So here's what happened: the old lady died or something. I don't know the details, but the original offer of hanging out and putting on old people makeup is off the table, so for the last week I've been doing the "data and image processing" job.
Going from having my days filled with NOTHING to suddenly having 9 hours of my life stolen from me has been something of a shock. It reminds me of how I felt as a little kid when I first learned about the holocaust. (I can't believe that millions of people go through this every day.) To review: it's a sporting goods company that consolidates products from hundreds of retailers and sells them on the internet. My job is to upload new inventory from databases, resize photos in photoshop, look up the specs for snowboards and shit in catalogues, copy, paste, copy paste, copy, paste.
When I first started attacking the data entry, I had this erroneous idea that there was some merit in rushing through the work, or even just working quickly and efficiently. I see now that this was based on the belief that there's an end to the work. The truth is that there is no end. It's like road construction. While one project is being completed, another strip of pavement cracks and erodes in the salty winters and the hot, constant sun. And what if I did get to the end of the data entering, what then? I would be out of a job. Good lord, it reminded me so very much of Albert Camus The Stranger:
I could see that the trouble with the Guillotine was that you had no chance at all, absolutely none. The fact was that it had been decided once and for all that the patient was to die. It was an open and shut case, a fixed arrangement, a tacit agreement that there was no question of going back on. If by some extraordinary chance the blade failed, they would just start over. So the thing that bothered me most was that the condemned man had to hope the machine would work the first time. And I say that's wrong.
It's not all bad. For one, since I consider the job entirely unimportant, there's no stress. The office is filled with nice computer nerds that totally and completely mind their own business. I can dress like a slob. In the room across the hall there's a kid with a spiderman lamp that he brought from home and a black kid that has apparently decided to forego his birthright of coolness in favor of linux. From what I've observed so far, they work hard until the afternoon, and then they talk about World of Warcraft.
Ooh ooh. There's a "little person." On the first day I didn't hear him talk, and he's not a dwarf or anything, he's totally proportionate, so I thought maybe he was a 12 year old boy genius, but would a 12 year old boy genius really be wasting his big brains in the design department of a shitty online sporting goods store? On that first day I was like "boy Genius, you outta be at NASA." But no, dude's just a little grown up, and god bless him, he's not going to go off to Hollywood to star in some indie film maker's low budget dream sequence. He's gonna grind it out like the rest of us. The first words I heard him say were thus: "That's right. I'm wearing a tie today bitches." It looked and sounded like a 9 year old sucked a helium balloon, wandered into an office wearing a shirt and tie, and said those words.
I haven't talked to him or anyone else in the office except for my boss and the two people that I share a room with. So far I just blog about them.
And look, I know I spent the whole summer complaining about not having a job, but Jesus, I didn't mean I wanted a job job. I want to be like a small child who wanders into a movie theater where Scorsese is incognito screening his latest picture for middle America, and I want him to suddenly turn to me and become entranced with the sense of my exploding talent, and I want him to ask me to get him a coffee, which we all know in the movie industry, leads to bigger things.
Interview with Author Erik Marshall
6 months ago