Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I had a dream and it is now over. I’ve had many dreams in the past, so I’ll take a second to remind you all what dream just died.

I was hoping never to work again. I was hoping that, with no effort whatsoever on my part, an enormously large sum of money would be anonymously bequeathed to me. I guess some dreams were never meant to be. I think that’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of the dream business these days. When a man can’t even expect to have millions (not even billions, just millions. It’s not like I’m being greedy.) dollars anonymously donated to him, with no strings attached, what kind of world are we living in?

It is with much sadness that I must now report to you that I am, once again, among the ranks of the employed. I hope you won’t think less of me because of this.

Without going into much detail, (mainly because I can’t. I’m really not sure what I’m doing at all.) I’ll tell you a few of my highlights from my first day on the job. I’m going to count these down in order to build drama and excitement. Who couldn’t use more of that? So here’s my top 3 moments of the day:

3. The office tour – This was pretty exciting. Normally these tours are a formality to get you acquainted with the area, but what you don’t know is that I work in a linear labyrinth. What is a linear labyrinth you might ask? Well, it’s kind of like a normal labyrinth, only it’s much narrower and very, very long. If architecture can be artsy-fartsy, then the designer of this building had no intention of making any business residing in these walls even remotely efficient. If slowing down productivity and business was his main objective, then he is a gold medal winner in the Architectural Olympics of Making Business Unproductive and Slow. If you think the regular Olympics are stupid, you should try watching those Olympics. I once saw a guy that had to walk up seven flights of stairs so he could take and elevator to get to the floor below him. Then he had to take a zip line to a building 3 blocks away, catch a bus to the train station, take a train to the airport, fly to Canada, have his passport stamped, fly back, hire an untrained unicyclist to “juggle” him back to his office, present his passport to security, then climb up a 17 story cargo net in order to get back to his desk. And he had to do all of that just to make a copy of a copy for the backup file to the backup file. He was the bronze medalist. You can’t make this stuff up.

2. Learning the filing system – Typically, file systems rarely crack the top 1,000,000,000,000 in moments of the day, but when you find out that the person who occupied the job before you had a fairly loose grasp on the alphabet and that there are other filing hazards such as, “the Gonzalez file should be listed under Hernandez, but you can find it in the system under Atwater,” well, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. You may even start to wonder why they bother attaching the word “system” at all. It’s really just a bunch of files. Pull one out, maybe you’ll get lucky. I’m learning to retrain myself into thinking that they file cabinets are really more of a junk drawer than a place to organize your livelihood. I mean, why put them in some sort of an order when you can just toss them in there randomly? The less time I spend questioning these things, the faster I can pile the files in. I think it’s pretty obvious which way is more efficient.

1. Filing out my Ethnics form – It’s always good to hire people with good ethnics. That’s what I’ve always said. Sure, you might be thinking, “Don’t you mean ethics?” Were it any other office, I’d probably say yes, but not here. When I handed in my new hire packet full of all the things I’m not allowed to do as an employee of this company, the woman I handed it to asked me quite plainly if I remembered to fill out and sign my ethnics forms. For the uneducated, ethnics forms are where you listed all of your known ethnic friends. Let’s face it, sometimes you know someone that’s ethnic, but they still look pretty white, so you may be unaware that they’re ethnic. There was a plausible ethnic clause I had to initial incase I accidentally identified one of my friends as white when they were, in fact, ethnic. You’re also required to list which ethnicities you find attractive and which ethnic groups you wouldn’t invite to your Grandmother’s 90th birthday party for fear she might make a scene. It’s a pretty comprehensive form and was definitely the highlight of my day.

Tomorrow will be day two of my new job. I’m not allowed internet access at all, so I’m pretty much going to be silently crying to myself all day. It’s ok though, because no matter what, I get a half hour for lunch and nobody can ever take that away from me.