Tag Archives: work

Commodities

There’s a scene in the movie Office Space where our hero shows up to work late, only to flop a giant fish on his desk and begin to gut it.

Believe me when I tell you that I replay that scene in my head frequently, relishing his calm, easy where-with-all to debone that fucker on his pile of reports.

I thought about that scene today twice, reminding myself that the futility of life should not be determined by the frustration of your work. Work angst is such a spoiled, fucked up problem of the well-abled. It is practically a commodity, nearly a good as silver, almost as semi-precious as a gutted fish when you’re hungry.

On With the Showalter

I’m not the type of girl to take camera phone pictures of a Gossip Girl shoot. I ignore celebrities on the street, with the exception of Ann Coulter, who I elbowed turning the corner of 78th and 3rd last winter.

But when I come face to face with Michael Showalter in my office, on the magenta couch I pass every morning on my way upstairs on my slow and steady trudge toward my cubicle, I lose my shit.

michael-showalterI lost my shit. True story. I made it to the elevator and screeched, cutting Chris off mid-sentence, allowing the flush to climb up my neck and take full, embarrassing rapture at home in my cheeks.

I sent a mass text message. I called my brother.

I posted on my blog.

I didn’t even notice David Wain, poor sweet David Wain, next to him. No — time slowed down, Wain faded into the blurry background. It was Michael Showalter and I locked in a half-second time warp that lasted at least one hour of insanity.

What does this mean? Oh, nothing. Perhaps, in essence, I’m just a regular girl around a celebrity. Perhaps I don’t allow myself to freak out until I really see something I deem worthy of a freak out. And maybe Michael Showalter is my soulmate.

And he smiled at me. Did I mention that? He smiled at me, he caught my eye, and looked away.

Oh, oh my. Eight hours later and I’m still flushed.

It’s my birthday…

…and I’ll wake up hung over and crawl into work late if I want to.

Simple Twist of Fate

Often when I hang out with coworkers outside of work, they comment on how much I change. It’s not that I change, I have to explain, as an entirely different side of me emerges at the office.

Let me explain:

I studied English, Creative Writing and Philosophy in college because I was convinced I would have a career writing or editing. I wrote half of a novel I one day might finish. I have some shitty short fiction and poetry, some of which is posted in all of its awfulness on this blog.

But after graduation, I got a temp job at a book publisher as a sales assistant. I didn’t even know what it would entail, but I was desperate to get my foot in the door and move to the city. After a week, the VP decided I should meet the Director of Publicity and work in his department full-time. Again, I didn’t even know what book publicity was, but took everyone’s word that I would be good at it, and decided to jump ship for an editorial position as soon as one opened up.

Sure enough, editorial assistantships came and went, and I made myriad excuses for not moving. I was secretly content in my position. The editorial assistants were paper-pushers. They handled contracts, occasionally looked at the slush pile, and occasionally wrote jacket copy. They were actual assistants, gathering up meeting materials for their respective editors and quietly seething.

Meanwhile, in the publicity department, I was working on my own book campaigns. I was establishing relationships with book review editors, placing my authors on national television shows, and stalking book sales. I sat in my seat at meetings, analyzing numbers and biting my lip. I hired an intern. I checked my email when I got home, and before I went to bed. I was feisty and in charge. I was brash and serious and loud. I could never sit at a cubicle all day and edit someone else’s words. I needed to write funny emails, prove my point, deliberate on revenue.

After ten months, I was offered a job at Conde Nast, which I dangled in front of my boss as leverage for a promotion and a 20% raise. Six months later, I was offered another job for a different magazine. I graciously accepted, leaving my ten-person publicity department to act as the soul publicist for the publication, its sister magazine, and its website. It was sink or swim, do or die. I bit down hard on the meat of the job, sinking my teeth into the minutia. This time, I brought on seven different interns for myself and small marketing department, and now I check my email like a diabetic checks her insulin levels– Which is to say, obsessively and compulsively. I bark orders sometimes, and operate in a efficient whirlwind of accomplishments.

So when I find myself out with coworkers for a drink, casually sprawled across a plastic lawn chair and sipping my beer, quietly twirling a strand of hair that’s fallen out of my messy bun, they are pleasantly surprised.

Or, more to my actual point: the instance of lying in bed with an ex-coworker, kissing his shoulder when he tells me I am unexpectedly sweet. He never knew, he says, I could be so gentle and affectionate. I find this delightful. I never knew I would not be.

Something in the way she moves…

It’s 10pm. The movers will be here at 9 sharp tomorrow morning to take away two years of accumulated crap to my new apartment downtown.

I am totally inept at packing. It’s taken me days and days, and I’m still not finished. It seems that the more boxes I collect, the more shoes, bottles of perfume, dishes I have. Packing is a lot like Parkinson’s Law, which states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Only instead of the time it takes to complete a task, it is the boxes it takes me to fill up with my random collection of living supplies.

Once I acquire a box, I find another pile of books.

I call this Packer’s Law.

A Busy Day at the Office (in Uncomfortable Shoes)

Came in around 10:30.
Asked the interns to get the mail.
Changed my shoes.
Made the interns get the goddamn mail.
Ordered pizza.
Told stories about last night.
Sat around.
Ate too many floppy slices.
Sat around.
Changed my shoes.
Watched music videos on Youtube.
Looked at safe-for-work porn.
Sang Tiny Dancer with The Artist.
Changed my shoes.
Played cards with The Artist.
Beat The Artist at cards.
Sent an email.
Changed my shoes.
Left at 4:30.

Calamity

There is nothing more frustrating than finding yourself in a romantic situation with someone who lives deep in the unholy trenches of Brooklyn.

Especially when you reside uptown and everyone has work tomorrow.

If only there was an express train to your bed.
If only mere technicalities like clothes and showers were just that.

Taxi is a four letter word.