soul-destroying job in cubicle hell, in this case at a book publisher's customer service call center:
This was the corner I painted myself into from the time I took my first job while attending college, soliciting funds for the local Philharmonic. Going from this phone pool to that, slacking off in school, living for the now, and swimming in the tepid victories of the past, never giving a moment's consideration to the fact that I might outlive my lethargic happiness. It was a sobering thought: I may never escape this life. I knew nothing else.
I worked as a programmer at a telemarketing company briefly while in college in the mid-'80s, developing calling scripts and data-entry forms in the MUMPS language so hundreds of workers could more efficiently pester people for AT&T Reach Out America and others.
The article's description of the utter lack of social interaction between coworkers is weird; my colleagues were carousing and canoodling like minks.