November 10, 2008

New York City: Act III, Scene 1

Over the weekend, my medium sister visited. We went to the Top of the Rock and took pictures of the city. I decided the city is still overwhelming even when you can see over it and through it. The idea of Manhattan is "romantic," but the reality is exhausting. Friday night we had dinner in Hoboken at a place called Zack's with some friends and it was so fun. Saturday, Lisa and Colin came from Philly and we all watched the Penn State game (ugh) and then went out in the Village (ugh). I really must learn to appreciate my crazy 20's, but that probably won't happen until I'm 29.

In other news: I now work for an international advertising agency (The Man) with a "Damn the Man" approach, which is interesting to say the least. When I arrived this morning, I went to my high walled cube and found a copy of the books, Death to All Sacred Cows and Fahrenheit 451. The first one was written by management, so that makes sense. Not sure about the other one. I haven't read it, but I should and I know it's an ironic book about censorship and the dystopia born when creative free will is outlawed. Three scenarios are possible. One, the girl that sat there before me forgot it and no one knew what to do with it so they did nothing and left it. Two, it's a cryptic message from my employers to challenge the system, ask questions, and not burn the book they wrote. Or three, it was placed there by the Universe as a clue that I should be an English teacher instead. If it's still there tomorrow, I shall take it home and read it.

I met almost everyone in the agency today... about 20-25 people including the authors of the first book left in my cube. One of the management mavens sits in his office in a little 5th grade school desk chair (the right handed desk is attached to the orange plastic seat). There is nothing else in the room besides him and his laptop and it smells mysteriously like hampster pellets. That could just be hampsters on the mind because of this video on youtube, however I do have an impeccable super human sense of smell. Curious. Very curious. Then I set up my laptop and started sifting through decks and flowcharts to learn about the clients. This is new for me, because I only ever worked on huge mega brands that everyone knows about. Now I'm on a concrete company (that's cement, not "stable"), an investment management firm, and a construction equipment rental company. The targets are all in the C-Suite demo, aka Wall Street ballers, so basically I will be BFF with reps from Forbes and Money Magazine which will be a real trip.

The best part is that I took an hour long lunch and left at 5, which is per usual apparently. There are also some anti-Trevor noms working there, an old school soda machine with free soda, and we use mugs instead of throwing away cups. If my year in corporate hell taught me nothing else, I did learn to feel incredibly guilty for all the trees I killed to leave a paper trail that no one will ever need. I'm feeling zero anxiety today and I'm thinking this was a good move. My resume is very interesting, I'm on level with everyone else I graduated with despite changing companies like I change socks, and I know it's okay to move on whenever I feel unhappy. Life is too short to be stuck in a job that you hate. I don't have to love this, but at least I can be healthy and have more time to do what I really want to do after work (take classes, go to the gym, read, breathe). Honestly, there is always an escape. I will never ever worry about getting a job in any city at any time in advertising because smart businesses advertise through recessions anyway (I learned that today). People always say its hard to get a new job and I don't get it. This is my third job since graduation and it's not just because I'm lucky or because I have ADD or that I'm a bullshit artist. I just know what I don't want and then focus on what I want until I get it. Not that I really know what I want, but I'm just saying. Until I either work up the guts to start my own agency and write a book about it or quit the industry to teach in a small town, I will attempt to sail through the next few months with a little less angst and rage.

P.S. Any book suggestions? I'm going to need reading material.

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