Tuesday, May 19, 2009
First of all, let me be clear from the outset. This post is chaff. Just a throwaway thought to keep honest Anonymous Alex at bay. Somewhere in my e-marrow I can feel he's been prepping another Your Blog Is Dying missive, so I'm going to cut him off at the pass. I'm going to nip him in the bud with my arsenal of mixed metaphors. Here is a post. The blog is alive.
I've been working at my new job for about five weeks. I've resisted blogging about it because while the old job at ________ Consulting Group was temporary, a consequence-free way of earning a living, without having to have a career, the new job is not temporary. It cannot be shrugged off with a midday fro yo, and some clever banter with Adam over gchat. The new job has big-C Career written all over it, and I am trying my best not to fuck it up. That is to say, I'm trying. Part of trying means not blogging about every stupid fucking thing my coworkers do. There is an obvious element of self-preservation in checking myself in this manner. But it also suggests some delusion on my part as well. This blog, read by a discreet and gifted few, will never make its way to the web browsers of the employees at _________ LLP, my new professional home. I would have to morph into an opposite-marriage-supporting, LOL cat with a crush on Obama to achieve the kind of broad internet fame that would bring this blog to the attention of my colleagues. Still, you never know who might stumble here, who might crack through my nom de guerre, my made-up names, and expose me to the world.
So, I've hemmed and I've hawed about how to talk about my job, if at all. But now I've come to this conclusion: what made the old job tolerable, what, believe it or not, made it fun, was knowing that I could catalogue all the day's ridiculousness in these pages. Why deny myself that? Still, I am not going to blog about my new job without first imposing some stringent security measures: Because the new job has me doing some very un-hero-like and very specific kind of lawyering, I am not going to talk about the work itself -- and this is for the best; also, in addition to continuing to invent names, I might try on some composite characters and Hills like reality script tweaking. I expect no love from Oprah Winfrey.
Now, the only question that remains is this: Will I have anything to blog about? These days. I go to work in an office that is mine alone. My sliver of a window provides me with an angle on a tiny section of the Bay Bridge. Work comes in. Discussions are had. I try not to make a fool of myself. I eat sandwiches. I ask the Secretary outside my door questions about formatting documents in Word. I tell everyone how to pronounce my name correctly, and then the next week, tell them all again. I put post it notes on my sandwiches before putting them in the Fridge. I struggle to remember how to make .pdf's. I made an early play for a seemingly unwanted plant before anyone else could score it, and pumped my fist when it became mine. I stare at the dull canvas of beige in front of me and think about putting up something on the walls, but probably won't. Do I really want to make this place homier? Do I want to acknowledge that it is, in fact, my new home? I don't know the answer to that yet.
I do know this. The other day right outside my door, two junior associates, one of whom is quite friendly and the other quite sour, meditated loudly and passionately on whether or not one must have two spaces after a period. The sour one could not imagine a world where teachers and parents alike did not beat their children senseless for their cavalier and lustful use of the one-space. The other was somewhat more charitable, arguing that, "you know, there's no real reason you need two spaces," but conceded, ultimately, only a diseased mind would bunch his sentences together so brazenly. This was about 8 PM on a Friday. I felt overwhelmed by sadness for everyone involved in the discussion, myself included, as I was right then beholding it. I packed my things and scurried off between the two stalwarts of classical debate, and recalled with great joy that morning when I passed Dick -- you remember, Dick, he of ________ Consulting Group fame, he of the extended vowels ("401kaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy") on my way to work. It was about 9:30 and he was on his second or third cigarette break of the day, circling the block. Suddenly two low-flying pigeons swept in lightly towards his head, but to Dick they were like spray from an M2 Carbine. Their legs lightly grazed his hair. He dropped his cigarette and crumpled to the sidewalk like the first unlucky bastard out the boat at Omaha Beach, and mumbled "shit," mirthlessly and with no emphasis on the vowel. He sat there as I walked by -- I thought it best not to exchange pleasantries . Stunned, he remained half-splayed on the ground for a goodly while. His cigarette burning, wasted.
What fear does to us to a man.
__________ Consulting Group, you are the gift that keeps on giving.