Monday, May 26, 2008

Friday, May 23rd. 3:32pm.

I am sitting in the middle row of seats of a silver grand caravan. The sliding door is open a crack to let the breeze in. I suffer the rhythmic alert that the door is in fact a jar because, even though it's only sixty degrees, this bus steams up in the spring Massachusetts sunshine when entirely sealed. My trusty steed and I rest in a suburban parking lot, our location equidistant to a Barnes and Noble on my left, in which I read the first three chapters of a book I did not buy, and a stand-alone Bank of America atm on my right. I am wondering how I can possibly waste five more hours and how I've managed to let my toenails grow to the tips of my toes.

I feel like a kid, camped out in my parents' van. And although I've done absolutely nothing scandolous or out of the ordinary apart from changing out of my business attire into street clothes, being separated from the world by vinyl and tinted windows somehow makes my sedentary state seem more exciting.

In approximately 15 minutes I will depart, return to the office to catch my ride to the airport. This class will be my last at corporate headquarters for a good while. And that's okay by me. Parts of my soul are consumed when I'm here. Walk into any store - be it the supermarket, the Blockbuster, the Fedex office - and you will be met by limp "hello"s and "have a nice day"s with so little feeling that they suck a little happiness out of your day. The whole town seems to be filled by brainwashed zombies, their souls consumed long ago, mindlessly pulling their cars out in front of you when you have the right of way and gravitating towards the Sheraton bar on a Saturday night because that is the most happening place in town. I am reminded all too well of my hometown, of people's satisfaction with routine and mediocrity, and I long to get back to my lively city.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Matrix

Three months ago I accepted a job that ripped me from the quiet, comfortable, and small realm of research science and unapologetically tossed me to the wolves of the corporate world. It is a scary place. They use excessive acronyms, they drink loads of alcohol, and they deflect their responsibilities with ethereal catchphrases.

One such catchphrase is "work your matrix." This implies that they will not tell you what you should be doing or how the game is played, but that when you find yourself in a position of unknowing, you should feel free to harass the living daylights out of anyone you know (the matrix) within the company to find the answers. The more people you know, the better off you'll be.

Now this is entirely different from my last job, where I met only a handful of intelligent people (mostly women) and spent 40 hours every week in one building, trying to discover answers to a few questions. Suddenly, my world is exponentially larger. I've met dozens and dozens of people (mostly men, mostly not smart), my office goes from place to place in a hardside tool box and SwissGear pack, and there is an infinite number of questions I need to find the answers for.

My world has been thrown for a loop, but the places I've been going to and these people I've been meeting, they're making for outstanding stories. And so, I thought as I'm bored to tears in the king-sized bed of the week, I could share them with you. I introduce to you, my matrix.