In a stark and bare white room I stood atop a tall step ladder, facing a corner that had received new wall board. The joint where the wall boards met at a right angle was exposed, and I was expected to do something about it.
I couldn’t see my task masters. I didn’t know their faces or names. They wouldn’t speak to me, but somehow I knew what they wanted — they wanted me to seal the joint in that corner.
Was I given tape? No.
Was I given spackling compound? No.
Was I given specialized tools for the task? No.
What was I given to do this job? A large jar of mayonnaise.
And I was instructed to used my bare hands.
I performed as instructed, but the mayonnaise slid down the wall in gooey glops, again and again.
I wanted to question their choice of materials and tools, but questions were not allowed. And when I wondered privately why I had to use mayonnaise — and my bare fingers — to finish a plasterer’s job, I got a sharp, tingling impression they were greatly displeased I could ever doubt their wisdom,…
… I woke up with an overwhelming desire to wash my hands.