‘Can you believe this cold?’ I asked Jeanine, my desk mate. She looked up from her keyboard and frowned at me, pointing to her headphones. I blinked at her patiently.
Eventually, she slipped the headphones over her ear and rolled her eyes at me.
‘Can you believe this cold?’ I repeated.
‘Seriously, Chris?’ she asked with a sigh. ‘I’m trying to get some work done.’
‘I know,’ I said, interrupting her as she went to block me out again. ‘It’s just… has management been told about this?’
‘About what?’ she said, frown deepening.
‘The climate control in this office!’
‘I’m sure they don’t care.’
‘Shouldn’t they?’ I raised my eyebrows. ‘Shouldn’t they be rushing out here saying “sorry folks, we’ve gotten in contact with the best air conditioning servicer local to Canberra, they’ll be here any second!”?’
Jeanine blinked slowly at me. ‘Right. Look, if this is another one of your “down with the management class” speeches you’re building up to, I have so much work to do—’
‘People of the Canberra office!’ I cried out, rising out of my chair and clambering on top of my desk. I stood proudly, hands pressed against my hips as approximately a third of my colleagues looked up at me. ‘Aren’t you tired of this?’
‘Yeah,’ came one voice from the back of the room. ‘But you still won’t stop for some reason!’
A smattering of giggles spread through the office. I ignored them.
‘We deserve better, comrades!’ I continued, raising a fist in solidarity. ‘We deserve to be comfortable as we make these people their money. We deserve a local heater servicing company! Near Canberra! Not far away, in some distant suburb, taking food out of the mouths of our local businesses and forcing them to suckle ever harder at capitalism’s drying teat!’
‘Okay,’ Jeanine sighed underneath me. ‘That’s a bit much.’
‘Join me, brothers!’ I hollered. ‘Join me in a strike! Join me in a—’
I gasped as Jeanine hit me in the back of the knees with a keyboard, and I fell off the desk.
‘Seriously,’ she said. ‘I really have to get this work done.’