Over the past seven months, the whole country has been on a roller-coaster ride of Donald J. Trump’s design. (A roller coaster that is made out of junkyard parts, that never actually runs, and is called the Orange Fury.) Whether 45 is bad-mouthing his attorney general, watching his press secretary resign, giving his blessing for the firing of his Jersey Shore–adjacent comms director after only ten days on the job, or stuffing his swollen fingers into his specially requested bags of Lay’s chips, the Trump White House is as good and messy as even the best reality TV.
Watching it all burn provides a very specific kind of presidential schadenfreude, but it also does something else, something more useful: It makes our office gossip feel as gentle and benign as a nursery rhyme. The Trump White House, and all its daily foibles, has the power to bring co-workers together in a united front of disbelief. While getting embroiled in workplace drama about bad bosses used to be one of the ways that we passed the day until quitting time, our interpersonal chatter pales in comparison to the mess unloading every day in the White House. We’ve been given an even worse boss to focus on and gripe over than our own — he just happens to be running the country.
Who cares about what Sharon said to Henry at Tim’s going-away drinks? Does anyone even remember Manager X lashing out at Manager Y in a glass-walled conference room? Any complaint we could have about our jobs seems a little whiny compared to the fellatio-themed rant that got Scaramucci fired. Imagine if Donald Trump was your boss!! Now that’d be some shit.
Of course, there are obvious downsides to the Wheel of Misfortune that the Trump era — wait, seven months — has already been defined by. For starters, this charlatan is actually in charge. Bad! For another, every time someone gets booted, a worse person seems to replace them. Also bad! And maybe your office is Trump-protected territory, and you have no one to gossip and commiserate with over this messy incompetence. Truly sad for you, because it feels so good.
But the Trump show is a crumbling pile of Cheeto dust that is hard to avoid, and following it has become more than a national compulsion. A maniac bigot with no idea what he’s doing running the White House like a wine-dousing reality show? Your boss — and your office — doesn’t seem so bad after all.