Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I Work, Therefore I Am

TODAY MARKS A WEEK of workdays at the new, albeit temporary job. It may be premature to justify labeling me some kind of fancy Leading Economic Indicator, but the current stretch is by far my most intensive period of employment in well over a year. And that's nothing to sneeze at, mostly because with no health coverage of any kind, how can I afford to even cough?

Followers of this very space undoubtedly already know that in a previous life I worked at the same place for over 15 years -- which meant for better or worse I knew exactly where I was going almost each and every weekday morning. Technically, we're talking three different offices in three different office buildings: first 99, then 100 and finally 67 Wall Street. But my point if there is one is that freelancing is almost diametrically opposed to working at The Transcript all those years -- now day to day, even week to week I have lit'rally no idea where I'll be, and not in any existential sense either. Although sure, there's some of that too. Maybe a lot of it. But characteristically, I digress.

It's a very quiet office where I'm at now, bordering on monastic with its long stretches of silence and its hushed, almost reverential tones. I'm situated between three or four obvious veterans of the company, who speak their art department jargon over and around me. They're keeping me fairly busy with material, except for today which was deathly slow, but there's a Mac on my desk that I can use. After three days last week and two this week, still no feedback of any kind, which is unusual but not unheard of. I always like to explain my edits to the person on the other end, that's just the way I was raised.

I quickly discovered there's no affordable eats around the 60th & Madison area where I'm currently stationed, so for my first lunch excursion I foolishly grabbed a hideously lukewarm "hot" dog from a street vendor on Fifth Avenue near Central Park for 2 bucks. Next day let the record show I made my way to the more egalitarian confines of Lexington Avenue, where the food choices were sure to multiply exponentially. I was rewarded for my wandering, conveniently happening upon a thriving outpost of a dining establishment that evidently can trace its lineage back to none other than the Original, Famous Ray of antiquity. I made my way inside the bustling dining hall and took advantage of one of the house specialties: an Italian dish known as pizza pie. For a reasonable cost of two-dollars-fifty-five per individual slice, it's well worth the trip to partake of this traditional, hearty ethnic fare whilst sitting among my fellow working men and women, who I daresay are as unassuming and convivial a lot as the denizens of any large city you're likely to encounter no matter how wide your travels. In fact, I can say with some degree of certainty that this branch of the Ray's family culinary empire shall serve as my go-to locale for regular midday caloric intake.

Finally, let me close by relating to you my Readers that after one such luncheon, as I leisurely perambulated back to the office, I had a real-live celebrity sighting -- if, as I do, you consider PBS' long-time talkmeister Charlie Rose such a notable personage. Let me also pass on that as I espied Mr. Rose slowly shuffling along the Avenue, he looked quite the worse for wear, even acting a little bewildered as he piteously clutched a rather large beige valise. Then I remembered old Charlie had major heart surgery not too long ago. So there's that too.



Nazz Nomad said...

there's a good soup joint (hot and crusty) in the 60th and lex environs)
and that aint the real rays, but u knew that- and is that bartleby the scribner in the picture?

The Warden said...

I think I passed that soup place of which you speak, Nazz. May try it if I'm still here next week. And no, that's not Bartleby, my favorite character in all of organized literature, just an anonymous scribe that came up when I googled Irish Monks, and we all know how painful that can be. I'm on a big Celts kick at the moment, having finished How the Irish Saved Civilization. I'm doing my part.

jimithegreek said...

Way to go, Warden...back in the rat race!

The Warden said...

Good to have somewhere to go every day, I'll say that much.

Anonymous said...

Hey, cool topic. I just found your blog and am already a fan. =P

The Warden said...

Thanks for the comment, =P.