Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Failure of the Day: Going Perm

I’ve kept mum about this until the paperwork was signed and delivered. What you’ve got here is one full-time permanent employee of Big Ass Software, Inc. That’s salary and benefits, baby. No more hourly wage, no more contracting. In corporate parlance, I’ve been “Converted to Employee”; saved, as it were, from the heathen freelance life.

I am feeling about what you’d expect—equal parts triumphant and suspicious. The news is so unabashedly, spectacularly, and exceptionlessly good that something equally horrific must be just on the horizon. I am fairly certain that I will suffer traumatic amputation at any moment now.

The weekend after I heard I had been approved for hire but before receiving and signing the offer letter, I had three dreams in a row that involved workplaces and celebrities. In the first dream, Henry Rollins and I were working the closing shift at BestBuy. In my waking life, I feel a huge desire to find Henry Rollins appealing, equaled only by how utterly repellant I actually find him. In my dream, I felt the exact same way.

In the second dream, I was working at a sandwich shop, I think a Quizno’s, that was located below a large glass balcony. Bill O’Reilly and his wife were standing on the balcony. He shouted his order down to me but had a great deal of trouble settling on the right bread/sauce combination. I was exceedingly polite and patient with him, and once he had made his decision and I set to work putting his sandwich together, he turned to his wife and said softly something like “This little girl thinks she can…” and I couldn’t hear the rest of it. I was furious with him and yelled up to the balcony how rude he was.

In the final dream, Chris and I were at a café where Peter Dinklage worked. I ordered tea and when he brought it to my table he pressed his hand on the top of my thigh, which frankly thrilled me—I totally crush on Peter Dinklage. Nothing else happened; it was just a quick, private moment. (Except now Chris wants to beat up Peter Dinklage.)

Such are the images that populate my professional subconscious. They seem largely positive to me, and in an odd way, realistic. I feel more myself at work these days than I ever have. Working life is a balance of what you will put up with and what kinds of satisfaction you require for putting up with it. The pleasures of one’s work are largely private and unsharable. And I think about celebrities a lot.