The time parasite is a wretched and despicable creature. They’re among the lowest form of scum imaginable (a true invertebrate with no noticeable backbone or useful purpose), and they often come with an overinflated sense of self worth and a graduate degree in business administration.
The time parasite is a true bottom-feeding life form oozing with sludge and dripping with charisma. They often have a sallow, oily appearance, and they thrive in dank, slimy places covered in dead rot (otherwise known as the upper echelon of senior management).
To survive, the time parasite will attach itself to an amiable, industrious employee. The employee won’t mind at first, because the time parasite will present itself as an eager and dedicated manager committed to assisting the team.
As the employee discusses the easy-to-follow steps of a rudimentary procedure, the time parasite will sink in its fangs and begin to feed. It will ask pointless questions to prolong the conversation, and the employee will be forced to restate in a different way what he or she already explained in intricate detail.
As the moments stretch into minutes, the employee will begin to feel anxious and short-tempered. E-mails will keep piling up — many requiring immediate response — but the time parasite will refuse to release its sinister hold. The employee will motion to his or her screen, or they’ll pretend to pick up their phone and make an imaginary call, but neither tactic will work. The time parasite has a hunger for the souls of employees, and its ravenous appetite is insatiable.
As the time parasite continues to devour mercilessly, the employee will feel his or her existence slipping away, as if they’re attached to the Count’s life-sucking machine on The Princess Bride. Indeed, even the most self-driven, highly motived employee will lose his or her momentum when ensnared in a time parasite’s inescapable grasp. The employee will cease to perform at a high standard, and instead of looking forward to five o’clock, they’ll start wishing for their own death.
In that way, time parasites are much like the Dementors that guard Azkaban Prison — except much more career-focused and self-serving.
Indeed, the time parasite’s enervating effects drain the employee of their motivation. When the time parasite finally releases its bone-breaking grip (usually because it becomes bored by a conversation that it cared little about in the first place), the employee will feel chewed up and violated. They’ll shake themselves off and go back to work, but their once-productive workflow will be disrupted. The time parasite took from them something that they can never get back. Not only time, but a sense of wholeness — as if the very fabric of their being was unraveled by a tug of the thread.
It will dawn upon the employee then that none of their skills, knowledge, or ideas matter anymore — at least in terms of the employee’s long-sought-after upward trajectory — because the time parasite will be there to gobble them up and to take credit for all of the employee’s accomplishments.
And so the time parasite will slink back to its dank, slimy environment, leaving in its wake a department of demoralized souls who now have to work past five to make up for lost time.