Day 5: Short Stories on the Road


Ben and I are in Pennsylvania for a wedding this weekend, and so I have little time to write out a giant narrative.  However!  Here is a good time to put a bunch of short tales into one list.  In storytelling/writing classes, I’ve often played the “one-sentence story game,” which encourages you to say just enough while leaving the audience wondering.

Here are some one-sentence stories in the theme of….

Temping

By the end of the office Christmas party, a drunk executive appeared out of nowhere, having apparently fallen asleep on the couch in the kitchen.  He walked by my reception desk and blurted out, “I ate the rest of the hot pockets.”

~~~~

On the one hand, I didn’t have to wear shoes all day.  On the other, I had eight more hours left of covering this room in post-it notes.

~~~

I knew it was time to cut to cord when they used the phrase, “Just lie to your agency, you’ll be fine driving the Range Rover.”

~~~

She slammed her hands on the desk and yelled, “But you don’t believe the allegations, right?!  Don’t talk to any press!”  I left the next day.

~~~~

She looked a bit like a character out of Harry Potter, hair shooting out in all directions, with wild eyes.  I worried she hadn’t left this filing room for sunlight in quite sometime, and I suddenly feared for my own future.  “I used to work in theatre too!”

~~~

The looping Lana Del Ray music and trippy projections on the wall began to worry me even more than the shock of how many people were in the office on Christmas Eve.

~~~

“I’m just the temp!” I tentatively yelled back into the phone as they threatened to shut off the phone service if the company didn’t pay their bills.

~~~

I was in charge of answering the phone for an entire section of the hectic trading floor, and five out of the seven men were named Mike.

~~~

“Please tell John not to walk past the board room, we don’t want investors to know we have a cleaning crew.”

~~~

“We have to book them on three different flights,” she explained, “Because if the plane goes down and they’re all on it, our stock will fall.”

~~~

(During an interview) “Has anyone else told you you’re not allowed to leave the building?” She whispered.  “You can’t even leave for lunch.  And there aren’t any windows.”

~~~

Dress code: Closed-toed shoes. Women must where heels and a skirt.

~~~

I worked there for three long months, and never got a damn Girl Scout cookie.

 

Add your own below!!

Monday Boost: An Ode to Schleppers

I name this hot muggy Monday, National Schlepper* Appreciation Day!  It is for all the people who think delivery is lazy (or too expensive), who run the office errands, the family errands, the boring “I know the CVS pharmacy is going to take forever” errands, and everything in between.  We work several (usually strange) jobs, commute on sweaty trains, kill two hours in the city without spending money because it isn’t worth going all the way home, and are not afraid to walk those fifteen blocks instead of spending $2.75 on the subway.  We are the ones that get strange glances and are asked “Wait, you’re walking there?”  And you say, “Yes!  I have legs!”  and carry on in the 94 degree heat.  You are the one that teaches on the Upper East Side, babysits in Flatbush, temps in the Financial District, lives in Queens, and makes it to Amelie on West 8th because they have a cheap happy hour.  All on Tuesday.  Today we should be proud.  And in my half-asleep blogging state today, I name this day for you.

*By “Schlepper” I mean, a person who schleps, or carries things all over the place.  It’s Yiddish.  Dictionary.com tried to tell me otherwise.  It is wrong.

$10 Wine Flights...

$10 Wine Flights…

When I was young, I always heard my mom talking about having to “schlep” all over the place.  To the store, to the bank, back and forth to work.  I realized pretty quickly after moving to NYC that I was destined to also live the life of a schlepper.  At one point in time, I had seven different possible jobs at once.  Seven.  One week I was just a babysitter, and then the next I was a babysitter, a secretary, a background actor, and a teaching artist, all depending on if I answered my phone in time to accept the work.  To say the least, it was a lot of running around with many clothing changes, snacks, and all the various crap you need to do these jobs.  I once carried 14 shoe boxes in a shopping bag on the 6 train during rush hour.  This will be my whiny story I tell our grandkids about walking uphill both ways in the snow.

Sometimes I jumped centuries.

Sometimes I jumped centuries.

I am always surprised by non-schlepper’s shock when you use a little more physical energy to do something than is normally required.  The other day, a caring coworker asked me if I needed help carrying a case of water bottles up to our office, and to not hurt myself.  I was tempted to say, “I work in theatre, I once carried a flight of steps up a flight of steps!”  But I didn’t feel like explaining because I was carrying water bottles…and didn’t want to sound like a jerk.

postits

I was once paid $11 an hour to cover this wall in post-it notes…after buying a lot of post-it notes.  At many Staples.

But today, when I am not particularly high on energy, I was thankful to be part of this motivated bunch.  I had a fantastic weekend up in Boston with my college roommates – a group of fellow schleppers that know how to keep a friendship going despite living in different states after almost ten years of friendship.  But because of this wonderful weekend, I am a zombie.  A warm, tired, slightly overwhelmed zombie.  So when my office ordered lunch today, and I was faced with waiting an hour for a delicious sandwich or getting off my butt and picking up everyone’s delicious sandwich, I chose the latter, got the sunshine I desperately needed, and became the sandwich hero (hehe) of the day.  They may look at me like I am an overachieving pushover…but I got to get up and get outside.

Our schlepping will also: (all taken from American Heart Association)

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Improve blood lipid profile
  • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
  • Enhance mental well being
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

Ha!  So there!  Today is for us!  We will travel across state lines, borough lines, and out into the hot muggy day to get sh*t done.  I declare we all end the day with a glass of wine, that we all schlep to Trader Joe’s to purchase.