"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. " -- Mathew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's
When you consider that the film above came out in 1986, and is now of legal drinking age (!) the point is well-taken. And things move even faster in the post-modern a-go- go 21st century. Ted Haggard was cured of The Gay in just 3 weeks. In less than a month, Brittney Spears has already been into and out of rehab twice already. Add to these dubious signs of the times the fact that since I was laid off in January, since my last entry, I've had 2 new jobs.
The first, for a small dot-com, was trumped by the benefits and better pay offered by a broadcast television station. It was a tough move - the dot-com employed Hot Women; women who made art and played in bands during the off hours. Short hair and pierced noses were the office uniform. At the station, the uniform is stretch-pants with stirrups and Winnie the Pooh tee-shirts. Sure, there's some "attractive" women at the station, running around, primping for the 9 pm newscast, but they're the cool kids, with their very own table in the lunch room. Up on my floor it's cubicles decorated with happy meal toys all the way.
Now, once you get to know me, it's perhaps not so surprising that I've been employed 3 different places just in '07. As a legal adult, I've had no less than 27 jobs (though I'm pretty sure there's a handful of others I've forgotten about in there). I have to admit, it's nice having choices for once. Options. Even if I did have to fill out an application for my current job. Is it just me, or do you ever wonder why you bother endlessly editing, revising and updating your resume, arguing over formatting etiquette as if it was religion ("You must fit everything on One Page!"... "Never supply your references until asked, naive!") if in the end, you have to sit and fill out a bunch of itty-bitty fields by hand, like you're trying applying for a shift-lead position at Wendy's?
But it was cool for once, as hard as it was to walk away from the hipster chicks at the dot com, to leave on my terms - and for more money. To not have to hop on the first job I came across and hump it's leg like sexually frustrated cocker spaniel. To not give two weeks notice, regardless of what my parents may think, because it's not like the man always gives the same courtesy in return. Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug, baby.
(Yeah, I quoted a country song. Bite me. I'm tired and I'm not used to blogging from home... at night... how do people do it?)
Furthermore, its was good to have a practice run through the usual "Stages of a New Job". I got to get my usual reaction to days one ("Hey, this is great! Everyone is smiling at me and wants to buy me lunch") through five ("Why did I have to get married and have kids? I should have slept around more and wandered the earth like Caine on Kung Fu!") out of my system.
So, here I am; I just have to decide where to go from here. Do I try to work my way up - sell out and attempt to claw my way up the corporate ladder? I toyed with the idea of getting a "personal coach", though admittedly, they'd have to be more Dustin Hoffman from "I (Heart) Huckabees" than Greg Kinnear in "Little Miss Sunshine".
If nothing else, I think this could be what I've always dreamed of; a real live, well-balanced "day job", one that I could actually come home from and still have the piece of mind to indulge in my creative pursuits. My last job, it took me 6 months just to reach "incompetent". This, I think I'll have mastered in 3.
I've been getting my coffee at Moe's Broadway Bagels, pissing distance from the office. So I should be able to write about that, just as soon as I get all this self-indulgent, personal life stuff out of my system.
(The following is from an unfinished post; originally written on 12/15/06!) Ach.... gnnnf... gwwwrrch...
Whoo hoo! Wowsers. Yes, folks, your eyes do not deceive you... there's nothing wrong with your computer... once again, I control the horizontal, I control the vertical... believe it or not... I'm still here!
By "here", of course, I mean not so much "present", like, an active part of the blogger community at large, spewing thick, sticky ropes of profound witticism from the depths of my keyboard; but "here" in the "behind my desk, staring red-eyed at my computer monitor, buried sphincter-deep in 'Annual orders for '07'" sense; licking my post-election wounds, as political season in my business means an endless barrage of attack ads to unleash upon the unsuspecting public. (Though, the elections for me personally certainly turned out pretty good)
As this blog has always been the most reliable (all right, occasionally reliable) source of the most subjective, completely biased coffee house reviews on the web, I figure it's only appropriate to review the place I've been drinking my coffee at most regularly, during my vacation from blogging, or, as I'm loathe to call it "real life"...
That's right. Superman has his Fortress, Batman his cave, The Shadow his "Secret Sanctum" (Giggle... Tee heee... No, seriously, he calls it that.) Me, I've got a six foot by six foot...
AND THAT'S IT... that's as far as I managed to get (See? See? I told you I was busy!). But, hey, it started off as a promising enough post, didn't it? What with all the photos of where I'd been spending my days (and more nights than I care to remember)?
