Thursday, September 8, 2011

Indentured Servitude

Well, I've been here a week now and things are getting better. I've figured out how to feed myself at a relatively acceptable price. I've determined which series of trains to take for my 30-minute commute to work. I purchased an umbrella (which broke) to avoid getting drenched again while walking the 6 blocks to and from my apartment and the heat has mostly abetted to a degree at which I can actually fall asleep.

Oh yeah, and work started so my life has some purpose beyond wandering around and wondering what the horizon actually looks like.

Short version: I'm not exactly loving it out here.

But, you're in New York Cityyyyyyyyyyyy. I understand the sentiment but I don't espouse it. On Monday I crossed the last two famous landmarks of my list of things I need to see which means that besides the cool sight of skyscrapers disappearing into a blanket of fog this morning (which was, I admit, pretty cool) my day-to-days are filled with spotting rats on the tracks, wondering why NONE of my mail seems to arrive and carrying on internal debates about wether getting dressed, walking to the store, paying too much money and walking back is worth satisfying my sweet tooth craving for late night ice cream.

Now, back to my job. It does have its perks. I saw a movie the other day that hasn't been released yet (I can't really talk about it, but I'll give you a hint: sports, Capote) and I did manage to score a byline on the website the other day (for a 150-word bit of nothing about Alicia Silverstone's new movie, I wrote a much longer treatment today about Jessica Simpson's breasts but it didn't quite make it online. True story).

I also get to sit in on EW meetings which is like christmas morning. We chat about upcoming issues and occasionally drift into tangents about which stars are and are not completely full of S***. (Best part, someone that I've never liked, is. I'll give you a hint: mouth, Merryl. p.s., it's not Merryl, I love her. You could cast Merryl as Batman and she'd be the right choice.). The chance to get insider knowledge from the most trusted names in the industry is invaluable, as is debating the questionable sexual orientation of certain pretty-boy hack jobs.

But, I'm a definitely, unequivocally an intern. Unlike the Deseret News where I truly felt accepted by the apes as an equal (that's a reference to Jane Goudall, not a crack at Des employees) at EW I am a full time errand boy; sorting mail and transcribing the real reporters' interviews (which, I admit, gives me the inside scoop on some puh-retty cool stuff).

So far...meh.

I'm sure this is just "change is bad" talking and that in like a month I'll be skipping down 5th avenue humming "New York, New York" or shouting into a bluetooth about deadlines while callously pushing over slow-moving old ladies (that's what New Yorkers do, they're "hard" according to the sunscreen song). My friends from Utah will call me and I'll screen their calls thinking "oh ho, an old colleague from Looooogan is calling me, how quaint. They've never even had real Pad Thai" and then I'll stuff the phone back into my pocket, check the crease on my pinstripe suit and buy a pretzel from the guy on the corner (sidebar: I DO love the pretzels).

It'll probably happen, I'll fall in love with the city and become the pretentious magazine-writing jerk that I dream of being. Or, I'll continue to find mediocre satisfaction, muscle my way through to January and come crawling back to Utah with my tail between my legs and beg the Herald Journal to take me. Honestly, I'm totally ok with either one.


  1. well....I really like your photo of the Brooklyn Bridge that you have at the top. :)

  2. Great post. It makes me relate a little in that yes being somewhere "far away" can be an adventure but it's still day to day life. It's too bad yours has rats in it. But I hope you do start loving it because I totally have this great image of you in your pinstripe suit skipping down 5th Avenue and humming New York, New York. Ah, great image! Good luck getting settled into the job as well. I liked your article. I really like the last line too, I thought it was funny! I wanted to comment on EW but if I do are they going to send me junk email - it's one of my pet peeves, but I'll give them my gmail if so so I can be supportive. :)