WILMETTE, IL—The life of recent college graduate Jeremy Fahey was forever changed earlier this month when the once outgoing and carefree student succumbed to a job offer at a local insurance claims firm, an unforeseen and tragic event that will most likely keep him confined to an office chair for the rest of his life.
While many details remain unclear, it is now believed that Fahey lost any and all upward mobility moments after being hired for a data entry position at Sedgwick Enterprises on the morning of July 25. According to several eyewitnesses at the scene, the impact of Fahey's full-time employment was so sudden and crushing that it has left the former high school track star paralyzed in front of his work computer screen ever since.
"You hear stories about it all the time, but you never think that something like this is going to happen to you," said Fahey, who now spends most days trapped inside a windowless cubicle, and only leaves his office chair in order to use the bathroom. "It's funny: One minute you have your entire future ahead of you, and the next thing you know, you practically need someone to drag you out of bed in the morning."
Due to Fahey's condition, simple, everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, walking his dog, or even just cleaning up after himself have become virtually impossible feats. In addition, Fahey admitted that he has been forced to abandon a number of his favorite activities, from jogging in the park to just kicking his feet up and watching daytime television.
Fahey, who claims to have lost "all sense of purpose" due to this harrowing turn of events, is already finding it difficult to remember a time when he "didn't feel completely numb."
"People keep telling me that it's going to get easier, that I won't always be stuck in this position, but right now, every minute of every day is a struggle," Fahey said.
In recent weeks, Fahey has also found himself requiring the aid of various stimulants and drugs, such as caffeine, sugar, and even alcohol, just to get through the day. Worse yet, those close to the once lively 22-year-old report that he has become almost entirely dependent on computers to communicate with those around him.
"I realize that what happened to Jeremy is nobody's fault, but still I sometimes wish I could have my old buddy back," said longtime friend Derrick Hodge, who recently visited Jeremy in his cubicle. "At first I tried pretending like nothing had changed, but every time I looked at him all I could see was that…that chair."
News of Fahey's debilitating employment has left his loved ones shocked and feeling helpless.
"Jeremy had such a bright future—he could have gone on to do anything he wanted," said Michelle Fahey, who claimed that she almost didn't recognize her brother. "To see him like this now, in that button-down dress shirt and those pleated slacks, it's almost too much to bear."
"He didn't deserve this," she added. "Nobody deserves this."
While Fahey has often thought about quitting for good, one thing has kept him going through it all.
"Sometimes I imagine what a relief it would be if I just gave up all together, if I never had to deal with another weekday ever again," Fahey said. "But then I think about my school loans and my credit card debt, and I know I have no choice but to keep going."