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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

"It's just a job"

Today I accepted a contract for a one-year position. I've been freelancing since January 1998 (and took most of that year off to travel and sleep), so even though it's interesting work, part of me is terrified. Like I'm losing part of my soul.

For 7 years, I've been lazy, but I've also become relaxed and informed and creative. In the first few years, the economy was booming, so it wasn't hard to find a contract for a few months and then take off to another country and come back and easily find something else. The past few have been a struggle. I ate tacos and used frequent flier miles.

I also made a film. I worked on political campaigns and published a lot of essays. I stayed out late and slept in. I felt like I'd become...someone else. On my way to doing something new with my life.

But we've all got to work, right? Two omens about work:

Last summer, I interviewed for an exciting position in a software company's consulting group. The interviews went well. I made lists of what I would buy (new shoes! dental appointment for the cat!). But on the way to an appointment there, I was running a little late and sat in a line of traffic to get off the freeway. I had to change lanes at the last minute, and this woman going the other way started to scream and scowl at me in her car and wave her hands. I hadn't really done anything, but I thought: I do not want to become this woman.

At the company I'll be working for, the doorman is an Indian man with a smile that could light up Manhattan. He knows everyone's names and presses the elevator buttons for their floors. Last week he wished me a happy Thursday. The receptionist is also warm and friendly; she asked how my interview went. Although the job itself seems promising, there is a part of me that said yes because of the man in the lobby.

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