[The New Look, 683 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Alex had been at his job for a while now, he lacked the motivation to continue continuing on. The motivation to continue struggling with his day-in, day-out routine. He had come to the end of the job, but couldn’t quit. He was stuck in the role, no other institution would take him for the fresh attitude of working life had all been sucked dry. Work had become routine and routine wears away at you.
With these problems, he approached management. Not just his line manager, but the director of the company. The director listened intently to the problems that Alex was facing. The director added sentiments of compassion to Alex’s situation.
“I don’t know if I can do it anymore. For the past two years everything has been fine, but now it has just all come in on me at once. I feel that I’m broken. Broken by the routine of the everyday struggle. I just don’t think I can do it anymore.”
“Let me give you some advice here, Alex. We all feel at times worn down by the everyday struggle, but that doesn’t mean that we’re broken. It just means that we have to reinvent ourselves. Create a fresh approach to our workplace and our situation. What I believe you need is a new suit.” The director handed Alex a business card for a suit store. “I get all my suits made here. They’ll give you what you need.”
Saturday came and Alex took the director’s advice, going to the suit store that he had recommended. He mentioned the company he worked for and how the director had recommended this store to him personally. The salesperson nodded and responded, “I believe we have just what you’re looking for.”
The salesperson brought out a suit, dark grey. Alex fell in love. Without second consideration or having to look at anything else, Alex bought the suit.
The weekend passed and soon the working week was upon him. He woke up in the morning, anxious to show off his new suit. He put on the pants, one leg at a time. Then a fresh shirt, doing up his tie with a Windsor knot. And then the blazer. He looked at himself in the mirror. He was looking good. Then he felt an electrical current zap him. What the hell!? Where had that come from? Then he felt his legs move, but not of his own volition. The suit was mechanized and forced his whole body into movement. He had not the power, nor the will, to resist. With that, the suit forced him out the door and on a train headed towards work.
He arrived at work fifteen minutes earlier than usual. This was not his regular routine of arriving at the last minute. His work colleagues nodded to him and complimented him on his new suit. He did not feel like responding, tired as he was. The suit zapped him again. “Ouch”, he muttered.
“What was that?” One of his colleagues asked.
“Thanks, I said thanks.” At this response the suit massaged his legs.
Throughout the day he was mechanized to perform his work duties. He either received positive or negative stimulation from the suit depending on his behaviour. Then the day ended. He wanted to leave then and there, but the suit zapped him and drove him to work an extra half an hour. Then after tidying his desk, another forced action by the suit, the suit prompted him to go home. As he was leaving the building he walked passed the director’s office. He took a quick peek inside and saw the director sitting behind a multi-monitored computer. He could have sworn that one of the monitors had an image of his direct vision attached to it. The suit zapped him again. He ceased looking at the director’s office and was rewarded with positive stimulation. The suit directed him home, controlling every step that he took.
Then when he was home, he attempted to take the suit off. It zapped him again. That’s when Alex realized, this suit was for life.