The 60-Year-Old Copywriter

There once was a woman who never possessed any skills other than the ability to write about frivolous products and develop catchy one-liners for otherwise uninteresting brands and promotions. She never much thought about planning for the future or the direction of her “career,” she merely subsisted on living from moment to moment–never realizing that this would be her downfall.

She toiled out of habit and laziness–too comfortable to bother with trying to change her situation. Soon, she was transitioning from her twenties to her thirties, and it was already becoming obvious she had stayed with the company for longer than she should; everyone getting hired was younger than her, and everyone her own age had left to pursue the path of Senior Copywriter.

Her name was Jenny Plane, and the others at work in their early twenties could immediately tell how old she was (every female born in the 1980s was named Jenny), prompting them to steer clear of her–they didn’t want to catch the disease of antiquation.

So she remained lonely and useless in her day to day life. She needed the company and the company needed her–only so they wouldn’t have to pay her unemployment for the rest of her years considering how long she had worked there.

By the time her forties rolled around, Jenny’s presence in her cubicle seemed more like a display in a museum, relics of obscure pop culture and lingo showcased for all to see. No one laughed at her anymore, or bothered to engage her in any brainstorming. She was simply there as a fixture, waiting to collect her 401K.

In the late 2030s, the building she worked at changed locations. No one told Jenny where it was moving to–the switch was so abrupt. All day, she wandered the streets of Midtown, wondering what she should do and where she should go. She was too ashamed to call anyone and admit she had no clue where their office was now; it would be as though admitting to senility.

Soon, Jenny became the stuff of Midtown legend. She would wander the same block in a tattered skirt suit every day, mocked by the businessmen who recognized her. A few years later, as her sixtieth birthday loomed, she received a letter in the mail (she was one of the last of a generation who opted in for mail). It stated that due to her perpetual absenteeism, she had been terminated. Her 401K would not get the further time it needed to mature so that she could live her old age out somewhat happily.

Jenny crumpled the letter and sat down at her kitchen table, rotely writing out tag lines and pitches–she had snapped. Eventually, she was collected by the state and put into a facility, where she would spend the rest of her days writing like that, simply because it was all she could do, all she had ever known.