Office Qualia

Curiously enough the qualities, the sensory data of working in the office this week will begin to amplify to such a degree that the muffled clack of nearby keyboards, the hushed and wary attitude of fellow employees, even the clean smell of the carpet will all begin to seem like they are interrogating your subjectivity. Even the complacent faces passed on the way to the printer present you with a question. And the printer too, smoothly ejecting your warm copy, bitter with ink, dramatizes a mystery so singular and inimitable that you wonder if anyone else notices. Apparently not, according to your lunch partners, who raise an eyebrow at your concerns only to lower them again with another bite of Subway. “Don’t you smell the printer ink?” “No.” This may tempt you to doubt the interiority of your coworkers. Are they conscious at all? Merely corporate automata? Or are you the one that’s weird?

Front page image by Michael Cory.

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