From the looks of this building it is scary, uninviting, and like a jail cell.
I go through the heavy, solid glass door, walk through the carnival style security bar, by elevator I arrive on the 15th floor, swipe my badge and my day officially begins.
Everyday is the same, for the most part. I pour smelly, seldom dirty city water into my Brita filter, make toast, and slowly start my working day.
My workplace consist of 13 men and 4 women. They range in age from 25 to 60 something. They have different characteristics that are cool, but at times piss me off.
There is one guy who resembles the Arab guy from The 40 Year-Old Virgin. He sounds exactly like him, it would be a sight to see if he got angry just the same and started cursing.
There is this woman I call the perfume lady, well not so much now. She used to spray an ungodly amount of perfume and then run away, as if no one knew who sprayed the smelly shitty scent all over her cube. The odor would smell for 30 minutes – she did this 4 times a day. She finally stopped spraying her perfume, due to others and myself complaining to management.
There are a 2 guys who like to go to lunch and get away from the mundane nature of work. When I have lunch with them we usually talk about family, food, movies, work, and traveling.
There is another co-worker who won’t eat anything that has high-fructose corn syrup in it. He gives me the reasons why it is bad and says that almost all processed foods has it. Sometimes he lectures me about shit I don’t care about and the rest of the time about the NBA. He is an approachable guy, even though he can pass for a Skin Head, he also loves spending time with his daughters and wife. He never fails to talk to his daughter when she wakes in the morning.
There is also a co-worker that is a womanizer. He can’t get enough of the women. We always have good conversations about business ideas, books, happenings around work, and of course women. The dude makes me laugh every time we have a conversation.
There are a pair of secretaries who are the shit and gladly help me out as I get things done around the office.
The big boss is the rule enforcer, but has an effective character that brings out the best of his employees. The best boss I’ve ever seen manage a group of people and they follow his orders with a smile on their face.
I’ll call the next person the teacher, I was with him for a short stretch. This fool questioned everything I was doing: he made me write a letter telling him I wouldn’t use my ipod while working; do all of my work in the hallway,where all of the employees pass by; and not fall asleep while he was talking to me. The guy can talk, he seems to always want to give a lesson when you want to know something simple. Seriously, he knows everything that is happening in the city and looks like the person who truly loves his job (although, he plays the lottery every week with some of the other co-workers).
There is my boss. He is a guy that no one wanted as a boss, including me. When I did see him with other employees he would yell and micro manage them. He was as raw as they came, with his unapologetic comments and strict orders of operation. Who wants to go 5 days with that? It took some time to get used to him, but he have a great relationship. He is very pleased with the work I do for him and I got to say it has been a pleasure working for him. Besides the intensity and not being able to calm himself down, and his willingness to delegate every task known to man.
I’m sure my co-workers think I’m the weirdest black person they have met. I bet they ask themselves: Why doesn’t he like to eat with others? How can he eat a hand-full of almonds and raisins for lunch and be full? What the hell is he listening to on his iphone? Why does he walk the stairs just for the fuck of it? Why does he read so many books? That fool drinks too much water. Why the hell did he cut his hair bald?
Like any job, there is going to be ups and downs, and at times boredom and regret for waking up in the morning; but it’s a great feeling when we have friendships that help us get away from the predicability we get every time we walk through the door. When I finally decide to leave Corporate America, I know I will miss the relationships that were developed, but more importantly, these people would have had an impact in the way I see the world: we are who we are by the people we meet along the way of our journey!