Thursday, January 13, 2005

hurry up and wait

I live in NYC, the city where everyone is in a rush. They don't call it a New York Minute for nuthin.

Most of your time in this city is spent racing around to stand still. You walk very fast to get to the subway to wait for a train. Shove people out of your way to get on the car to stand while you are transported. Cut line to get into your building to wait for the elevator.

It is such an amazing dichotomy of urban life. God help you if you get in the way of someone when they are rushing somewhere, you could lose a limb. These same formerly impatient people wait 20 minutes docilely for a train.

I worked an 11-hour day today. Nose to the grindstone, I even had a working lunch. Race against time to get a project out that the CEO wanted yesterday. Literally.

For what? What really is the rush? Why did this question come up and need to be answered immediately? Burying myself in the work, completely immersing myself in analysis, I just blindly lost 11 hours of my life.

Somewhere in the process of analysis I had to break to discuss it with three bigwigs. They were discussing their recent experienced with workers in our UK location. I guess in the UK it is normal and completely acceptable to come into work at 9:30 am and leave by 4:15 pm. Also, they take a lot more holidays. Like a whole month in August and three weeks over Christmas and New Years.

I "joked" that I should move to the UK and work there. One of the VP's laughed and said, "YOU??? Ha, you would hate that! You would go crazy in a week!"

Like I could not stand making my work a small part of my life. I laughed along, pretending to agree with the joke. I work very hard because there is so much that needs to be done, and I feel badly not doing whatever I can. Hells bells, give me a job where I can manage the work in a six-hour workday I'd be more than happy to leave on time every day.

So when I got back to my desk I emailed my UK contact, just in case there were any positions available over there. It's not bad to keep my options open, now is it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's awesome that you have an awareness already about the ridiculous nature of the corporate grind. I would get lost in that and be swept up in the hysteria as well. I'm so thrilled to know that it all falls away once I step out of the river though! It's important only in as much as anything we devote our time to is important, but there's other things that could fill its place. And easily! I could totally see you kicking it in the UK, lunching in France on the weekend! GO FOR IT.

p.s. Isn't it amazing when someone is so sure they know EXACTLY how you are?! (and they are so off base!?)