Archive | April, 2011

Speakerphone

26 Apr

Awkward alert, but for once not on my part!

Surprisingly, being the technophobe that I am, I have yet to accidentally broadcast my phone conversations on the overhead PA system at work…but someone else did yesterday! The office phones apparently have a button that puts the phone on speaker, which then also transmits the conversation across the two floors our department spans. Usually, this feature is used to the effect of “We need an intern on 10!” But after a crackle of the air waves, everyone got to listen in as this woman conversed with someone who definitely didn’t work here–we heard about what she was eating for lunch, what she wasn’t doing at work, the doctor’s appointment she went to before work, and various details of her weekend escapades.  Thank God it was nothing more than brunch on the Upper West Side–as it was, my coworker and I were cringing at the awkwardness of it all and silently begging that this woman would realize her faux pas!

Five minutes later, amid gossipy whispers and stifled giggles, someone finally had the bright idea to send out a mass email to the department, along the lines of “Turn off your speakerphone because we can hear you thankgodthatwasntme.” And thankfully she did, before things got anymore scandalous…because we all knew it was headed in that direction!

But for the rest of the day, we got a good laugh out of it. Whenever my colleague and I had something to tell each other, something that perhaps should be held in confidence or not shared at all, we went for the obvious punchline: “O, let me just give you a call.”

Reinvention

25 Apr

Man, this day is LOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG. It’s only 2:30 in the afternoon and I’m already set to pack up and go home for the day. Plus, it’s only Monday.

I’ve written before about what happens when I get bored…I get insecure and paranoid, and my mind wanders across the Atlantic and into daydreams about living in Europe. But I’ve been so uninspired lately, I haven’t even put in effort to thinking any of those things, and I’m only drafting this blog post because it’s been an entire week and I feel obligated. I need to be perked up, I need to be enthused! I need an original thought to occur, or something mind-bogglingly interesting to happen.

You think I’d be happy with some mediocrity once in a while–after months of drama and anxiety, I’m finally in a place where I feel somewhat comfortable and at ease. But the bottom line is that I don’t handle relaxation very well. Tension, deadlines and pressure keep me moving forward, and the absence of those things turns me into a blob of boring boredomness.

I need to start thinking of my life outside of work. I’ve been so focused on my career and getting it worked out that I’ve abandoned practically everything else outside of it. I can’t even remember what my interests were before I started working, and now the only things I do outside of work are wash my hair and microwave my dinner.

Ugh, life in the real world is hard! I spent four years crafting a college identity, only to be faced with the task of figuring out how I fit in the post-college world! And someday (God-willing) I’ll get married and have kids and I’ll have to figure out how I fit in there! And all the times in between major life events…where to even begin! Will there be a time where I’m not in constant reinvention mode, when I’m embracing a mellow week as a treat and not a cause for total life reflection?

I Was Born Today

18 Apr

Today is my 23 birthday! Before anyone asks, yes, I do feel older this year! My bones ache, my mind is going…no, I don’t feel older in that way, but in more of a “Wow, this year was super intense” way.

22 was a really crazy year. I’m avoiding the word “bad” and opting for “challenging” instead–between graduating college, getting five million jobs, crying five million more tears, and generally handling myself poorly, 22 will not be the year I look back on and say “Yea, I really had my $@#% together.”

But today is the start of a whole new year and I feel great about it already! I have a job I love, with some job security attached (at least for the time being!). I’ve put my apartment dreams on the back burner and am focusing on being more positive with my situation right now. And I am slowly, SLOWLY coming to terms with my horrible, horrendous, gut-wrenching commute. As I said, slowly.

I’m keeping it simple for 23: I want to be happier, patienter, and confident-er. I want to act like an adult. I want to actually be an adult. But right now, I really just want a cupcake! And I feel no shame in that!

A Taste of the Better Life

15 Apr

Last night, I went out to dinner with some friends, and quickly deemed it pointless to commute home, only to sleep for 6 hours before slogging back in. So I stayed over, had some much-needed catch up time, and GOT TO WORK IN 20 MINUTES. Mind. Blown.

Ah, and what a wonderful morning it was! Because I didn’t anticipate my entire morning commute to take less than my daily walk from the bus station to my office, I had about 45 minutes to spare before checking in for the day. So I spent it waltzing through Central Park, breathing in the intoxicating scent of spring, listening to Ella Fitzgerald and grinning like an idiot. It was nice.

Of course, the first thing I did when I got in was log back on to Craigslist, which I have been steadfastly avoiding for the past few weeks. It was my  Lenten  promise: No unnecessary salivating over real estate. But I just folded into temptation like a soggy piece of cardboard and spent the next hour clicking and Google mapping and once again becoming horrified at how unbelievably expensive an apartment is. So I gathered up every ounce of self-control I could muster and closed Craigslist, silently resigning myself to a few more months of commuting anguish.

At least I will have this morning’s memory to savor when I’m pushing through the crowds at Port Authority tonight, struggling to get on a bus and back home in less than three hours.  I’ll just start reciting my happiness mantra now: 20 minutes. Spring. Smiling. Unfettered joy. Repeat.

