Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today, for instance

I’m listening to a corporate meeting taking place right now. I’m working the front desk, filling in for a fool on medical leave. I am a peon. That is why I was asked to take this shift to begin with. As I sat answering phones, “Good morning, Terri Medina speaking..." very important people began to file in through the front doors, laughing in suits and heels, make-up and polished heads. Talking heads. They were followed by a man carrying premium roasted coffee from Wegmans. I mean the good stuff. Not some Dunkin’ Donuts put-on. I mean the good stuff. And he has stacks and stacks of thick paper cups with strong rims and lids. And suddenly, I was less interested in what the corporate mumbo meeting was about, and more interested in how he procured those cups. When he was at Wegmans, did he ask for “x” amount of cups, or did they just recognize him as someone important and, some slack-jawed A-hole in a position similar to my own, just handed them over to him. I don’t wear suits. I hardly even own a suit. I am like a man from the 1970s whose only suit is used for funerals. I don’t wear make-up, perfume, or high heels. Yes, yes. I have these things. But it couldn’t be more contrived when I put them on. The thought of appealing “sexy” at work makes me want to throw up, which, of course, would be a very non sexy thing to do. Suddenly, the conference room breaks into another round of claps, cheers and high-fives. For a moment, they are as pedestrian as me. But what keeps us separated in this building, in this business world, in this life, is the sheer fact that these corporate punks are not going to eat those classy Wegmans bagels that were trucked in. They will only guzzle the coffee and clap for each other. It’s like a chugging contest for bureaucrats. And I’ll sit down here with a tummy ache, trying hard not to look like the person I really am; a girl who is dressed in snug jeans and a barrette, answering a phone at the front desk while eating a bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts.