Issue #60 – “Monkey Business” – January 31st, 2005

-There’s nothing worse than realizing that a monkey could do your job.  It happens to everyone.  You’re sitting at your desk doing mindless busywork, and you think to yourself: You know what?  Throw some Banana Republic khakis and a blue button-down on a chimp and he could probably do what I do.  Once I swear I saw the cubicle next to mine being fitted for a cage.

-How fun is searching the online company directory for pictures of hot chicks?  It’s like Friendster except you know the girl is somewhere in the building.  I always thought the Holy Grail was finding a hot chick in tech support.  It’s just so rare that you meet a girl with brains, beauty, and the ability to remotely expand your email inbox quota.

-The one driving force motivating every twentysomething in corporate America is “face time,” or the perception that the more your boss sees you at your desk, the more productive he or she thinks you are.  This is a complete joke of course because half the time you’re at your desk you’re reading dirty forwards like this one.  Instead of rewarding face time, I think you should be rewarded for having the forethought to have a really complicated-looking document open in another window to alt-tab to when your boss walks by.

-I had a friend who had to work her way up to a new level of responsibility and take on all the additional work for six months before she was actually promoted.  In essence, she had to become what she was being promoted to…in order to be promoted to it.  If that wasn’t bad enough, a few weeks later she saw her current position listed on Monster.  That’s a real confidence-booster.  On a whim, she applied for her own job.  She didn’t get it.

-Everyone’s got that friend who loves to whip out office buzzwords in completely unnecessary situations.   I was in a bar recently and ran into my buddy Harlan.  He spotted the beer in my hand and asked, “What’s the economics on that Heineken?”  I was like, “I don’t know man.  But why are you wearing a suit in a bar…on a Saturday?”

-One great thing about the office is that you can hang up on just about anyone who calls for non-work purposes.  Mom calling to nag?  “Sorry gotta run” and you slam the phone down.  In fact, this is probably the only time in life you can hang up on your mom and she’s actually happy about it.  Because you know she’s telling all her friends over coffee how proud she is that you’re so busy.  Little does she know you only hung up because that hot chick from tech support came by and you were trying to get her to inspect your hard drive.

-I think what bothered me most about working was when I noticed that the space between toothbrushing was diminishing.  I’d get home really late from work, brush my teeth and go to bed, and the next thing I knew, I was up really early and brushing again.  And as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror one morning, half-ass brushing for the second time in five hours, I realized something very disconcerting.  I was putting in face time…with myself!

-Once I went to the doctor for my annual physical exam.  She told me my blood pressure was a little high.  I suggested it was because I had to wait for an hour in the waiting room while a monkey was about to take my job.  She ignored that and gave me a monitor to track my blood pressure during the day.  Suddenly I became the most popular guy in the office.  Co-workers would come from different floors to try it out.  We all had high blood pressure.  Except the chimp.  He was in great shape.  No wonder he got promoted.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-The other day, my mom was reading an advance copy of my new book when she came across a slang term that she didn’t understand.  She called me over and asked me what a “MILF” was.  You know how awkward it is to explain to your mom what MILF stands for?  I said it really quickly then ran away.

-I swear my friends the Triplets don’t even make up a full human if you combine them.  The other day I called Triplet #2 and made plans to go out that night.  He said he didn’t know what his brothers were doing.  Later, Triplet #1 called me to see what I was up to.  He also said he didn’t know what his brothers were doing.  Then I realized something – the three of them were in their apartment sitting right next to each other the whole time!  Yet they hadn’t communicated to each other what their plans were or even the fact that two of them had spoken to me.  I bet the moment Triplet #1 was born, if you asked him whether his brothers were still in the womb, he’d be like, “Uh, I’m not sure.”

-In my last issue, when I talked about moving home with my parents, a lot of people wrote to ask me why I didn’t just get a subletter to replace my roommate.  My answer is simple.  Have you ever met a subletter that isn’t psychotic, a kleptomaniac, or have appalling personal hygiene habits?  Everyone’s got a horror story.  Craigslist is basically a breeding ground for society’s rejects to find shelter among the more well-adjusted.  And I’d rather discuss MILFs with my mom than live with some sketchy dude who collects my dirty underwear for pleasure.

-My five med school friends are now in their fourth year, meaning they’ve been running around the country for the past two months interviewing for residency programs.  I’ve found that their preparation levels vary quite widely, from Triplet #3, who actually rehearsed jokes to tell to each interviewer, to my friend Adam, who did not do one bit of research beforehand.  I asked him how he could get away with that and he said, “Well, I figure during the interview when I ask about the program, I’ll sound more genuine.  You know, because I really don’t know the answer to any of my questions.”

-Of course, this is the same kid that, after they called his name and he received his degree as a biology major at graduation, stood up, left the stadium, got food while still wearing his cap and gown, and made it back by the time they were calling the zoology majors.  Here’s hoping he doesn’t pull the same thing during lengthy surgical procedures.

-And, finally, remember when you used to be able to shut the light off and it’d be dark in your bedroom?  Not anymore.  From laptops to cell phones, I’ve got so many electronic devices plugged in that now when I turn off the light, my room is transformed into a sparkling city of red and green pulses.  But since I only sleep well in complete darkness, I decided to cover all the blinking status lights.  And as I crawled around my parent’s house in the middle of the night, muttering to myself and carrying black electrical tape and a large scissor, I realized what I’d become.  A crazy subletter.  Fuck me!