Sunday, April 22, 2007

Back To Work

There's a new post over at YATOPNRTB's sister site, Now Is The Time For All Good Antelopes To Come To The Aid Of Their Banana. Check it out.

Meanwhile, I have gone back to work.

Gone are the days of sleeping till 3 in the afternoon, intermittent showering, and endless time to correspond with the far-flung Matt Hoobans of the world. Man, do I miss those days. It's been one week, and I think I'm ready for retirement already.

My new job is with a great big French company that makes books. (I've removed the name in the interest of my own safety. Thanks for the tip.)

Bookmaking (not making book) is right up my alley, although I was surprised to discover that my alley is located on 50th Street in New York City, and I live in New Brunswick, New Jersey. And despite the fact that the company is populated by hordes of fascinating people with a keen interest in what they're doing (most of whom are female too, which doesn't hurt a bit), they still adopt the relatively conventional stance that it's easier to do business from 9 to 5 than overnight. So instead of going to sleep at sunrise, I'm getting up then. There are now trains involved in my day.

On the bright side, it does mark the first time since I started writing my book that I'll have access to health benefits. (My mom is already sleeping easier.) Be warned, computer keyboards of the world: I'm done taking it easy on you now! Remember those years when you basked under the lightest, most delicate pressure from my fingers, when you luxuriated to be little more than caressed or brushed? Say goodbye. It's eighteen pounds of pressure per keystroke from now on, bitches!

I'm sincerely hoping this job turns out to be amusing too, unlike my last job which was in food service. Working in a restaurant seemed like a great place for comedy - not to mention temper tantrums, broken dishes, and creamy garlic dressing poured down customers' blouses every now and again. But there was always so much pressure there. Servers would end up in tears after customers yelled at them for not getting a salad order right. (Seriously though, how hard is it to get a salad order right?)

I've never known another industry that turned so many good people to smoking, alcohol abuse, and hardcore drugs - not counting American higher education in the last 30 or 40 years, that is. Maybe restaurants should stop hiring college students, or waiters and waitresses should quit going to college. It's kind of a chicken-egg thing. (Speaking of which, I once heard a customer tell a server, "uh, I'm pretty sure I ordered chicken salad and this is egg salad." The server's response: "you want some advice? Give it a little while and see if the egg salad hatches into chicken salad." I had to fire that server on the spot. But I was proud of him.)

Anyway, so far, my new company isn't that funny, but it's only been a week. Give it time.

In the meantime, it's now close to 9:15 PM, which means I need to start packing it in for the night. My god, what have I become? It's like I'm a totally different person. Maybe I'll go break my leg, just to try out my new benefit package. That'll show 'em.


Pete said...


Congrats on the job. That is great news. Last we talked, you were in the running, so I am glad to hear it has come to fruition.

As for the new hours, well, welcome to my world.

I've made a similar night-and-day transition, and I still can't quite seem to get the hang of it after four months. I set the alarm for 5:40 a.m., and really struggle until about 11 a.m., which used to be about when I was waking up.

At the same time, I must admit to liking all the time at the end of my day. It's nice to have the work behind me when I leave circa 6 p.m.

As much as I've mocked it in the past, there's something to be said for becoming a Johnny Ninetofiver.

Ericka Bigelow said...


Comgrats. How did the first week go?

I remember my first week back after my early retirement ended in Feb. At around 11 on the first day, I got this awful pit in my stomach. I then realized it was because I would not be taking a nap that day after lunch. By Friday of that week, I was so tired that I fell asleep at 8:30. I haven't done that since the third grade!

See you in June!

Ericka Bigelow said...

Dear Freud,

I meant to say congrats not comgrats.

Smokey Robinson (aka Matt) said...

Greetings, Bigelows!

Ericka - breaking out of early retirement has been torture mostly because of the corresponding lack of sleep. I was looking forward to remaining a lady of leisure too.

I'm working on another piece about train trips into New York, which will touch on some of the associated frustrations of my new job. But all in all, it's been somewhat refreshing to be around people again. I can't wait for that to wear off, so I can go back to the sardonic misanthropy of my late 20s.