Wooden Shoe Display, Amsterdam
Originally uploaded by panopticon.
The picture above has absolutely nothing to do with anything I'm going to write. I just wanted to jazz up the page a little.
My common (though not exclusive) practice is to write blog entries in the evening, let them mellow overnight, and post them the next day.
This has saved me on more than one occasion from making public things I've written in the throes of depression, things so maudlin that Sylvia Plath would roll her eyes and tell me to just get the fuck over it.
Today, however, I'm spinning my wheels at the office waiting for a tech to get back to me about an annoying bug in the program I need to use.
So I'm blogging. My head is elsewhere. I've had enough of this place. My boss is absentee without explanation. I've been working overtime. They can give me five minutes of mental freedom.
It's hot in here. Sticky hot.
I work in the attic of what used to be one family's Extremely Large House or Starter-Sized Mansion (depends on your point of view).
Sounds charming, I'm sure, but my office used to be a maid's bedroom. They didn't much care in the 1890s whether the maids slept comfortably. This means that a century later, I am writing to you from a sweatbox.
In the winter, it's an icebox. Bob Cratchit would feel right at home. Actually, Bob Cratchit was better off. He had a candle on his desk. I have to hold my fingers over my Mac's exhaust vent to keep them from cramping up.
The house itself is an interesting place to work. The day I interviewed, they brought me up the servants' stairs to the third floor, and sat me down in a windowless room that had a large, prominent Have-a-Heart Trap in one corner.
"Squirrels," said the drone from Human Resources.
The ceiling was also dripping steadily into a bucket right next to my chair.
"Let me start off by showing you our department org chart..."
"I see you've been working in Web design since 1995..."
"...and our benefits package is really excellent..."
Plunk, drip. Drip.
Why am I certain this has never happened to any of my friends who work in corporate jobs?
The walls around my desk are dormers. If I were not unusually short, every time I stood up I'd bonk my head on the ceiling. I sometimes wonder if I only got the job because I met the height requirement.
On the other hand, the walls are in such rotten shape that nobody complained when I started decorating them by taping up large prints of my photos. It looks cheerful and reduces greatly the amount of crumbling plaster that lands on my face.
Did I mention that I'm wearing a necktie today? I can hardly breathe. If I have to wear a necktie, the women I work with should have to wear girdles or at least control-top pantyhouse one size too small.
We all had to dress up because Very Important People are visiting two floors below. Mind you, it's not on my schedule to meet with or otherwise interact with any of them.
It's just that in leaving or entering the buildling, they might see us. If they saw us, and we were not in business attire, they might become enraged and banish us to the attic.