that are processing the payrolls and the personell files of the employees of companies that might actually provide a service to normal people.

You work hard, but it's impossible to measure the quality of your work since you produce no results. You pour your heart and soul into mission critical projects that no one cares about. You spread yourself thin trying to keep up with changing technology, manage people and projects, handle your own workload, fight your way up the ladder, and still maintain your sanity.

You attend meetings that consist of you trying to explain your work to people that will never understand. You tell them why you're not done yet, but they never believe the explanations. Your peers neither recognize nor care about how hard you're working, because they've worked just as hard or harder on just as shitty or shittier projects for the same ungrateful customers and management.

They ask you to work more hours.

Your mind is fading, it's leaving you. You find you can't concentrate on the mind-numbingness of it all. You take too many cigarette breaks to pass the time and get outside and feel the sunlight on your back, but the sky is always overcast and you start to develop a phlegmy smoker's cough.

You have no passion in your work. Your time and efforts don't help to make the world a better place, and they don't change anything. If you died today they wouldn't notice.

5:00 rolls around and you always forget to log your time so that upper management can run a report on the weekends and analyze whether or not you're producing to their stringent standards. You leave your gloomy building and get back on the road with the throngs and throngs of others.

The traffic is worse this time.

You sit at red lights and stare at other drivers as they pick their nose and talk on their cell phones and you long to take your piddly little two weeks of vacation a year, but you've already wasted it. You find the vacation time was eaten up with your Mondays and your Fridays of three day weekends when you couldn't find the heart or soul to drag yourself out of bed for a day of toil.

You make more money than your friends and family, but in turn you have more things. More cell phone bills and dsl bills and a more expensive car and a higher limit on your maxed out credit cards. More responsibilities and more things to remember. You realize that no amount of money can make up for the life you've lost, for the time you can no longer spend painting and skating and playing with your friends. No paycheck can replace how quickly you've aged and how boring you've become.

You find yourself at home again. You step into a disgusting apartment so dirty and trashy but you can't find the will to force your lifeless body to do anything about. You watch your boyfriend and your roommate resting after their hard day of sleeping late and playing video games and socializing.

You wonder why people do this. You wonder if it's worth it.

You wonder where your youth and vibrance went, but instead you find yourself wondering about the results of your most recent load test on a pointless software product for a pointless corporation that will never understand how much of your heart and soul went into 5% of their daily lives.

You drink a glass of wine and smoke a bowl and hope it goes away.

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