Tuesday, December 1, 2009


So you may or may not know that I finally got a job in October. I'm working at NYU School of Medicine as a research coordinator. Drop me an email if you really want to know what that means. Though I'm an NYU employee, I work at Bellevue Hospital, the nation's oldest public hospital (founded in 1737, even before the US was a country), not at the beautiful, modern, well-lit, spacious NYU Medical Center building a few blocks up the street. I share a tiny office space with four other people, 50 years of medical records, zero windows, seven computers of varying speeds (of which none are called "fast enough"), six chairs with their seat upholstery faded into round patterns by numerous and diversely-shaped pelvises throughout the years, three years of hair sheddings, and an AC vent in the ceiling that we routinely force our Eternal Paid Volunteer Temp to cover and uncover with a page from a 2008 wall calendar for climate control.

I think of movies and TV shows that spoof corporate life, and then I think of my own work environment and am convinced that the nonprofit world makes for much more absurd theater. And so...what do I need this job for if I already have a brilliant screenwriting career ahead of me?

Anyway, today we heard that there were leftovers from a lunch event in our conference room. All five of us who share my office space stood up and shuffled down the hall as fast as we could to survey the fresh prey. The Eternal Paid Volunteer Temp even told me to bring a tupperware. We were the first people on the floor to descend upon the leftovers, and we obliterated them. Judging from the way the buffet table had been abandoned, it must have been a small event attended by people who only eat mashed potatoes. The mystery meatloaf, pasta, chicken, sandwiches and salad were virtually untouched. Such a jackpot. I made off with enough food for tonight's dinner and tomorrow's lunch. A penny saved...isn't worth crap in New York. But those freebie-sniffing skills I picked up in grad school--priceless.

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