Out of Office

Essay 153 • Jun 5th 2017

Monday. 9.16 AM. Elevator door opens. Forgot my ID. Receptionist buzzes me in. I say hi. She says good morning. I say “Catch up at lunch?” I breeze down the corridor. Taking off my coat as I walk/jog. I whisper “morning” to the co-workers I glide past. My desk is on the left. Opposite the boss’ office. His office light is on. I quickly glance over as I slide into my cubicle. His eyes are glued to his screen. He hasn’t noticed my entrance. Probably hasn’t looked up in 17 minutes. I turn on my computer. Network password. Company logo. Email Password. 20 unread emails. New email alert. Subject heading. “We need to talk about your lateness”. Apologies issued. Promises made. Coffee. Back to my desk. Emails answered. Calls returned. Water cooler. ‘How was your weekend?’ template responses. Or politics. Then Lunch. Cold salad. Back to my desk. System crash. Coffee. Reboot. Meetings about meetings. 16 unread emails. Phone calls returned. Nodding at my desk. Coffee. 5:30PM. Office clears out. Alone. Still working. Unpaid overtime. Real work. 7:21PM. New Message alert. “Drinks in SoHo?” Power button shutdown. Pumps in my drawer. Straighten up. Make up. Grab my coat. Escape.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Repeat.


Aki Akiwumi is a Brooklyn based photographer who grew up in Sierra Leone and London. He shoots fashion, portraits and street photography.

Instagram | Website

Styling: Christina Tung

Make up: Ayaka Nihei

Art Direction: Brit Larson

Model: Geli Forlefac, Major Model Management