Paranoia on the Way to the Vending Machine

In this age of layoffs and secrets, everyone is on their guard and even slightly paranoid.


The journey from my desk started innocently enough. I was on the prowl for a bottle of water and something sweet. As I traversed the fluorescent-lit hallways, debating between Twizzlers and a granola bar, I couldn't help but notice all of the closed doors.

This was no coincidence. EVERY door was shut--indiscernible voices leaking through the door jams.

Something was up.

My first inclination is normally to be thankful that I am not behind closed doors. But in this instance, I felt like the kid left off the dodgeball team. What the heck is everybody talking about?

Perhaps this is a symbol of the new, weakened economy.

A closed door might be nothing more than an anxiety-provoking corporate symbol (besides, most bosses don't know what they're doing anyhow) but it's amazing how the grass is always greener on the other side.

The employees behind the door could be getting reprimanded--or worse yet--let go. Or, maybe they are being let in on the big corporate secret and the joke's on me.

I often wonder if this so-called age of transparency actually yields fewer closed doors than decades past.

I'm grateful to have my job. And I can honestly say this was the first time I felt the ugly, oft-ignored consequence of weak economic times: Paranoia.

Admit it, you're a little scared.

These days you'll find me walking upright, sizing up my prey should it come down to the survival of the fittest.

In the meantime, I'll be at my desk finishing my Twizzlers.

After holding down various media jobs, including stops at MTV Networks and Fox News, Andrew G.R. was completely discouraged—not only about his own career but also about the lack of job resources that truly spoke to him. Enter Jobacle, the employment blog and podcast designed to Make Work Better.

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