This is the place where every person who steps off the elevator and sees the view for the first time has a mental breakdown. It’s funny because most people cannot enjoy the view in mute stupefaction, as you might expect. They start oohhhing and ahhhing and taking photos with their stupid Smartphone like tourists and say, “isn’t that magnificent!?” It’s not a rhetorical question. They require confirmation. That is why, for those of us sitting in the reception area, a primary function of the job is pretending like we still give a shit about the view.
Here are some things that happened on the same day (or maybe on consecutive days, who can tell?) which will provide some information about my mental state as well as help explain why, in my next post, I need to address, rather urgently, the question: why did I quit teaching again?
The other day it was discovered by the Chef (yes, they have a Chef at the Skyscraper Office) that one of the VIPs would be eating two meals on site. (This usually doesn’t happen.) That day, the only protein the Chef had on hand was chicken. So – the horror! – the VIP would be served chicken twice in one day.
This was a terrible problem for the Chef and his staff. Urgent calls were made. Curses were uttered. There was simply nothing to be done: Mr. VIP would have to eat chicken twice in a single 24-hour period. Would heads roll? Would the Chef be fired? Would the world, in fact, end? We all hoped for the best outcome.
The day’s strangeness did not end there.
That afternoon, word went around the office that there had been a suicide at a building around the corner. Some poor soul had jumped from a $1,000/night hotel balcony (21 stories up) and landed on a parked SUV. It was awful.
The same guy who had to eat chicken twice that day (and whose opinion of the Chef’s blunder was still unknown) had never spoken a word to me before. Yet, on his way out the door, he said to me grimly, “Don’t walk by the [blah blah] Hotel on your way home.”
There you have it: The VIP of Chicken does not want the receptionist/temp to accidentally see the suicide thing happening around the corner on her way home. Isn’t that nice/weird?
What do these events have to do with each other, you ask? I have no idea, but surely it’s something. That, or I’ve become one of those crazed paranoids who thinks everything is connected, because of the CIA or the space aliens.
Further evidence of my growing insanity: There is another temp who sits next to me at Skyscraper. (They are having a hard time keeping full-time receptionists from quitting in disgust, it seems.) At one point, she and I became so loopy from the boredom of the job coupled with the terror of doing anything wrong (or maybe it was just the altitude) that we fell into a fit of uncontrollable laughter at the sight of an incorrectly placed question mark on an email we were about to send. It totally changed the meaning of the sentence, as question marks tend to do! And that was just so hysterical!
It’s a good thing no one walked into the office at that moment, because we could not have stopped almost peeing our pants for anyone, even the CEO.
“I’m just a bit confused about the decision to temp at actual corporations instead [of teaching] which seems like even more demeaning work in a far less stimulating environment. I understand that you’re looking for a more promising permanent job while temping but why not do that while teaching?”
Ha ha, yeah, so there’s that. What am I doing anyway? I will attempt to write a response in my next post and, perhaps, by doing so, I can figure it out and reclaim a bit of mental clarity in the process.