Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Fading Geisha

The life of the office geisha is one of popularity and intense interest followed by sudden exile to a pen full of former geishas who once the bloom was off the rose, found they had to work harder than anyone else to justify their office space. Office cultures left to themselves will consume their young geishas like rats consume fresh cheese first and only bother with the aging cheddar when hungry or too lazy to reach the top shelf.

The hard thing to realize is that the geisha not only trades on beauty but trust and these are antithetical goods. Once she trades on the beauty, the trust evaporates particularly among other women. It is not they will hound her out but that they will slowly make her subordinate to them and if she doesn't like that, she has to move on.

It's an old story and most of us who have lived the office life know it. Every year will bring a fresher flower and no matter how hard one tries, pheromones fade in potency. The wise geisha cultivates her inner light at all times because it will grow brighter if she does not surrender to the frustration and disappointment of realizing that many around her who befriended her are fickle. Woe to the one who decides that the office life is the only one worth living. We usually discover these working longer hours for the same money fading and becoming bitter as those that do trust and love them fade into the distance.

If she is wise, she cultivates the inner light and does not break faith with those who did not break faith with her. Faith is not adoration or approval. It is truth, even the one she cannot believe though she heard every word they said. Sometimes the word needed is found not on the billboard of her beliefs but in the wastebasket of her frustrated desire.

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