On the first day of work, you discovered that the office was not only built into a hotel, but that it shared a hotel layout. Offices were not cubicles but small rooms where you could imagine finding beds and end tables and built-in bathrooms, but they were instead occupied by desks and computers and built-in workers. When your team-lead took you through the narrow corridors your eyes tracked along the wall before probing into each passing office, settling there for a moment even as your feet carried you past.
Almost every employee looked up at you as you walked by their rooms, their pupils square white monitor screens duplicated in eyeglass lenses. They were like the glittering eyes of beetles. They never said anything to you and you could not hear what they listened to on their headphones. No sound but the clicking of mice and the clacking of controller thumbsticks and the tapping of keyboards, altogether like insect speech.
No, these were not offices. Not hotel rooms. These were dwellings.
“Here’s where you’ll be testing the game going forward,” said your lead when you reached your office. Your desk had two monitors, a keyboard, mouse, and an Xbox 360 controller, all plugged into the computer tower beneath the desk. Your dwelling—office—was not one of the many small hotel rooms you passed by, but a large suite-sized hive lined wall-to-wall with twenty-three setups identical to yours.
Your lead told you your password. “Go ahead and get settled. Ping me if there’s any trouble.”
“Thanks,” you said.
“Thanks,” she said, and walked away.
Everyone always said thanks. They never said you’re welcome. That was something you learned in training. More insect speech.
You sat down in your cushioned computer chair. It wasn’t quite hotel comfort, but it would have to do.
Day 317’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Hive,” “An indecipherable language,” and, “Nonfiction.”
Oh office work.