Thursday, April 20, 2006


Little clues that I work in a not-for-profit:

  • There’s not a Post-It Note to be seen. Instead we scrawl notes on thrice-recycled scraps of paper.
  • When it rains, water seeps through the wall surrounding the window over my desk, and pools neatly under the base of my monitor and keyboard.
  • (Fortunately, this problem was fixed when plastic was stretched over the window to deaden some of the icy cold air pushing through in the winter, so now the water collects against the plastic like an aquarium. I can squeeze it out with my finger and down the wall to all kind of exciting electrical plugs and cords.)
  • In the winter, stylishly hunched in a shivering ball over my keyboard, I wear: a warm hat (always), a scarf, fingerless gloves, and, sometimes, my coat. The little click of the thermostat’s “up” button can be heard all the way down the hall in my boss’s office, so I generally just stare at it longingly.

I, myself, don’t have an office; instead I sit where a receptionist would sit, if we had a receptionist, just as you come into the offices at the top of the stairs. So, although my actual job consists of gift processing, donor solicitation, grant preparation, event planning, money handling, and writing, I spend much of my time answering the door (all the way downstairs) or directing wayward volunteers to the kitchen. Within the first half hour of my arrival this morning, I had already tromped down the stairs at least six times to answer the door, because, mysteriously, no one else in the upstairs offices could hear the RATHER LOUD bell. It’s okay, though; when it comes down to it, I’ll have a better ass from all those trips up and down the stairs.

When I have a personal phone call to make during work hours, as I did today, to the variety of doctor you’d rather not have people overhear you talking to (“Why do I need to change my pill? Because it’s messing with my period cycle, and I’m getting intense headaches at the beginning of every month which I can only deduct are estrogen-related?” were the kinds of things I simply couldn’t manage to say in code), I go into my other office, the stairwell. It’s a little hard not to get tripped over when people come in our out the door, but at least I have little pockets of privacy. God forbid I ever cry at work (which, you know, has happened once or twice – it can get stressful around here, and anyway, I’ll blame it on my errantly-prescribed hormones), because then I have to choose the least threatening person and beg my way into their office for a little comfort and cover.

Yesterday I shipped off part of a package in honor of my parents’ 25th year of marriage, which falls next Tuesday, April 25. I’m really happy for them, and pretty lucky to have two parents who are still together after a quarter-century of challenges and adventures, and who still like each other a lot. I’m lucky to have them to go home to once in a while, and to still have the little farm they built and raised me on, a bucolic paradise of peaceful expanses of green, to return to. I just hope they keep in mind, in awaiting an Anniversary gift, that their two daughters are both poor and very far away, one in Boston and the other in London. I wish we could have arranged to get home to surprise them, but April came around so fast, and as it is, we’ve got a pretty nice day of little surprises planned for them.

Tonight I get to go see one of my favorite authors of late, Jonathan Safran Foer, at a reading in Coolidge Corner. I really loved his second book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I never really know why I love books, which is perhaps a little weak for a creative writing major; instead I tend to focus on and fall in love with the miniscule details of writing style, whereas I can usually take or leave the bigger picture. Seeing as I recently started dating a complete book snob (and don’t get me wrong, this is not criticism), I figure I better start honing my analytical skills.

Still working on the Passover post… the pictures are just taking a while. Once I have an evening to devote to it, and not surreptitiously stolen work time, I’ll get it out there.

I leave you with links to several blogs I check on a regular basis by friends of mine, Brad, Kathy, Andrew, Jesse, and Melissa (who’s new to blogging like me). Because, in her words, “blogs are going to be our generation’s way of connecting writers together.”

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Thanks for the shout-out, chica. If i ever manage to figure out how to edit the "links" section on my page, i'll link to you :)