A Dramatic Interpretation of Morning Traffic

13 Apr

It took me almost three hours to get to work this morning.

When I tell someone this in a passing conversation, the first thing they ask is “Was there an accident?”

This is a sensible question. Of course you’d think that sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for 45 minutes, only to slowly crawl up the exit ramp to sit in more traffic would mean that somewhere,  there is a REALLY BIG ACCIDENT.

For example, this is what I’m typically visualizing:

SCENE: Girl, 22, sits, nervously tapping her foot. She listens to the same song on rotation and unwraps her sixth piece of gum for the morning, anxiously peeking out the window of the bus. Beads of sweat begin to dot her brow when she realizes she is–once again–going to be late to work.

CUT TO HIGHWAY, MANY MILES AHEAD OF BUS

Mangled metal and shredded tires litter the center of the highway. An eighty-car pile up towers over the lines of traffic. The woman in the top car dangles precariously from the window, screaming “Save me!” over and over.

Suddenly, the bottom car explodes, sending the others precariously crashing to the ground in a huge explosion. Similar to the atomic bomb, the accident sends waves of panic through the traffic, which slows to a halt. A plume of thick black smoke erupts from the wreckage, and emergency crews rush to the scene, the sirens echoing in a desperate cry, EMTs carrying anyone they can find to safety.

CUT BACK TO BUS, MANY MILES AWAY FROM WORKPLACE

The traffic is gridlocked, a slow and agonizing ripple that extends for miles. The passengers sigh in irritation–yet another eighty-car pile up to be cleared. But none of them know of the tragedy that occurred on the slick macadam as the sun rose to its morning brilliance. All they know is that it’s been a long day, and it’s only 9 am. Also, they are hungry.

END SCENE

But the reality is that there is no pile up. Not even a fender-bender. THERE IS NOTHING THIS DRAMATIC THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HOLDING UP TRAFFIC. So someone please explain it to me, because that’s my only explanation for why it took me three hours to get into work. And since I’m forever explaining, I’m going to need a more believable excuse.

A Morning Mess

11 Apr

I am not a morning person. Maybe I should rephrase that–I’m not a “getting up in the morning” person. The moment my alarm goes off, my bed immediately becomes five billion times more comfortable than it was just seconds before.

The problem is that I actually need to get up and go to work every day, and the amount of time I shave off of my morning routine to loll around in bed is becoming somewhat problematic. I plan on leaving myself a good 40 minutes to get ready, but lately, I’m just rolling out of bed 15 minutes before I’m supposed to be rolling out of my driveway. This typically causes me to rush around the house, simultaneously brushing my teeth, applying mascara, pouring my coffee and picking out pants. Which means I spend a lot of time walking around my house pant-less.

Obviously, something needs to change. Yea, I need to get up earlier, I know. But this has been a lifelong problem–I was dragged out of bed on a daily basis with empty threats from my mother,  perpetually late to morning classes in college, and while I’ve at least managed to curb my tardiness when it comes to work, I’ve yet to allow myself the luxury of actually running a brush through my hair before I run out the door. And what’s the point anyway? My hair is beyond any hope.

Most of the time, I leave my house feeling like a scatterbrained mess. Then I spend the rest of my day hoping people at work don’t think I look like a scatterbrained mess. Why can’t I bring my obsessive and perfectionist tendencies to my morning routine in the way I bring them to every other aspect of my life? Maybe I need a louder alarm…or a less comfortable bed!

The Dreaded Email

4 Apr

The other day, I posted what basically amounted to a love letter to my beloved New York Times. But today, they spit in my face. They tore my heart out and stomped on it with their journalistic shoes.

They sent me this message:

“You have 5 of 20 free articles remaining this month”

First of all, it’s April 4. Technically, the “month” started last Monday when they introduced their plan, but in just one week, I’ve practically exhausted my months supply! All along, I thought I was being a conservative reader–I struggled with my choices; painstakingly chose my articles. I tried to find them published elsewhere. I SKIPPED THE SLIDE SHOWS. It was a tough week.

But what really irked me was that little message–a bit brusque, wouldn’t you agree? You’d think they’d be a little gentler as they RIPPED OUT MY SOUL. And what makes it even worse is this little factoid I happened upon last week:

“New York Times Co.’s efforts to charge readers…will get an early boost from one advertiser–Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln brand. Lincoln…has targeted 200,000 heavy readers of the newspaper’s website with an offer to sponsor their digital subscription for 2011.” (WSJ)

WHERE WAS MY EMAIL?????  Listen, I know I have a flair for the over-dramatic, but this is not fair! 200,000 people get the email and my inbox is devoid?? The whole thing just seems unapologetic. Shouldn’t they at least send me a letter acknowledging my persistent and obsessive love? Perhaps something along the lines of: “We’re sorry you are not one of the chosen ones, and to truly express our apology, we will set you up with a free, life-time subscription plan. Yay!” Now is that really so hard??

Of course, what would be easier is if I just signed up and started paying. Sigh. So many life choices!