Quick Hits

Welcome to the Working Week 4: Andrew

By posted at 4:40 am on May 22, 2008 2
[Editor’s note: This week we’ve invited Megan Hustad, author of How to Be Useful: A Beginner’s Guide to Not Hating Work, to dissect our contributors’ first-job follies.]

Andrew writes:

It began, as brilliant decisions generally do, in a bar. A Saturday evening, over drinks with two friends, a few months into my first real job (for the benevolent media magnates that still pay my salary). Why not, one of us spat out, drive to New York City? Uh, right now? Yeah, right now! One of us had a car. We’d need music for the 10-hour (each way), international journey. And, oh yeah, passports. Off we went.

Sunday early morning we arrived in Manhattan, walked around in a daze until very late Sunday night, then drove back to Toronto, arriving minutes before my Monday shift.

That I hadn’t slept since Friday night could easily be offset with a quick shower and several swigs of Jolt Cola which my colleague poured into me. And, oh, I would wear a suit, something neither I nor anyone else would conceive of wearing in the newsroom, unless heading out for an interview. But the improbable vision of young Andrew in a suit at work would distract my senior editors, I hoped, from the snoring.

As it turned out, the caffeine jolt and the adrenalin rush of the whole experience kept me awake, and in retrospect, I doubt that I would have done anything differently.

But I’m guessing it wouldn’t win me any awards for professionalism.

Megan Hustad responds:

The suit was a good call. I got promoted once because I was between apartments, living out of a duffel bag, and the suit I wore twice a week for a month because it hid stains and didn’t wrinkle prompted my boss to imagine I was going on a lot of interviews. This has historically been the best argument for wearing a suit, after all – it communicates you’re going places, and little else. Suits obscure all appetites other than ambition. Horatio Alger and other early American capitalists were nuts about suits.

In any event: Children, if you took a long, hot shower and still smell of beer, consider a suit. Don’t do as I once did and show up in an orange (orange that highlighted my bloodshot eyes!), moth-eaten wool turtleneck. Uselessness rating: 1

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2 Responses to “Welcome to the Working Week 4: Andrew”

  1. Emily Colette Wilkinson
    at 9:28 am on May 22, 2008

    "It began, as brilliant decisions generally do, in a bar." If I was sponsoring a short story content, I think I would make a rule that all entries had to start with that sentence.

  2. Andrew Saikali
    at 11:05 am on May 23, 2008

    Thanks Emily

    I've secretly wanted to begin something with that line for ages.

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