Back to Normal.

by Téa Smith

I can’t wait to get back to normal.

Great.

I can’t wait to get back to normal. You know, where you rent people to keep them in subsistence, and profit from their labour. It’s not slavery; it’s rental. Completely morally different:

Chomsky is the bomb. <3

I can’t wait to go back to having to sit through tedious meetings, watching people (who shouldn’t be in charge of supervising the making of toast, let alone the lives of others) make the easiest decision, not the best one.

I can’t wait for some IT Manager to condescendingly explain basic concepts (that I played a part in developing) to me. After all, I am only 27 years into my career. I am hopeful that Year 28 is the year they finally stop doing that and give me my merit badge.

But, you know, you have to pay your dues, sweetie.

Merit.

Awesome.

I can’t wait to go back to a school and health system that doesn’t give a shit about my autistic son, and only care about him when there’s a form to be completed for the toast supervisors and telephone sanitisers.

I can’t wait to go back to being hounded by the tax office over a couple of grand, despite living with chronic illness and seeing the literal dicks of billionaires fly through the air, whilst their employees pee in jars, they pay no taxes and get their oodles of merit from the exploitation of others and the public purse.

I can’t wait to get back to normal, travelling in an airport where I could find myself on a list because of my Twitter account, or be subjected to an internal search, for making a joke or – worse – carrying a full bottle of shampoo, because the telephone sanitisers of the world decided that those who don’t even travel overseas needed to feel safe.

I can’t wait to get back to normal, where Human Resources get to gather a comprehensive social score with no accountability – nor our consent – with tools such as Brand Yourself, and where employees, are, at all times, a representative of their employer. And they can be fired at will because they hold an opinion that was completely acceptable five years ago, but because it became profitable to say the opposite, is now a fireable offence.

I can’t wait to get back to normal, where rents have more than doubled, home ownership is inaccessible, and inheritance of hundreds of thousands of dollars is the only way to not have to move once a year because a greedy landlord takes issue with your request for urgent repairs and you have no recourse.

I can’t wait to get back to normal.

Business as usual.

Oooh they’ll be excited about it on LinkedIn.

The networking groups and conferences will be back.

Great.

The breeding ground for the Gary Vee cult, the Youth Pastor of the Neoliberal Death Cult known as the United States.

I can’t wait.

We get to go back to normal, and again see rich people taking selfies in their mansions about social justice, and those in slightly smaller mansions complaining about the real issues such as diversity in reality TV and the Marvel Universe, whilst sharing photos of themselves giving their uneaten fries to a homeless person.

And, because we are so used to this vulgar and tasteless reality television nonsense – when they use the less fortunate as props for their “content” to “raise awareness”, rather than mentions full of “you’re a monster”, instead they get “Yass, Queen!”.

That’s content.

Anything of substance that disagrees is “disinformation” and lumped in with the Fox Propaganda machine (which is definitely a thing, but don’t mention that either, because you’ll get death threats from totally-not-radicalised audiences).

Don’t be negative.

R U OK?

I look forward to attending “business” events, where in order to maybe – just maybe – find someone I might want to bother with, I’m flung into a room of the most awful and most tedious people you could ever meet, trying to sell you the most pointless stuff you could ever imagine.

But hey, they’ll learn super interesting things, being taught by people inexplicably more dull, on elevator pitches and value propositions and “lead generation” by some dickhead who just figured out the internet is a thing, because God forbid you would actually show interest in someone for more than 30 seconds or have a product that isn’t wrapped in bullshit… and has actual utility.

If you’re lucky, you might get chatting to one or two of those people who are decent, but then they will ask for favours, lunches, and free shit, and then use the “friendship” as a weapon or coupon code when they get their bill.

I can’t wait to get back to business as usual. You know, business. Where it isn’t personal. Unless you set boundaries with the people who say “it’s just business and isn’t personal”.

Then it’s personal.

