The Devil I Know

The Devil I Know


I don’t talk about work much. I haven’t in the past because repressing my memory of the workday allows me to hold onto some semblance of meaning at the end of the day. I never felt like I belonged in my current industry–still don’t really. I felt that it was a circumstance brought to me more by chance rather than skill. I am a passive aggressive former “English major” with a very short attention span for anything that isn’t “my area of expertise.”


In every sense of the phrase, I am a bad fit and i have no doubts about that.


But a small voice inside me says that running away from what I have the potential to learn is quitting, like a little roody-poo millennial candy-ass. In this life I’ve decided for myself, I either win or I lose; I don’t just quit. So I made up my mind long ago (lyrics?) to work on my skills and try to find my niche in an industry where I am a circle constantly being pushed into a square hole.


I’m 23 and have no other real skills, so it’s not like I’m going to pretend like I’m actually good at anything yet. Any blowhole can use Twitter. That ain’t a real talent if you can’t make something pretty on Photoshop.


So for the past year at my company, things have gone up and down and gotten frustrating and occasionally rewarding. Occassionally. Rarely. Almost never. But like, at best it’s been halfway decent on a small double digit number of days out of a triple digit number of days. So like, fuck it, that’s a good thing.


I walk into the office everyday with a chip on my shoulder that I am:

  • a) the only black man

  • b) an “introverted creative type”

  • c) politically correct to a fault

  • d) [I had a note to include something funny here, but the rule of comedy is doing shit in three’s, so I guess i just wanted to fill you all in on my intentions. It’s pretty early so I’m not in the mood to come up with any crazy quips, although I will mention that I am not a white male. Not that I have any issues with white men–I love the National–I just think that most of the dudes I work with are nestled safely in a brohemian bubble which protects them from the world and their own personal flaws. So I guess thats ‘d)’.]

But as time went by, I was able to find comfort with a few like minds. In recent months–fuck it–weeks even, these “like minds” or at least “open minds” have either left of gotten laid off. Naturally I’m re-imagining this experience as a scene out of Terminator. A corporate, social, post-apocalypse where it’s only me and the other survivors amidst an ashen, deserted office space. Though there’s no place for this image in this essay (essay?), I’d like for you to all picture me as a Kyle Reese, post-Judgment Day kind of figure wearing Will Smith’s clothes from I Am Legend. If you are really thinking, I’m a lonely island, but I look awesome and there’s like crazy lens flares all over the place.


Back on topic. I have been mending mostly for myself until the day I started working with a man I call “The Devil.”


Who is the “Devil” you say? We’ll aside from the idea being a very popular and albeit overused office cliche that I never thought I’d encounter in real life, I can tell you that in my line of work you will encounter complex ideas, challenging new media, state of the art technologies, and above all things, people. Fuckin’ people.


In this landscape you will meet freaks, geeks, angels, demons, and motherfucking devils you will sign your soul away to. And then I suppose  everyone else is ordinary riff-raff. In any other world, I’d mingle with the holy fuckers. The good fuckers. But I suppose in the land of the pig, the butcher is king. And the Butcher is the Devil because pigs are cute and Butchers are evil. I feel like too many analogies are happening, but this is how I’ve learned to protect myself from the daily mental trauma of being Satan’s lackey. I feel like Tim Roth in Reservior Dogs, and the Devil is Harvey Keitel. It’s like that.


This is only an introduction to my world of trying not to get fired, so I hope that my plight and descriptions of things provide some level of entertainment for you. I wonder if there are clowns in hell. Until next time.



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