22 March 2019

The Wilting Soul

“You can’t be an artist and make a living. It’s not stable. You’ll starve and never get anywhere.”


So, there was once an office worker. She loved being organised. She loved connecting with the other staff. She loved decorating her desk and she loved helping others.


She loved her work.


The clicking of the keys, the zoom of the laser printer, the smell of paper and the watery hum of the air conditioner. Sometimes the office would even play some music. Casual Fridays were always relaxing and whenever someone had a baby or a birthday the manager brought in cake.


Then the manager, overweight and fried food eating, died of bowel cancer.


Everyone in the office had to move to a new office.


The office worker didn’t want to move, but she thought she would make the best of it and the new office was going to be great. The new office was only half built.


It was older than her first office, but it was in shambles. The director was always too busy to help the staff, the building was busted and unclean, the desks needed fixing and the administration was bad. But worse of all was the receptionist.


They either spoke too quietly on the phone or they were rude. They spoke with rude words to their friends on the phone while they were meant to be working. They never filed anything away, and when they did they took no pride in their work and did it wrong. They wouldn’t write down what they did all day so no one could tell where emails were sent to, who called or what needed ordering.


Customers often complained, but because the director was too busy, she didn’t see how badly the receptionist behave. Even when she did see, she ignored it because her last receptionist stole company data and this receptionist was the only one she could trust.


Then because the office manager left, she made the receptionist the manager too.


The receptionist didn’t care about the office. They just wanted to look good in front of the board of directors without actually doing anything.


The office worker got the team together and they cleaned the office. They fixed the holes in the walls and the leaky sink. They even brought in a coffee machine. They fixed everyone’s desks together and they tried to make the place beautiful and lively, just like before.

The receptionist just watched and told people what to do, even though most of what they said was wrong.


The office worker used to love staff meetings. They built everyone’s energy up and got them pumped for the week ahead, encouraging them to do their best. Now the office worker hated them. She dreaded them. The director would give ideas and direction, which is what a good director does, and everyone would be excited to do them. It was meant to make the office run smoothly. But then the receptionist would jump in and put a big block in the path of progress, not listening, talking over others or flatly refusing to do the work being asked of them. Sometimes they would agree to do the work and then conveniently forget to remind the busy director of anything they were accountable for.


The office worker hated going to work.


It went beyond just hating that particular office though. She had spent so much time and energy building the new office into a place they could all be proud of. She had spent so long growing here that it felt impossible to let it go.


She had been warned, though. As other staff had left they had warned her, “This place will take you for everything they can and give nothing in the end.”


But they had given things… hadn’t they?


The office worker walked home one day and thought about it.


It then dawned on her that everything they had “given” her were her normal entitlements that would be given freely at any other place. Other work places wouldn’t tell her that this was a special privilege or that it was so much effort but they would do it for only her. She wasn’t being treated better here than anywhere else, she was being treated worse than what she truly deserved.


But she couldn’t go back to offices.


It had all been made insufferable to her now. The paper felt horrible. The zoom of the printer irritated her ears. The smell of the coffee machine made her nauseous. The music became repetitive and drilling. Even her decorated desk had to be rearranged daily to help her feel like she could bare being there. She arrived late, tried to leave early, stopped smiling, was always tired and looked like she aged ten years.


“You can’t be an artist and make a living. It’s not stable. You’ll starve and never get anywhere.”


The day she walked home it rained.


The office worker cried.


And cried.


And cried.


She couldn’t stop crying.


Her office worker heart broke into thousands of pieces. The pain was excruciating.


But as the pieces around her heart fell away she started to see something else. For years her heart had been surrounded by the necessity of working in an office. But her true heart was filled with…




“You can’t be an artist and make a living. It’s not stable. You’ll starve and never get anywhere.”


The officer worker couldn’t believe that lie anymore. She couldn’t have her soul shredded and her heart crushed every day anymore.

She ran through the rain and tore her house apart. With food colouring and printer paper she worker. She created. She made art.

She went back to the office, but every day there meant she had the money to paint.


Then she sold her first painting. It was amazing. Then she sold another. And another. She learned to convert her office skills to business skills. She learned to step out.


She taught herself a new lesson.


You can be an artist and make a living. It is stable. You will thrive and go far.”


And one day after lots of work on her paintings, she left the office…


And never looked back.

Follow us

Embark on an extraordinary journey through the captivating world of the Wolflock Cases series, where mystery, magic, and mythology intertwine to create an unforgettable reading experience.

Follow us



Logan, QLD                       The end of Owlet Street,

Australia                   or              Plugh, Grothener