Who in the world ARE these awful people, and why am I not them? I want to be them. Any of them, even the dumb rocket ship one.
I work in a pantry. The door is a tie-dyed shawl I stuck up there with a nail. There are cords everywhere, everywhere! Where do these people hide their cords? And the piles–oh god the piles. The dust bunnies. The hundreds of books in no discernible order whatsoever–we finally had to declare His and Hers shelves because my shelving techniques give my old man hives. Sometimes when he is stressed out he comforts himself by simply rearranging his books. Alphabetical by author by subject, currently, although there was a period where he had them done in the dewey decimal system, which, I don’t even know what that is and my mom is a librarian. Sometimes when he’s stressed out I can see him hovering around his bookshelves and I have to be like, honey, we have to leave in five minutes, please don’t start re-shelving your books, and he looks up at me with panic, like, oh god, I was about to do that.
However, in spite of all this, here’s just a little bragging about my consistently legendary filing system, which longtime heads will remember me writing extensively about in years past: the other day, a famous scholar who I once TAd for and who is now my friend (NOT TO BRAG) called me because his computer had crashed and he really needed the mp3s from the class I TAd for him five years ago and did I perchance still have the weird data disc he’d burned for me, surely not, right? GUESS WHAT? Yeah that’s right. It was right there in the correct file, I found it while he was still giving me the explanation for why he needed it. He was blown away. I was like “no biggie.” Then it turned out he didn’t need it after all.
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK
“My house is a mess…but I do have good files.”
I once had a temp job at a massive childcare corporate headquarters where my only task was to keep track of all the (literally thousands) of returned W2s of employees and past employees the corporation got during tax season, from people not updating their addresses and what-not. This job involved creating a system by which I could keep track of the actual physical W2s (shoeboxes with home-made alphabetizing tabs) as well as listening to between 20 and 75 irate voicemail messages from said employees and ex-employees every day. In spite of my extremely clearly-worded outgoing message (“I know why you are calling me. You want your W2. Please simply tell me your first name, last name, spell your last name, and your new address, and I will send it to you. Please do not give me any additional information or begin your message with a long rambling explanation. Please simply state the information I just asked for, and I swear I will mail you your W2 within two business days”) they all left these insanely long rambling voicemails that made me absolutely crazy, me sitting there with pen hovering over jam-packed legal pad, waiting desperately for the three pieces of information I required. Many of them did not leave addresses and I had to call them back, which further infuriated me. A lot of them were really mad and yelled directly at me, regarding their W2s not getting to them even though it was because they hadn’t changed their address with the post office, and even though, what kind of a maniac thinks the person taking that phone call is some sort of high-enough-up corporate hegemon that they are directly involved in the mailing snafu to begin with? Am I not CLEARLY a temp who does not give a shit about any of this? When I was done listening to the voicemails I made envelope labels and stuffed the W2s into them and mailed them, while listening to Ween and Neutral Milk Hotel and writing snarky group emails to my friends using my corporate account, which it did not occur to me was incriminating. I ate lunch in the breakroom, which had a shelf filled inexplicably with well-thumbed trashy romance novels, which I read. At night I went to band practice.
Looking back, it doesn’t seem that bad. Definitely one of my better temp jobs.
I do like alphabetizing. It’s very satisfying. In the corporate world they just call it “alpha,” to save time.
What have I been doing? I have been working hard on my article, and polishing up my syllabus, and writing some recommendation letters I forgot about but had luckily set an alarm about on my magical iPhone. I have been going swimming at the river with my friends. I have been uninspired by food. I have not been reading novels. I have been seeing my bodywork lady, and getting my thighs royally crushed by her insanely strong hands. Today I am going to see Batman with my parents. I weirdly have no desire to see this new Batman, but you know, you have to go see the new Batman.
We sat down and figured out roughly what I’ll be making per hour next year and it’s way higher than I had feared. I was thinking it would be below minimum wage, like when Fiona was doing her residency and was a full time doctor, like working crazy 60 hour weeks holding people’s beating hearts in her hand, and she did the math and discovered she was making like $7.25 an hour and we laughed and laughed. But no, actually, I’ll be making a very healthy hourly wage, even when you add in all the full-day grading marathons. This makes me feel better, also about the literally $4,000 we are going to spend on those great benefits I’m lucky enough to get. Fucking America.
I am growing my hair out and getting LASIK. Anybody know anything about lasik? What’s the deal, how much does it cost, how do you even do it. How do you know a place is reputable?
I just had this moment a couple weeks ago where I was suddenly like I’VE HAD IT, regarding my glasses. For twenty eight years I have worn them with almost nary a thought; then abruptly I was done. I am sick unto death of wearing these fucking glasses; I am sick of my world being mediated so constantly in this way, through screens of weird science-plastic. I want to swim with my eyes open; I want to go to sleep watching a movie without my glasses digging grooves into my face; I want to wake up in the morning and SEE; I want to not have my weird long-running phobia about a man breaking into my house and I run out of the house but I’m blind so I somehow run right back into him; I want to wear real sunglasses; I want to know what my face looks like when it’s just my regular face.
It’s this crazy miracle where they can make you see again! I want to experience that before I pass. Or before I need bifocals and it’s all pointless anyway.
Plus maybe if I grow my hair out and get Lasik I will suddenly look like Charlize Theron. IT IS POSSIBLE, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. And I will become president. And cure global warming.
Can’t cure global warming without GLASSES though, amirite? (joke about nerds)