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Return to Independence 🔁🙁

Matthew Kwasnicki

August 28, 2016

Samuel was very lonely. He had trouble getting out of bed. He dreaded spending each day at the agency. For the past ten years, he had a forty-five minute commute and saw mostly the same people. Many of his co-workers were now married and had children. He didn’t have a chance to meet anyone.

He spent his evenings keeping his place tidy and reading science-fiction books. He spent his weekends preparing all his meals and watching nature documentaries. He used to go to spin class once a week, but stopped because he felt even more alone than when he was at home. He tried to engage with people after class, but they preferred getting back to their own lives over speaking with him. He was disappointed that he wasn’t able to find any friends.

Although his copywriting work was impeccable, he was denied promotions at work three times. The job always went to someone more eager and socially connected. He would cry privately for days afterward. He was unable to get much sleep and was disgusted at his own appearance. He wished that he had someone to help comfort him and alleviate his pain.

One Tuesday morning, after Samuel pressed snooze on his alarm for the third time, he received an unexpected phone call. His boss asked him to come in right away for something urgent and said he would share the details once he got there. The call took Sam temporarily out of his malaise and motivated him to hasten his preparations for the day. He was slightly hopeful that he was finally considered valuable, but knew from experience not to expect too much. He told his boss he would be there in an hour or less.

When Sam arrived at the office his boss escorted him to a meeting room containing a panel of outside executives and a couple of his co-workers. The boss closed the door and took his position at the table.

The head executive revealed that the agency had been bought out and only one of the three copywriters in attendance would be transferred to the new owner. Sam was surprised by his inclusion in the contest and a little excited at the prospect of proving his worth. He felt that his experience flying solo might give him the advantage. Whether he was successful today or not, he was looking forward to the inevitable change in his routine. Something that he realized he needed desperately.

The executives had reviewed each of the candidate’s portfolios before the meeting and asked each of them to pitch their ideas for an upcoming campaign. When it was his turn, Sam was able to express himself effortlessly and convince the room he was the right choice. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt this confident. He knew he had this one in the bag. After some deliberation he was offered the position on the spot. He was elated.

Samuel spent the first few years at the new agency as an undeniable asset. He enjoyed impressing clients and sharing his expertise with colleagues. Eventually, his feelings of loneliness resurfaced. He was so wrapped up in his career that he forgot to develop a personal life. He still loved reading sci-fi and watching nature docs. They were the best friends he would ever have.