I look forward to meeting more bullshitters, scammers, rip-off artists and unethical digital agency owners, whose entire business model depends on them being dishonest.

I look forward to five emails asking me for coffee, even though my non-reply should be the hint.

Affirmative consent, bros.

Or, if after “just following up” email number four, I say “fuck off”, then I get “no need to be so rude” back.

I look forward to being expected to give hours of free consulting in exchange for fuck all.

Sorry, coffee.

Sorry, pitches.

Sorry… anything but fair and timely payment for services.

I look forward to having to pretend I am not intelligent lest those with the money and the signature for the money be made to feel stupid. Then people might start to question why I am doing the pointless work they have me doing to pay my bills, instead of running the place. It’s okay. I made my peace with it, because I am unwilling to sell my soul.

I can’t wait to get back to normal, and finally get me some of that merit. You know, that thing the middle class numpties use at a weapon to justify why they are there, because we all know, as do they, that they shouldn’t be. And, if they pause to reflect on that, and show a glimmer of conscience or self-awareness, they’ll call it impostor syndrome and raise awareness about this very serious condition in HuffPost and Forbes.

If you want to conceal this, definitely post some nothing statement about inclusion. We know you very much care about women, minorities and LGBT people, despite talking over every single one of us.

You screwed your nose at the word feminist five years ago.

But, when it became favourable and there was a buck in it (and you were able to finally get that board seat by #metooing the CFO) suddenly you’re all about #girlpower and getting girls to code, so they too can maybe get some mansplained merit after 28 years in the business.

But don’t ever mention healthcare or daycare or material issues.

Set up a morning tea.

Call anyone who asks for more “negative”.

Announce your pronouns that literally nobody asked for or cares about. Out the LGBT and disabled people with your awareness “forced disclosure” days, turn the plight of people of colour into a morning tea, and make a hostile work environment for everyone but the truly Woke like you.

Do minimum effort with no structural change whatsoever, with the added bonus of being able to get people who have the thing you want fired if they think it is stupid and superficial… and never have to face the fact that you might be a fraud and a sociopath.

It’ll get clicks, though.

Definitely add a selfie, and find some fries for the homeless.

I mean, they’re like seagulls, right?

Can’t wait to go back to normal.

Hey, at least whilst you’re all stuck online I can tell you off and get you to think about how “back to normal” was actually really crap for a lot of people. Those who conducted themselves ethically were punished, and those who exploit and bully others and are actually bad people are the only winners in this “normal” system.

I was humming this on a loop as I wrote. You’re welcome.

Let’s change that.

I know you won’t.

You’ll call me negative for doing basic political science and analysis, because that makes you feel uncomfortable. You’ll ask me “R U OK”?

You’ll do anything to avoid the fact that going back to normal is actually pretty shit.

I know you won’t care.

But I’ll ask anyway.

How on earth are you okay with normal?

Please, let’s not go back there.

Hey there, good looking.

Wanna Subscribe?

Thanks for reading this. I’m eternally grateful. Yes, I know, more bloody email. But do subscribe, and if you’re feeling generous, you can leave a donation. I am completely independent and it is always appreciated.

First Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Subscription Type *
Donation Amount
$ AUD
Please choose your donation amount. If it is more than $250 you can edit the amount in the checkout. It's a user experience thing and I don't want to make anyone feel bad.
Add a message if you like

ooh, you
saucy minx!

I see you. Sitting there. Seductively scrolling and clicking like the flirt that you are, reading and watching my stuff.

OK I can’t really see you, this is just a text box and I ain’t the CIA. I’m not watching you, I swear. Unless you want me to and the price is right. Ahem.

Anyway, sign up if you want and I might write to you from time to time. I’m cool. We’re cool. 

First Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Subscription Type *
Donation Amount
$ AUD
Please choose your donation amount. If it is more than $250 you can edit the amount in the checkout. It's a user experience thing and I don't want to make anyone feel bad.
Add a message if you like