"You Are Not Special"

Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else
— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

You are, by no means, exceptional, Mr. Dow. You are not special, nor do you stand out in a crowd. Your face is quite forgettable, you have average height, average weight, the most common shade of brown eyes and hair. You do not have any distinguishing features, nor do you have any disabilities. You have college debt, like everyone else, you drive a decade old car, your rent is barely affordable. Yes, it’s all part of our routine background checks. We know everything about you.

You are not full of potential, nor have you shown any remarkable qualities. You do not possess charisma, leadership skills, communication skills, nor do you show motivation or dedication. Your work so far has been mediocre. You have not engaged in extracurricular activities, nor have you taken initiatives.

In fact, you do not appear to attract any interest from anyone. Mr. Dow, welcome to Company Inc. Your cubicle is right over here. There we are. In ten years you will get you own office, and in fifteen years from that, you’ll get an even bigger office. You’d expect to be in charge in a decade from that, since you’ll know all the ins and outs of Company Inc., but then it will be time for the owner to retire to pursue an amateur career in golfing, so his twenty something year old son will take over, after getting his bachelor in economics.

No one from high school remembers you, you haven’t had a relationship that ended abruptly and mysteriously, and you have no “the one that got away.” You will most likely not make any friends for the rest of your life, because that’s not we do. You will maybe go out once or twice with people from the office to get a few drinks after work, and maybe ask someone out, but you’ll soon realise human connection is something long forgotten by everyone.

I would suggest you get married in the meantime. And have a few kids, in a desperate attempt to fulfil your life. You’ll be able to afford a house in the suburbs some day, and you want your kids growing up there. This is what all of our employees do, and I highly suggest it. You don’t want to break the pattern, do you, Mr. Dow? I thought so.

Well, you can have a few things in your cubicle, to vaguely give you the impression that you have a life outside of these offices, and of course, if something goes wrong, you need to carry your stuff in a brown box as you walk out of here after you get fired.

Welcome, and get comfortable, Mr. Dow!

Platon