And the jokes... OH, the jokes; all of them, gestating in my oversized cranium for a over month now, about how my son's picture revealed our membership in a blue-scarab worshiping, Neo-Egyptian cult ("Har - dee - har!") And the way that my Hello Kitty fetish crosses so far over the line between aging Gen-X irony and "creepy old man" that it almost goes all the way back to ironic again. ("Guffaw!") And the way that my politically correct sensibilities are trumped by my love of visiting coffee shops, as evidenced by the paper cup sitting next to the reusable, eco-friendly mug on my desk. ("WHEEEE!")
Here we are, a month and a half later, a whole brand-spankin'-new year, and I'm finally getting around to dusting off and finishing up this tired ol' entry. But now, of all the pictures, I keep finding myself focusing on two in particular... The lyrics for the King Monkey's "F.E.A.R", there to mull over anytime things got bad at work, over the last two and a half years. And then there's my bamboo plant, with only two stalks, because the third had withered up into nothingness. The wife warned me that it was bad luck, feng shui-wise, to have an even number.
Damn her and her voodoo ways...
*************************** On January 4th, 2007, after sitting though the company's annual "Holiday Bistro" (pushed back because of all the storms) , listening to the managers pat themselves on the back for being the bestest of all the corporate entities in all the whole-wide world, bragging "Whoo Hoo! Lookit how we crushed that '06 budget! GO TEAM!!!"I was lead into a bottom floor, windowless room with both of my managers, and the head of Human Resources. There, I was informed that I had been selected for
"THE PROGRAM" (!)
As with all things ominous and of a highly delicate nature (the existence of Fight Club, employment in the CIA - pre Bush) the exact details of "The Program" shall remain steeped in mystery, per the scads of legalese-heavy paperwork I've signed off on. However, it is safe for me to disclose that the ties to my previous employer have been effectively severed. I can say that. I can further add that, on a good day, when I'm not obsessing over the mundane details of where I'm going to get a new job, and what kind of benefits that new employer will offer, "The Program" is not entirely unlike Summer vacation.
Oh, sure... there has been a fair amount of combing sites like Career Builder and Monster, but a good portion of that has been accomplished by utilizing the free terminals provided by the good women (womyn?) of tHERe Coffee, sitting alongside such Denver luminaries as Maris the Great. I did occasionally use the computers at the Englewood Public Library, and I once sat next to a woman who was posting an ad on Craigslist erotic services section. Talk about in-demand job skills!
So, what else does "The Program" entail? Well, aside from lots of quality time with the wife kids, I got to go to Lipgloss one Friday, where I was surrounded by youngsters oblivious to the fact that Morrissey's OTHER legendary guitarist, Boz Boorer was spinning the classic soul and Jam-n-Clash era punk that they were shaking their booties to. He even broke his vow of never spinning his own music, and played "You're the One For Me, Fatty" per my request.
(I cornered him in the "loo", as those silly Brits call it).
I went to the Denver Public Library and mulled over the "On the Road" scroll, the endless length of paper on which Jack Kerouac typed his most famous work. I even got a picture, in spite of the clearly posted signs that informed doing so was forbidden. I'm just a rebel like that.
I proceeded to go upstairs, under the highest point in the library, to drink my coffee at the legacy table, where the last decent president sat and... I don't know, did something presidential.
Alas, what "The Program" hasn't entailed is blogging. And here's the rub; the "good news / bad news", as it were... I start a new job on Monday. I'll be swathed in business casual and cubed once more. All snark aside, it's a good opportunity, and I am ready to get back to work. But I'm just not sure what it will mean for my little corner of cyberspace. I do know that I owe it to my family, to myself, to throw everything I've got into this new job. I also owe it to myself to not let this blog turn into a graveyard for ephedra and viagra spam.
So to everyone who's sent me gentle reminders to post anew - thank you. While it's not expected, it's much appreciated. (Yes, even the messages from the missus, written under various pseudonyms)
Who knows? Maybe I can still turn my writing into a marketable skill. I could always be a freelance copywriter for the Craigslist Erotic Services section.
Unlike the many other Ted Campbells on the interwebs, I'm neither a minister, nor a professional motorcyclist, nor a gay realtor from Florida.
What I AM is an ass-kickin' father, a corporate schlep, and an occasional freelance writer.
If you've found your way here, why not give my awesome "Blog of Note" blog-novel a look-see?