Friday, November 17, 2006

In Mode

This was looking like another one of those weeks when I was only gonna be able to squeeze out four days of work, which wouldn't be so bad until you remember that next week is already gonna be a short work week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Late Wednesday, my supervisor at LT told me I wouldn't be needed the next day, Thursday, but I should come back Friday; and then next week would be a short week -- Monday, Tuesday and then probably only a half day on Wednesday.

Like clockwork, every Wednesday
I shoot downtown after working at LT to A., my freelance agency on West 20th to pick up my weekly paycheck. A. is in a cool art deco building that is right next to the church that was/is/used to be the Limelight club we used to go to in our post-punk days -- who can keep up anymore. Ironically, the other day I was telling A. , who works the front desk, that I would really love to get a few more clients in the fold to go along with the three steady ones I have cultivated so that I could always fill in the blanks. No sooner had I gotten home at about 6 then my cellphone rang and it was K. from A. asking if I was available Thursday & Friday. I figured it was either S.Comm or CB inquiring about my services, but it turned out to be a new client: V magazine. I told Kate I could only commit to Thursday as I was due back at LT Friday. She told me she would check back with V, then called back a little later telling me it was a go for Thursday.

That really buoyed my spirit, and so I was all set to report to 4 Times Square, the famous Conde Nast building, for a full day of work going over the new V Website. So, feeling a little nervous as is natural with a new assignment, I got my visitors pass from the unfriendly woman behind the security desk, and I was on my way to the 12th floor to meet Christina and begin my assignment, should I choose to accept it.

Now, my regular/loyal readers will remember my description of the work atmosphere here at the LT offices on West 49th: a veritable bevy of young cute creative female types, where the fairer sex outnumbers their male counterparts by at least a healthy 2-1 ratio. Well, my friends, let me go on record as saying that the workplace at V. is everything you would imagine; the number of hot women roaming the halls and "manning" the desks is simply staggering -- making the workforce at LT resemble a rundown old auto body shop in comparison. Simply put, many of the women who work at V could pass for fucking models. Okay, there, I said it. So sue me... It was all I could do to concentrate on my work as these fashionably dressed beauties continuously strolled by my desk. It was probably my animal magnetism that drew them so close; after all, it's not every day they see so much testosterone on display in such close proximity -- like a male prison guard at a women's prison, if you will. I mean, I think about sex all day anyway, not only because I'm not getting enuf of it (who is?), at least from somewhere other than at my own hands (pun intended), but I think if we're honest with ourselves we're all thinking about it nonstop all the time.

The tragedy here is that the few guys who do work at V. are probably happily gay or of the homosexual class -- thus it's a complete waste of opportunity, like a bulimic waitress at a good Italian restaurant.

(Oh fuck, I just got a whole bunch of stuff to go over here at LT, a bunch of one-sheet ads that are final proofs. Gotta pick this story up later...)

Where were we... oh yeah, at V. My job was to work through their Brands website, which has ads for all the companies who advertise in the magazine. I had to scroll through all the ads and in addition to looking for misspellings and stylistic inconsistencies in the text (such as making sure it was always spelled
eau de parfum -- no 'e' mind you -- missing dollar signs, etc.), I was told to click on all the company sites and look for broken or non-working links; then using something called Test Director 8.0, which was like a spreadsheet, I would describe the problems succinctly, paste the exact Web address, and then send it to the appropriate project manager.

At first I was a little intimidated because it seemed complicated and I wasn't all that used to working on a laptop, but I got the hang of it right quickly and I breezed through most of the sites. Of course, it was mostly high-end advertisers like Dior, Lauren and Donna Karan, as well as Gap and Dillard, but one product caught my eye because of the sheer madness it represented: an $18,000 Ralph Lauren Dog Carrier. I still don't believe it, even though I wrote it down yesterday. Some people have money to burn and a twisted system of values to match...

One girl sitting nearby spent most of her day booking models for various magazine-related events. She would call an agency and say something like, we need three girls tomorrow for an in-store event in Boca Raton, 5-foot-9 and taller, American-looking; or 5-foot-9 and ethnic looking, or African-American, depending on what was needed. I heard the rate of 500 bucks being discussed, not a bad day's work if you can get it.

Encouragingly, at the end of the day, I got a lot of very positive feedback from the two girls who were overseeing the project. They both told me I was doing a great job, finding things that other proofers never found -- which, I'll be honest, I get at every place I've worked at as a proofreader this year. So that gave me a nice buzz, with the odds of returning there in the future for freelance work looking good, and who knows, maybe I made enuf of an impression to warrant some sort of permanent position if the opportunity arises. I know I would work there for free, if truth be told, because there's something else that was a-rising the whole day & it wasn't just my temperature. Now that's something you really can't put a monetary price on, if you catch my not-so-subtle drift. Suffice to say that V. has now moved to the top of my list of dream places to work. Hey, a guy's gotta dream. Give me just two weeks in a place like that and I'd have more dates than I can afford to go on. That's just a fact, so deal with it, boy-eee -- and remember, don't hate a player...
because the rhymes I say, sharp as a nail, witty as can be and not for sale, always funky fresh, could NEVER be stale...

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