A Short Story of The American Dream

Just for fun, I thought I would share a humorous short story I wrote about my dear friend. We are in similar job situations currently, and when she told me this anecdote from her office, I simply had to write about it. The whole situation was so illustrative of our day to day lives in the corporate grind. Hope you get a chuckle out of it!


One morning in a generic corporate office, in a generic American suburb, a not so generic girl- we will call her Mallory – saunters to her cubical. She’s already counting the increments on the clock until she is set free from the confines. She swaps her usual cynical smirk for the proper face of unwavering institutional dedication.

Upon approaching her allotted space, Mallory spots the company memo pinned to her desk. It reads “Property Preservation – Desk Sharing Etiquette.” Her eyes glaze over as she stares blankly at the prickly passive aggressiveness. Wonderful first impression, new desk buddy! She shuffles through her possessions that were so lovingly swept over to what is now “her side” of the desk.

With a mischievous grin she sprawls a snarky note to her desk mate, snickering as she pictures him stomaching such a forward form of expression.

In the midst of her singular moment of office creativity, an individual in the neighboring cubicle leans over to inform her that it’s “against policy.” Oh how right you are rule-follower, my silly head got the best of me!

So Mallory pins the memo back on “his side” and looks back up at the clock that moves backwards. She closes her eyes, stuffs her soul back down, and commences on meeting her goals. Only 30 more minutes until she must input an explanation for every minute of her time into the company system.

The American Dream.

Kate Townsend

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