Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Random thoughts, one week to go (part 1)

Filed under : Life in general
On August 14, 2009
At 10:00 am
Comments :Comments Off on Random thoughts, one week to go (part 1)

This could be my longest pictureless post. I’ll have to break it into two.

I’ve worked at my company for 13 years total, ten at this building. Right now, they’re redoing my station at 59th St./Columbus Circle and I’ve watched it progress on a daily basis for a few years now. After next week, the next time I see it, it’ll probably be done. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I doubt I’ll be down too often. Still, it is a decent thing to be able to say that you know where every exit at the station leads (and there are plenty of them) and which is the best entrance to get to any particular train. Yesterday, I stood in the spot I have stood every day for ten years waiting for the 1 train and thought about how weird it is to do something so often and then never again. It would be like never brushing your teeth or never eating breakfast again.

My corridor has always been Broadway from 59th to the 90’s where I live. I often walk it home and I have for ten years, so I know all the stores and have mentioned them here from time to time. Grom and Beard Papa, Gracious Home and Fairway, and lots more. Now, they will be destinations, not places I stop on the way to somewhere. My corridor will now be the 90’s to 120th, where TC is. It’s a shorter distance but I don’t think I’ll be able to afford the unlimited Metrocard anymore, so I’ll be walking it a lot.

When I was growing up, my Mom worked just a few blocks from where I work now. But when I was a kid, the Time Warner Center was the Coliseum and the Duane Reade across from it was a vegetarian Chinese restaurant called Vegetarian Heaven where my Mom used to take me to eat. The menu baffled me; it had like 90 things all made from wheat gluten. I have an aversion to that Duane Reade, I don’t really like that it exists. Also, near her building was a religious Jewish jeweler where my mother would get jewelry repaired and watch batteries replaced. I still do. One day I saw his storefront was empty and I felt terribly sad. I had to get my watch battery at a new jeweler a couple of blocks away. But when I went in, I saw it was him! I wanted to hug him. I’m pretty sure I’ll still go there; how often do you need a new battery? My mother and I never overlapped at this location, though, as she left that job before I started here.

I work with the brother of a fairly famous soul singer. He’s our assistant and is such a character that he should have his own reality show. Pretty much every little thing that comes out of his mouth is hysterically funny. He and I come from as different backgrounds as you can imagine (he’s the son of a preacher from the deep South) but we get along like peas and carrots. I think he will miss me too and he expresses this by being mock indignant that I’m leaving. He will say, “Becca, how you gonna play me like this?” He is a giant attention seeker and will stand in front of my office dancing for God knows how long until I look up. The other week, a stark-white emo band came down the hallway and their chirpy product manager called right and left, “hey, everyone, this is [name redacted]!” Our assistant called out, “hey, [name redacted], what’s PIMPIN’?” Somehow, I don’t think anyone’s going to ask what’s pimpin’ at TC.

When you have worked somewhere for a while, you sometimes get tired of having to say “good morning” and “how was your weekend” to thirty people. It feels meaningless. But I really like most people I work with and I like greeting and being greeted by everyone. Although I think I will enjoy not working (well, I may get a part-time job), I will really miss this camaraderie. Some days I laugh so hard that I have to bend and clutch myself.

Last week, what I called our “party of interns” left. We seriously had five college interns for the Summer because a couple of people in the department said OK to every neighbor and friend they had who asked, “hey, can my kid intern there for the Summer?” At first I resented this, but I kind of fell in love with them and now they’re all my Facebook friends. I miss them already. But what I realized was, I like teenagers and college students. I like teaching them and I like how they’re not so sure of themselves but are eager to learn. Maybe it was just our interns, but I could see working with kids like that in the future. This morning, I passed the one intern we have left in the lobby as I was walking in and he was walking out (to Starbucks, evidently) and he said, “boss is paying; your usual?” Oh hells, will I miss that.

One of our interns was Canadian and had the thickest Canuck accent, so much so that I sometimes thought he was acting. He liked the niche of being “the Canadian guy” and took it in stride when our Brooklyn intern constantly said things like, “so do they have _____ in Canada?” I called him Gordie all Summer, and also sometimes Timmie. I told this story on Twitter, but his brother came down from Toronto to visit one weekend but missed his flight because there was no Tim Horton’s in the security zone and he had to get donuts. What I loved was hearing Gordie on his cell phone reprimanding his wayward brother. “But why didn’t you get Timmie’s before the airport?” and “Didn’t you hear them calling your flight? Yes, I know it was Timmie’s.” On Gordie’s birthday, I walked down to a newly opened Tim Horton’s and got a dozen donuts. We stuck a candle in the blueberry bloom donut; it’s pretty dense.

There is something about the music industry that has a hold on people, even when they know better. They know it’s an often thankless job and they know it has no future, but there’s nothing like it in the world. I expected people to think it was nuts that I was leaving but I get lots of “I’m so jealous!” and “I think about that all the time” and “PROPS!” It makes me sad. Once upon a time, it was a job everyone wanted. On the other hand, people could leave if they really wanted. Most are single and/or childless. I think it just grabs you and doesn’t let go, no matter what your head tells you.

It’s weird to be a lame duck but weirder to not be treated as one. People still ask me lots of stuff like, “this song is listed wrong in Billboard, can you get that fixed?” Sure I can, but after next week you’re on your own. I haven’t packed anything up, I guess that’ll be next week, but I’ve already started throwing things out. You know that stuff you keep in a pile because it might come in handy someday or because someone might ask you a question about it? I finally have hit the day where I know I don’t need it! It’s liberating, really. So much stuff no longer matters. I still carefully file things on my computer by artist, though. It’s a hard habit to break. It’s hard not to think that things will fall apart after I leave. I veer between caring about this and knowing that it’s not really my problem.

Speaking of Facebook, I never friended people at work. I had a strict policy because if I said yes to someone, I had no excuse for anyone else. And I never wanted Worlds of Becca to collide. I love a lot of those people but I didn’t need them knowing all the stuff I put out there. Now that I’m leaving, I’m conversely very happy to have Facebook as a means to keep in touch. I think one of the game-changing elements of Facebook is actually keeping a relationship with people you used to have a daily life with but then no longer speak to. Unless you’re really close, you’ll e-mail a couple of times a year and then never again and wonder whatever happened to that person. With FB, you actually can have a regular, detailed connection.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I have Google Voice. They just had a free deal where you could get 25 business cards with your number in colorful graphics and your name, address, and e-mail below. I’m happy to have these now; I’ll be handing them out at work.