Day before yesterday I was looking at the approaching anniversary of my 13th straight month away from fulltime employment. Yesterday, after a sluggish commute across town to the city of El Segundo and first submitting to a drug screen and a battery of paperwork and information, I took a seat â€” albeit a short-term one â€”in a cubicle, tasked with some pretty seriously tedious and unorganized proofreading, a stranger in a strange land… one that requires I be escorted into and out of the building for lunch since I didn’t have the property security clearance (i.e. badge).
I didn’t want to be a bother to any potential employees that would suddenly have to begrudgingly babysit me to and fro so I didn’t take a lunch, thankful that I had loaded a pack of gum, a couple Luna bars, a yogurt and a banana a couple tangerines and an apple and Diet Pepsi into my bag. I supplemented that with some hot chocolate from the austere breakroom/supply closet.
And I did my best to get my feet under me with this project I’ve been involved in.
Somewhere along the way I learned that actor Peter Boyle died. I have laughed no harder or longer at an actor than I have at Mr. Boyle in the “Puttin’ On The Ritz” number from “Young Frankenstein.” Nor have I rewound and rewatched a sequence of a film as many times, with the exception maybe of Steven Carrell’s anchorman-gone-crazy scene in “Bruce Almighty”).
I’m not going to talk about where I work other than my commute essentially involves me driving to LAX’s vicinity and back. Trust me, I will not only be utilizing a multi-modal MTA bus to Blue Line to Green Line at least twice a week, but I plan to chart a bike route on “casual fridays” as well. And no… it’s not some super secret defense contractor or missile or jetplane maker. In fact, in whatever iteration this blog continues and whatever my future employment situation becomes I will not ever write about a workplace or the population of it again. Maybe I’ll just make something up like Tony Pierce’s famed XBI exploits.
But despite the long lay off, I got up early yesterday morning, and adapted to a new routine right away. I walked the dogs, pressed a pair of khakis and a collared shirt and tie and got organized enough to get outta there at 7 a.m. for my 8 a.m. meeting with the employment agency rep who’d called me Tuesday in response to a resume I’d submitted for the position found on a job website more than a month ago. After that I got over to a nearby clinic, peed in a cup and then drove to the new gig’s HQ and reported for duty.
To give the dogs outside access, Susan and I had figured out a plan for the animals; lock the wayward Bink up in the bedroom with food water and his own litter box and give the rest of the four-leggers all-day access to the outdoors via the pet door. I kept fingers crossed and said prayers throughout the day that the cats would all be OK and Ranger wouldn’t get obsessed with a fallen fig leaf or a car door slamming and bark her head off for hours on end.
So far so good. Susan got home ahead of me and everyone was present and accounted for with no angy voicemail messages complaining about any noise. I crawled home at 5:30 p.m. across the 105 and 110 envious of the Green Line and Blue Line trains that shooshed past me along the way and upon arrival was pretty beat but still had enough energy to celebrate with a trip to Tommy’s for burgers.
And I do it all again today… except the not-taking-a-lunch part. Oh, and I don’t have to pee in a cup again either.