Issue #100 – “Strictly Business Casual” – December 4th, 2006

-Recently, I found myself inside the investment bank where I used to work, futilely trying to take a shit in the bathroom.  I’ll discuss later how I arrived at this unfortunate moment, but at the time, my primary thought – besides wishing the guy in the next stall would fucking leave already – was that not much had changed since I left Wall Street over four years ago.  In fact, I don’t think cubicle life in general has changed that much.  Every twentysomething’s office across the country still has hideous carpet, fast Internet, and that one really hot chick who only dates rich, older guys.  It’s a less-than-serious work environment where the attitude, like the dress code, is strictly business casual.

-During my thirteen-month stint in the electrifying world of Equity Research, there was a six-week time period when two different groups in my company thought I was assigned to the other, and therefore I had zero responsibility besides consuming office electricity and coffee.  My roommate Brian nicknamed me the “human cost center.”

-My buddy in New York recently got laid off, went on interviews, got a new job, and then after the fact, told his parents only that he had switched companies for a better opportunity.  That is fucking genius.  That’s like showing up at your parents’ house all of a sudden with a wife and a kid and saying, “I just didn’t want you to be all annoying about it.”

-I believe that in every corporate cafeteria there is a long-ingrained hierarchy.  And on top of that literal food chain stands the Omelet Guy.  Everyone loves the Omelet Guy.  He dispenses the diced green peppers at will as the line snakes back to the untouched granola-and-yogurt parfaits.  The other cooks despise the Omelet Guy, and I bet he just bosses them around and bangs the cashiers.  Omelet Guy, I salute you for your charm, dedication, and egg whites-only option.

-I’ve become good friends with people I’ve worked with, but have never worked with someone I was already close to beforehand.  My friend Triplet #3 is an orthopedic surgeon, and he recently told me that he’s turned around in the middle of a procedure to find our other high school buddy, Seth, administering the anesthesia.  I don’t know how they could keep a straight face or resist telling the nurses the story of how Seth once got so drunk he threw up on his ceiling.  I’ll tell you this much – if my old roommate Brian had ever been assigned the cubicle next to me, I wouldn’t tell my parents.  Well, at least not until I was fired after two days, went on interviews, got a new job, and then lied about the whole thing.

-Probably the best part about working from home, as I do now, is spontaneous mid-afternoon masturbation.  I’ll be writing away, then just happen to catch a glimpse of a girl’s cleavage on a dating web site banner ad, and Boom! – that’s a mandatory eight to seventeen minute break right there.  It’s fantastic stress relief right after breakfast that you just can’t partake of in a normal office environment.  What can I say?  Sometimes it pays to be your own Omelet Guy.

-Of course, nothing could be further from the world of Wall Street than Hollywood.  A few weeks ago, I had a meeting at MTV’s offices in Santa Monica.  In the lobby with me were twenty of the hottest fucking chicks I’ve ever seen, all waiting for auditions.  My jaw hit the ground and I immediately called Triplet #1 at his stuffy consulting office in New York to apprise him of the situation.  He urged me to hit on everyone, but before I could gather up the nerve, I got called into my meeting.  By the time I got out, the girls were gone.  Probably off with richer, older men.  Because some things never change.

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

-I don’t know what pisses me off more, waiting on hold with technical support for 45 minutes only to be told to unplug my device then plug it back in, or the fact that unplugging my device then plugging it back in actually fixes the problem.

-My alarm clock is poorly designed.  The button that lets you sleep for six more minutes is adjacent and identical to the button that lets you sleep for six more hours.

-I’ve had the Smurfs theme song in my head for days now.  Seriously, take a minute and hum the Smurfs theme song to yourself.  Go ahead, hum it.  Now it’s stuck in your head too, right?  I told you it sucks.

-Have you ever been alone in your apartment, and walked into your bathroom to find the shower curtain closed – because you closed it yourself after your last shower – but still for some reason you have this strange fear that there’s somebody hiding behind it?

-I have a problem.  I can’t keep my dick in my pants.  There, I said it.  I absolutely cannot keep my dick in my pants.  Seriously, every time I run on the treadmill, my penis falls right out of my boxers.  Wait…what did you think I was talking about?

-I’ve driven more since I moved to LA from New York last year than ever in my life.  Some thoughts:  When I drive my truck under something with low clearance, for some reason, I duck.  When I honk at someone who doesn’t move after the light turns green, they get embarrassed and speed away as if I’m gonna chase them.  If you don’t find a car within two days of moving to LA, you cannot continue to function in society – that’s where all the homeless people come from: picky car buyers.  In LA, if you want to get off the phone, you just say you’re pulling into a parking garage, even if you’re still home.  I once got lost after parking in Beverly Hills – not that I couldn’t find my car in the lot, I couldn’t find the fucking lot.  I trashed my first rental car in LA by driving ten miles with the parking brake on – that’s when I learned what a parking brake is.  The sidewalks of LA are almost always completely devoid of life.  If you happen to see a pedestrian, you have to yield to them – as opposed to New York, where you try to hit them.  And when a girl spends the night at your place, sometimes she’ll ask you to take her home in the morning.  That’s right folks – I’ve been introduced to the Drive of Shame!

-Babies love me.  Babies always smile and laugh when they see me.  But I don’t think it’s because I’m good with kids.  I suspect they just think I’m funny-looking.

-And, finally, recently my cell phone rang and when I saw the number, I felt nauseous.  It was coming from inside my old investment bank.  The call was from a work buddy of mine who had left the firm but recently rejoined it.  What a jackass.  A few weeks later, I was in New York and found myself back at my old firm, dropping off some Yankees tickets for said jackass.  When I entered the lobby, I got that same feeling I get when I see my shower curtain closed, only this time I thought I might get shot on sight by building security.  Luckily, I passed muster and was allowed upstairs.  I couldn’t believe how quiet it was.  Was it that quiet when I worked there?  Could it have been me who was making all the noise?  So I dropped the tickets off with my buddy and was about to leave when I realized I needed to make a pit stop.  And that’s when I found myself futilely trying to take a shit in the bathroom.  Everything was going fine, until an actual employee entered the stall next to me.  Just like when I worked there, as soon as I saw another man’s shoes, I clammed up.  This guy was taking forever.  And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse – constipated in an investment bank – I heard a strange sound emanating from the next stall.  It took me a moment to recognize it, but then it was clear as day.  The guy shitting next to me… was humming the Smurfs theme song.  Fuck me.