Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to My Right: Stealers Wheels Unwittingly Wrote About the Office

Though many would like to consider the office a very serious place where very serious business is conducted, it is, more often than not, a shit show. A circus. People are clacking along and cackling at random, the Keurig is likely to explode at any moment, and you never know when there’s going to be sheet cake or candy to calm the masses. In this respect, Stealers Wheels’ 1972 “Stuck in the Middle With You” is, in so many ways, applicable to office life.

If you’re one of the few office workers just trying to get through the day with as minimal amount of interaction as possible, chances are the jokers to the left of you and clowns to your right try to talk to you all the time, and demand some sort of inane task of you. All the while, you try to suppress the urge to belt out, “I got the feeling that something ain’t right/I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair/And I’m wondering how I’ll get down those stairs” (everyone knows you can’t take the elevator during rush hour).

Yes, Stealers Wheels had no idea that when they wrote this song during the infancy of cubicle life (when you could still smoke weed inside according to Mad Men and Good Girls Revolt) that it would be so apropos to what an office worker thinks as they’re dreaming of a 6 pm escape time.