Female, 24, Midtown Manhattan, working in corporate finance but disillusioned… would prefer to be a writer, but doesn’t have the balls to pull it off yet. Somewhat related to the ‘female’ part.
7:30 AM – Waking Up
Monday to Friday, my alarm goes off at 7:30 AM to the cacophony of Z100’s Elvis Duran and the Morning Zoo. As with any quality FM morning show, I’m immediately thrown into a state of utter chaos: yelling, laughing, arguing, screeching, and the occasional clip of turtles having sex (one of the Morning Zoo’s favorites). I’m not quite sure why I allow my brain to get filled with celebrity gossip, stupid news, and turtle copulation every morning. But perhaps I just need some dysfunction to prepare myself for the day.
8:15 AM – Getting Dressed
It’s sad that choosing an outfit for work will be the most important decision that I make all day. Most of the time, I simply try to look “not homeless.” I have a rotating set of acceptable, uninspired work outfits that I choose from. So my important daily decision comes down to whether I want to look more Banana Republic, or more J. Crew. But given my stellar (lack of) fashion sense, whatever I choose and however much I try, I probably end up looking more Talbots than anything. Evidence? I own corduroy shorts. They’re not cute.
8:30 AM – The Commute
Outside of war victims and child prostitutes, NYC commuters are the most miserable, despondent people in the entire world. On my walk to work, I’ll see at least twenty pigeons, at least ten piles of overflowing trash, and if lucky, a couple of rats. But I have never, ever, seen a smile at 8:30 AM in the morning in New York City. If I were to see someone smiling while walking to work, I’d probably pass out right there from shock.
8:45 AM – Getting to Work
Even if I’m dreading work, for some reason I feel compelled to get there as fast as possible. I’ve learned to dodge tourists, puddles, and dog crap with astounding alacrity. But once I actually make it to the office, I get the sinking feeling that I just arrived early to my own waterboarding session. Why did I run through a blinking stop, hipcheck an elderly woman, and narrowly avoid death by taxi…so that I could be on time for work?
8:46 AM to INFINITY – The Work Day
While every day is different, here is an example of how I spent today, Sept. 17, 2009, written in the spirit of NYMag’s sex diaries. (I would write those if I had an exciting personal life, but clearly, the only romance I ever encounter is the symphonic turtle kind):
- 9:15 AM: I need to get a new ID card, since my old one stopped working. The woman tells me that she does not have my current ID photo on file, so she has to take a new one. Of course, this is the one day that I had planned to be a hermit at my desk, avoiding people at all costs in my “I need to do laundry” outfit. My new ID photo comes out looking like I just got hopped up on acid with Nick Nolte. I manage to have a droopy eye and a double chin. It’d be a perfect mugshot if I were getting arrested for crystal meth.
- 9:25 AM: I run into a co-worker in the elevator. The elevators in my building could rival the ones on Grey’s Anatomy for the “Slowest Elevators in History” award. (Also, I always seem to run into the EVP of the company in the elevator bank. Of course, I only see him on days when I’m getting in late or leaving early. I never see him otherwise.) Our elevator is packed. Above another guy’s head, my co-worker asks me how I’m doing. I say I’m doing well. Then she asks, “Living the dream?” “Every single day,” I reply. The entire elevator lets out a collective guffaw. At least I’m not the only one.
- 10:41 AM: I get an email asking me to put together a few slides for investment bankers, because part of our company is expected to go on the market. So basically, I’m being asked to do something that may lead to my ultimate firing, once the company is gutted and sold. (It’s like asking me to sharpen the axe that will chop off my head.) Still, I happily oblige.
- 1:06 PM: I get an instant message from a co-worker, lauding me for one of the “most genius accounting jokes” she’s ever heard.” This is the joke I wrote, in the spirit of Chuck Norris: “Keith Sherin can always recognize revenue, even from far away.” I contemplate becoming a stand-up comedian for accountants… but then I remember that most accountants don’t have a sense of humor.
- 3:10 pM: I discover that there is a co-worker in another office named Dave Matthews. I spend ten blissful minutes hypothesizing as to What [he] Would Say about about our Satellite operations.
- 4:01 PM: I overhear a woman who sits next to me say, “My motto is, no one’s life is that fabulous.” She’s obviously never met Tina Fey.
- 4:02 PM: I get an email in my inbox from the head of HR, telling us that health benefits are changing. I blame Max Baucus.
- 5:25 PM: A co-worker tells me that she’s doing SOX testing. I ask her what she thinks is better, wool or cotton? (This is the second time in my life that I’ve made this joke, sadly.) I chuckle silently to myself.
- 6:45 PM: Heading home. Another day, another dollar.
TOTALS: Two accounting jokes, one reference to healthcare reform, one fantasy about DMB in corporate finance, 50+ instances where I questioned what I was doing with my life (excluded above, since that just gets annoying), and one new ID photo in which I look like a drugged Pillsbury Dough Boy.