The Story of Life as we Know It

We write the story of our life one thought, one daydream, one word at a time. I'm on my 50th draft of a story called "Barry" and it's very much a work in progress - red pens and Post-it notes everywhere. The older I get, the more I enjoy the revision process, asking "What if?" and "Why not?"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

First Impressions

The week I started my first job out of college, I spent an afternoon creating appliance ads for the Gas Company, crawling around on a vintage 1950's metal desk in a tiny office (labeled a storage closet on the "You Are Here" emergency escape map by the elevator).

This was before the rise of electronic publishing, so I used press type (letters you rub off with a stick), tracing paper and border tape. Of course, I didn't intend to stay an "Advertising Assistant" for long, so, like all the other up-and-coming-twenty-somethings, I wore a dark suit, starched dress shirt and tie to work. At the end of the day, I rolled my sleeves down, put on my coat and tucked paperwork in my leather briefcase (a graduation present), shut the door to my office and joined a crowd waiting for an elevator. Thinking I looked very junior-executive-like, I nodded and spoke to everyone. People looked at me funny.

With a dozen co-workers, I made the trek through the lobby, out onto the sidewalk, across the street and over a block to the parking garage where everyone from the Gas Company parked, still getting a cold shoulder. Oh well, I was young and green and perhaps unaware that junior-executives just didn't talk much in transit. I tossed my briefcase in the back and slid into the driver's seat. When I glanced in the rear view mirror, smack dab in the middle of my forehead was the capital letter "A" coming along for the ride, a stray piece of press type. No wonder I got such funny looks. I'd made the A-list, after just one week on the job.

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