Monthly Archives: November 2006

Breakfast in America

After a shitty day at work, walked down to the World Trade Center Path train, smoking a Padron, and feeling like I have to get the hell out of McMann and Tate. I still feel that way. I had arranged for an interview, maybe two for today, Thursday. That meant I needed to not be in the office, in otherwords, play hooky. I had spoken to Isabel Abrahams on the phone when I had some privacy and went through the drill, what do I do, am I working presently, and am I circumcised. A most unusual line of questioning, but I answered admirably.

I came home from work thinking of a good excuse to use to get out of work. Dead grandparents wouldn’t cut it, since that would entail too many questions when I got back, and all I needed was one day off. I decided on the implausible. I sent an email to Linda and Donna since I turn on the night phones at 6PM and no one would answer the phone at 7:33 PM. I know they have blackberries and sidekicks so they are plugged in most of the time and an email would work best. I wrote:

“I just came home to find my bathroom ceiling has partially collapsed due to a leaking pipe above. I’m waiting to hear from my landlord. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it in tomorrow as I’ll have to be home waiting for a repairman. I also don’t have water right now either.”

It wasn’t true of course, I wanted to use an excuse where no one would tempt fate and get hurt or sick. What was true was that the New Jersey State Building Inspector was coming by to check out the apartments and make sure there were no violations. I kept checking my email to see if there was any response but there was none at all. I wrestled with guilt. Some strange misguided guilt about leaving this company that I cannot tolerate much more.

There wasn’t much of anything on TV last night. I almost watched Spalding Gray’s ‘Monster in a Box’ which I ordered months ago and finally received yesterday, but I decided to save it for Juan when he makes his appearance again. I think he enjoyed ‘Swimming to Cambodia’ so this might be a treat. Or a slow painful evening at Casa de Ozed y Vila. Bill came home and we watched Law and Order until I started to feel a great fatigue around 10:30, which is when I went to bed and slept a very sound sleep.

I woke up later than usual since I didn’t have to go to work today. I checked my emails and there was not one response to the message I sent last night. I decided to email Terry, and ask her to forward my ‘dilemma’. She’s always checking her Hotmail account so I figured since she would be in before Linda and Donna she’d be able to.

I wrote to Terry:
“I sent an email last night to Debbie and Lesley about having to wait for a repairman to come to fix the partially collapsed bathroom ceiling this morning in my apartment. I don’t know whether they got it since I hadn’t heard anything. Perhaps you could be so kind as to forward this message to them? Thanks.”
I also emailed Mark the office controller telling him about my ‘situation’, “I sent this (the initial email) last night to Linda and Donna. The repairman should be here in an hour they tell me. I still have no water. I doubt I’ll be in today because of this fiasco. Sorry.”

No responses except for a phone call from Linda around 9:30AM asking if I was alright. She never got the email and she was never told by Terry what had ‘happened’ to me. I explained and she told me I should’ve phoned, not realizing that after 6:00PM, no one in the office answers the phone since I turn on the night phone service right before I leave for the day. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

She also asked that I keep them posted about what time I plan to be in. The Building Inspector left after a 5 minute visit, I got suited up and called the office, using the hands free and occasionally running the electric coffee grinder. I told her the repairmen just got started and it didn’t look like they were going to done anytime soon, and I still have no water. While saying this I kept the grinder grinding. She remarked that it sounded like a lot of drilling going on and I agreed.

I surfed the net this morning sending out resumes and got two bites, enabling me to schedule two more interviews this afternoon, spaced an hour apart from each other, 1:30, 2:30 and finally 3:30.

I headed out the door and got onto a bus to the city. I emailed my resume to Bill, asking him if he could print out some copies and I’ll pick them up on my way to the interview. I sat in the back of the bus, looking bangin’ I must say. I did a quick check to see if the latest Mojo or Uncut Magazines were available on 42nd Street, not far from where I used to buy porn called ‘Mo’ Joe’ and ‘Uncut’ in the eighties.

I met up with Bill outside his building, he printed out 10 copies on some really nice paper. We both looked bangin’ on the street though I think I had the upper hand since I was in braces. He was a close second. Thisclose. I got to the first interview a about 15 minutes early so I filled out all the needed paperwork and met with Isabel Abrahams who set me up on tests, both Word and typing. I used to type about 45 words per minute, and you’d think after writing 450 blog entries it would have increased, but I typed 36 wpm. Go figure. Did pretty good on Word, 96% correct. It was basic common sense.

I figured out that Isabel was a germaphobe. No hand shaking, which in the staffing industry, is what it’s all about. She stuck to the script as I walked her through the resume. After about 10 minutes she showed me to the door telling me she’d phone if she had anything. I walked out onto the balmy November afternoon and headed to the next interview, once again a bit early.

