By Matt Gordon
The modern workplace has changed. People may now work from home, in sweat pants, and during unconventional, unconnected hours. Others are out on their own or clinging to the big corporations fit to survive tenuous times. But perhaps nothing has changed so much as the posture in which we now work. Used to, in bygone days when our pants still had pleats, we’d sit, straight-backed at tidy little desks, leading our tidy little, tie-wearing lives. Oh, how the game has changed. We no longer take things sitting down.
My own workspace has a monstrous desk with an electric cord that carries current through it which enables me to lift it and lower it with a touch. The buzz of its raising and lowering akin to the hum of American ingenuity. The purpose of this feature is to support the trend of supporting my back and legs by allowing my feeble body the luxury of standing up. Yep, you read that right: standing up is now the new sitting down. I’ve employed the feature right now, but for no ergonomic reason—don’t be an idiot! I would never think to trust the science of the day, any day, for that matter—I’m all star-spangled heart. My gut tells me that sitting is right—it just is!—and based on my gut’s steady expansion over the years, I’ll side with prosperity on this one. No, I am standing because I have not one but two (!) monitors on my desk. With desk raised and monitors positioned correctly, I can turn on the gargantuan headphones covering my ears—the kind that cancel noise and restrict cords so as to unrestrict my gyrations —and sway gently back-and-forth. The sway is joined by a spastic hip waggle and occasional jouncing on toes—a California fault-line of a shimmy—and general head waywardness. Then things really get going, as the shoulders swim and hands join the grand parade. Behind monstrous desk and lofty monitors, my movements go unnoticed by passersby in my office. They say it is good for my back, those scientists. But on a good day, I go home with discs in revolt, tired knees, and aching arches.
How is that for your productivity? You ask.
I’m certain it helps it. I am far more rhythmic and generally a better, more confident wedding date. I’d say, all in all, it has done wonders for my abilities in several styles of dance.
As for work?
Well, I’m on notice. Most of us are, it seems. Apparently there has been a drop off in performance joined by financial constraints and a murkiness in projection or some such thing. I’m not entirely sure because the deliverer of the notice didn’t see me back here. He just dropped the written warning off and walked away unfeeling, none-the-wiser to the efforts of my body, soul. Probably to some sad little chair at some sad little, dance-free desk. He will always be lurking there but especially in times uncertain.
But the man can’t stop me; I’m no cog in his engine. I’m not threatened by this or that economic threat. I’m a modern American laborer, grinding hidden into a new age of work. The economy hangs by a fraying thread and the sweat of yesteryear has all but dried up. It’s all changing—we work here, we work there; we work everywhere and nowhere. But I stand with a torrent of moves unsuitable for the workplace. I dance along to the ever-shifting beats, unsure of the precise next move but certain it will come to me all the same. Just have to keep moving. The music plays and we think and dream and draw and make and do and write and plan and build and hope. The music plays. We dance on.