Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Now That I Can See the Light

It's been a tough summer. My career as a banking researcher came to a close, and not as gracefully as I would have liked. For about three months there, I felt like I was stepping into crosshairs every time I clocked in, trying my absolute hardest at something I knew I was bad at and was being managed to fail, to boot. I'll spare you all the details, but suffice it to say that this cartoon from the New Yorker isn't even funny. It's just true:


I felt so free and oddly calm, as though months of mismanagement and metaphorical cornholing had elevated me to fakir status. I could float above the grey carpeted cubicle hell I was in and feel the wind hit my skin for the first time in a year.

All told, I was unemployed for about a month, averaging about four interviews a week.

I managed to interview at some really choice temp agencies, including one where the interviewer interrupted the session at least four times. The first time, she stopped the process to go get a trainee to sit in...hey, fine by me, as I am all about people getting adequate training. Then the phone began ringing off the hook, and the interviewer and trainee took turns TAKING THE FUCKING CALLS while the unoccupied person continued to interview me. The whole thing was such a Chinese fire drill, and when I had the chance to ask a questions of my own, it was all I could do not to say what I always say when I am appalled and indignant: "What kind of show are you running here!?"

I interviewed at a governement agency that screamed wrong from the second I signed in. Look at this photo of the hallway leading to the office:

Bureaucratic Hallway

Tell me that just walking down that hall wouldn't make you want to suck an exhaust pipe...the will to live is strong, but we all have our limits. The office at the end of that hall contains a group of giggly women who are convinced that their tiny kingdom is the "wacky" place in the building, where people can go to have fun and let off steam, and just, you know, express themselves. The miserable thing is, they were probably right. But when they asked me, during the interview "So, what reality shows do you like watching the nest?" I should have just dived out of the open window.

After three weeks, the clouds parted slowly. The largest internet company on earth, which will go unnamed here (think about a business plan based partially on free cd-roms offering internet access) hired me to develop content and photography for their people connection section. For once in my life, this blog and my freelance writing were topics of FOCUS during an interview...the stuff I actually WANT to do!

As I look at it, no matter where I go, I'm going to be surfing the internet and writing this job, that's what I get paid to do. And by paid, I mean, paid better than that other ramshackle bunch of fudge puppets were paying me to lose ahir and gain weight while writing feverish nonsense about banking. Ultimately, the man-size dick sandwich I got served ended up being the best thing for me...although the people involved are crossed off my Christmas list like a motherfucker.

As for you're all invited to help me celebrate. If both of you in the DC area that read this blog and do not know me personally show up, I'll consider this thing a success...

Happy Hour this Friday


At 5:31 PM, Blogger Listmaker said...

so we all want to know what reality shows you are currently enjoying.

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I don't appreciate your insinuation that you don't watch reality television, I congratulate you, and if I could be there to buy you a beverage I would. So are you doing the "reverse commute" out to Reston or thereabouts? --Richard

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

Congratulations on the new job!!!

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous liz said...

shit, man. sorry for hiring you. really. glad you're outa there and on to better things, as I am. I still get the shivvers thinking about it there.......

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, so glad you made it out of there, and on to better things. I know lots of people over at AOL working on the internet side, and some over in tech support. And one that works on content out of Ashburn. Did you manage to find a job in the city?

Nice to catch up and get the good news. Wish I had known about this in time to join you for your drink. I'll make it up to you soon, and drag you out for a beverage or two.

David S


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