This time it seemed to go well. I met with Jack Cloud who I sat with in a very small room at an even smaller desk. He noticed that I lived in Hoboken and proceeded to tell me about how his son, the doctor, was looking to move to Hoboken and was surprised it was so expensive, as expensive as Manhattan. After looking at my resume, I could see a light go on in his head. It turns out his company is looking for a receptionist. He took me in to see the managing director who seemed glad to meet me. He was in a meeting with his assistant and he had me sit down and he told me all about the job, except for salary and benefits. He basically offered me the job but needed to run it by the President of the company who is out this week, celebrating the fact that she is a grandmother once again. I worked for a staffing agency once. It wasn’t that bad, I could easily do it again. It’s in midtown, which I like. So I think I might have something there.

I walked out and called Bill. He seemed enthused. I was soon off to the 3:30 interview. These were all within walking distance and I found myself walking down the same sidewalks I had walked 45 minutes earlier. It was a beautiful day anyhow and I was bangin’ after all. I walked into a building on Madison Avenue, a building I had passed thousands of times before. Alright, hundreds of times.

This was quite a let down after the previous interview. Even the interview with the germaphobe was a lot more comfortable. More forms to fill out and two tests to perform. Once again, Word and typing. This time though, instead of a comfortable room this was in an overheated cramped room with lousy computers. While sweating, I tested basically the same and met some bat chick in the lobby, who told me about how December is a slow month and things will pick up in January. The germaphobe told me that the timing was right to look for a job, to start in January and that’s basically the ideal.

After that I walked to the Path train, Padron-less, yet feeling pretty good. Working in midtown again, wearing a suit and tie, it could be great. I do think the guys who worked with Jack Cloud liked me enough to sell the thought of me working for them. I’d definitely do it.

No Love Lost

Just when I thought work couldn’t get anymore degrading, it does. Not a good day yet again. The usual morning routine, getting out of bed, showering, seeing Bill off to work, breakfast and coffee and out the door myself. I walked to the Path train, steeling myself for whatever event might unfold before me. I knew Andrea was going to be in today after gallivanting around Manhattan and Brooklyn with her varied New York friends. She’s a good kid and today they started pressuring her to move to New York and become the office manager. A few meetings spread throughout the day for her, all rather hush hush.

I certainly haven’t been selling her on the idea of moving to New York. I’ve been emphasizing staying in San Francisco. I’d rather be there anyhow, closer to my sister and her family, nice city, clean, great art and music scene, and relatively cheaper than Manhattan from what I’ve heard. One transplanted San Franciscan was telling me how she was renting a house in lower Pacific Heights for $750, which is cheaper than the rent that Bill and I are sharing here in Hoboken. It would be a major upheaval for anyone to move across the continent. I thought about it before, and now Andrea is thinking about it, more seriously than I ever did.

Alan is a blessed soul, he sees me suffering and is doing his darndest to get me happy. Yesterday he lent me the Sufjan Stevens Christmas collection of extended play cd’s which I uploaded. He’s definitely into the holiday thing and I am simply not feeling it as of yet. Today he gave me a cd full of 917 mp3’s each and everyone a holiday song. I offered him the Beatles Christmas messages which really only hold an appeal if you are as big a fan of the Fabs as I am. He respectfully declined. Last night while walking around after work I mentioned to Alan that I was tired of complaining about the work situation. He’s lucky, Alan flies under the radar. Lizzie Borden is almost the same though she’s had enough of the nonsense in the office.

Today, the office alpha male, Sean was looking at a gift box of candies and chocolates in the kitchen with Mina Theta and PJ Softskull. They stood there making jokes about the gift box when Sean picks up a bag of chocolates and empties it on the counter right in front of me. He turned and said, ‘Oh sorry mate. Just fooling around.’ It’s great to fool around and make a mess and have someone cleaning up after you. I am the one who had to clean it all up. The majority of people finish off boxes of chocolates and candies and instead of turning 2.5 feet to throw it away, they just leave the empty boxes and bags on the counters.

They do it with glasses, just leave them on the counter. One glass was left there and I didn’t touch it for over an hour. Finally I got fed up and walked the glass four feet and put it in the dishwasher. Something that none of these fantastically creative inbreds are able to do. They wonder why I don’t participate in various office ‘fun’ events, one reason is I am so cut off from everyone physically that I have no idea what is actually going on, and do I really want to hang out with people that are so inconsiderate like these ‘people’? No I really don’t, so I won’t.

Also had the honor of having to pick up a used tissue that someone left on the counter. I have got to get the fuck out of here, the sooner the better. Fuck the bonus. It’s simply not worth it. If I had a job offer and they wanted me to start tomorrow, I definitely would. No love lost. This is quite possibly the worst job I ever had and it’s a wonder that I have lasted this long. Basically they can all go to hell. Except for Alan and Lizzie Borden. Maybe one or two others. That’s it. The boat is full.