May 26, 2004 - 9:11 am
It’s now just after 8:30am, and I’ve been at work for almost a half hour now. It’s nice to be awake and functioning this early. Sometimes, in the biz of the teevee, there isn’t much pressure to be in your chair before 9:30 or 10:00, but this feels comforting, in an odd way. It feels regular. Traditional. Structured. Reminds me of the old days, when I was up at 6 and had an entry posted by 7:30. I can deal with 8:30am for now.
I suppose it helps that it’s only temporary. Once my story gig on my new show starts in June, I’ll be waltzing in to work at 11am every day, classic excuses at the ready, such as “building power failure/alarm didn’t go off,” and “unscheduled airport pickup/dropoff,” or, my all time fave: a very unhappy, scowling face, accompanied by the simple phrase, delivered in the most acidic of tones: “my fucking roommate.”
No one ever asks what that’s all about.
A few nights ago, as I was leaving the office, I realized how non-traditional my job was. On my way out the door, I waved to the receptionist and said “Goodnight, Ms. Coen!” I normally just say “Hey, see ya, Dawn,” throw my ass against the door, and tumble out into the early evening parking lot lights with a cigarette dangling from my lips.
When I was a kid, endless early afternoon episodes of ‘My Three Sons’ and ‘Dagwood & Blondie’ comic strips made me think that, by this time, I’d be walking around in a suit (and hat) with a briefcase, calling girls Ms., and working in an office, because, well…that’s where adults worked. But it was fun! All your friends were there, and you spent all day joking around with them! ‘That’s an office!’ I thought. Collating, three hole punching, and FedEx runs were not in the vocabulary. You and Dick van Dyke stood around in a classy looking room with an oddly placed ottoman, and if a song broke out: awesome.
My romanticized idea of an office was blown away at the age of twenty-one. It was my very first temp gig, and I was working in an accountant’s office for eight bucks an hour. I had misfiled some files, and was being yelled at by a tightly wound fifty year old Korean lady, who said “You are making a horrible mess!” The only thing that saved my soul in that moment was a nearby white haired old man, who overheard, and laughed at us in exactly this way: “Hoo hoo hoo hoooooooo!”
Yesterday, the accountant for this office and I were laying on the floor playing with a dog named Ginger for a good few minutes.
I love my office.
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