Month two at STARTUP and CHIEF OFFICER is demoted off my team. MANAGER is on vacation, unaware of her de facto promotion. “Restructures” are routine at STARTUP, I come to learn. Inventory the staff, catalog their duties, and purge whomever CEO dislikes. As a result, workloads are redistributed and titles change on a near-monthly basis. This virtual reshuffle is spatially realized as the pods of the open air office are reconfigured yet again. Adrift in a haze of malaise, I ponder when my time will come. I watch Jacques Tati’s Playtime (1967), assuming a satire of corporate existence will be soothing. With imagery of monolithic glass structures and a color palette of drab greys, the film lambasts the rigorous conformity of the 50s era megacorp. Lemmings wait in line or scurry to and fro. They peck at typewriters and push buttons on arcane electronics. Waiting rooms resemble conference rooms resemble cubicles resemble apartments. The repression of individuality occasionally erupts in humorous chaos only to be contained once more. I find myself unable to relate, even envious of the world in the film. How does it feel to know one’s place in the superstructure? Following the ousting of CHIEF OFFICER, MANAGER’S title changes several times, our workloads mutate, and a colleague is absorbed into the team. The office moves into a new space two floors down and seating arrangements are shuffled thrice. Frederic Jameson elucidates the difference between Playtime and STARTUP in his famous essay on postmodernism. The high modernist world of the film is structured according to time. Our postmodern predicament is one concerned with space. The lemmings exist according to a stiff temporal logic: clock-in, perform ordained duties, take the requisite breaks, clock-out, experience “free time” at home. Rinse and repeat. This paradigm dissipates for the technocrat who can work from home. Unlimited vacation hours, push notifications, and XXX render time moot and spatial logics paramount. Likewise for the precarious gig laborer whose personal spaces are monetized through apps like Uber, Airbnb, and Depop. One is never truly off the clock, only utilizing spaces differently. Jameson describes this experience as being submerged in an environment without the distance necessary to gain perspective. Akin to the hyperactivity of cyberspace, one is always doing, reacting. Activity is paramount to success. Such dynamics define existence at STARTUP. The new office space boasts of a cafe and lounge, hubs of relaxation traditionally separate from work. CEO relentlessly gives tours to other company heads while trying to secure a magazine spread. Boasting of “collaboration” and “community” and “transparency,” she hits every note in the Silicon Valley playbook. The reality of STARTUP brings the authenticity of such proclamations into question. Taking a cue from Mark Zuckerberg, CEO sits at a regular desk in the center of the office, erecting a near-literal panopticon. Staff retreat to massive noise-cancelling headphones to avoid noise pollution, conversations move to G-Chat (text message for anything incriminating), and the lounge is seldom utilized . Replete with exposed brick and minimalist Scandinavian design,