Talking About Work Outside of Work

It’s strange to think that so much of what comprises people’s conversation topics in New York is centered entirely around that odious monosyllabic word, “work.” One would think that in such an intellectually-geared city (though nothing compared to the days of the beat generation, of course), the denizens would be able to have a rich wealth of other interests and ideas with which to pepper their daily exchanges.

And yet, rather than repartee or even the simple expression of concern over another human being, the conversation always steers inevitably back to work: how the boss did something soul-stifling, how one didn’t get an adequate enough raise, how terrible all the K-cup flavors are, etc. Oddly enough, this is a natural extension of school, where no one ever really talked about what they learned so much as who was a pain in the ass that needed to be ostracized and who was fucking who. Thus, can we blame the mindless chatter overheard at bars (usually during happy hour) regarding the banal jobs of Midtown on ourselves or on our conditioning?