Uptown Rantz

Don't Wanna Be No Uptown Fool

Findlaw, Thomson Reuters, Lame Jim and Hot Elena

I’m sitting in my cube intently staring at my monitor with my fingers motionless on the keyboard.  It’s the easiest way to mask complete boredom but still look like I’m focused on work.  Work…writing generic web marketing copy.  How many times can I re-phrase, “simple solutions to complex problems,” or “leave your legal worries to us” or “count on our experience”? Well, I can re-phrase them a hell of a lot because I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve done just that.

I thought this would be better than being an Editor across the skyway in Westlaw.  It’s not.  We get free sodas here in Findlaw and there’s a higher ratio of hot girls to not-hot girls, but the work still remains mundane.  And despite the Texas-like humidity outside and inside the building, there’s this girl here that wears long sleeve sweaters over long sleeve shirts.  She’s been doing it all summer.  By 3pm the sweater is draped over the back of her chair, her shirt cuffs are un-buttoned and her shirt-tail un-tucked.

But I awake from my open-eyed nap and I’m on my way to interview training.  You see, before we can write a client’s website we have to interview them to find out about their law practice areas.  It’s not so much an interview as a conversation, but it apparently necessitates a training session.  The half-dozen or so of us sit in silence waiting for the session to begin.  A tall strawberry blonde named Elena walks by the all-windows training room in a long hip-hugging skirt.  The girls hide their jealousy and the guys hide their erections.  If my cube were next to hers, I would love this job.

The fifth beer at CC Club last night was not a good idea.  It wasn’t enough to make me fully hung-over, but just enough to make me sit near the door of this room and pray that the nearest toilet is relatively clean, which is a tall order here at Thomson Reuters anytime after 1pm.

The session is conducted by Jim, the copyright lead.  He makes it a point to mention that he once held a job at a start-up in San Francisco where he dealt daily with the heads of major corporations.  Sure, Jim.  And that in this previous job, his background in theatre and voice-training came in handy and made him an effective communicator.  Sure, Jim.

I think he mentions this to make it known that he wasn’t always a 40-something under-achiever confined to a cubicle all day when most men his age have offices and don’t wear the same pair of black Doc Martens every single day.  Who even still wears Doc Martens?  Throughout the hour-long session, Jim rapidly swivels his chair back and forth as he speaks.  His feet stay planted, but his knees are swiping back and forth like an ADD kid.  I come to the conclusion that this nervous tick is why he’s no longer a corporate climber, and instead on an occupation flat-line where (thanks to Glassdoor.com) I know how much he earns.

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