I’m not entirely convinced that I’ve actually slept yet. It’s not nerves, you nervous? Nope, excited? Not really. I’ve done this before, I used to do it for years, part of me is of course glad to be doing it again, but another part just wants to sit around and laugh at pictures on the internet.
Did I stir my coffee? I remember rinsing the spoon but I can’t taste the sweet embrace of sugar fused with hot liquid. I know I added sugar, I’m not that stupid. Maybe I only added one teaspoon? Another sip will confirm it, fifth time’s the charm. Fuck it, I don’t know what’s going on, finish your goddamn coco pops, you’re going to be late.
7 months. I’ve been sleeping until about 4pm for 7 months now. Not today though, today I start a new job. The details are a little fuzzy, what little I do know raises more questions than answers, but today is the day I get those answers, today is the day of limitless potential, smiles, laughter, holding your bladder because you don’t know where the toilets are and being blissfully unaware of the agonising train wreck in the distance. That’s not literal by the way, I’m not on the trains yet, still at my house, gulping the last dregs of the cof… Oh fuckin’ balls I didn’t stir it. Why the hell did I rinse the spoon?
The flatmate is getting out of bed, that means it’s 9am. You need to leave now, you have reached the maximum amount of time that you can be here. Yeah yeah I’m going, see? I grab my stuff, do the pocket check and head out the door, saying a loud “See’yuh” to the flatmate downstairs. He did not respond, this means he is pooping. I have learnt this.
It’s pretty damn cold out, I should do my best to remember this for it will come up in conversation later, followed by 2 seconds of forced laughter in agreement. It is cold though and holy shit am I tired, the cold is supposed to help wake me up, right? Stop being a whiny bastard, you’ve got an hours journey to go yet and then all you have to do is not fuck up for a few more hours. I can see why cocaine is so popular.
I arrive at my destination to find an elevator that has no button for the first floor. Ground floor? Check, second and third? Check. Bit weird, I tell myself to mention it immediately to my new colleagues. I’ve a bad habit for focusing on irrelevant thoughts during important conversations. and I can’t pay attention until the issue is resolved, like 30 minutes of muffled sounds because the guy sat next to me is wearing a watch that’s an hour out.
Guest, that’s what my pass says. A pass, needed to walk 30 feet to the right, where you can either swipe the card to open a knee-high transparent glass door, or you can walk around it if you forgot your pass. Interesting, not as interesting as the first floor being hidden, but interesting none the less. I’m walking too quickly for someone who doesn’t know where they’re going, but a lucky right turn plants my eyes on familiar faces. I know they’ve seen me, but they will continue to look busy until I interrupt the work they’re pretending to do. Classic.
“Morning”, I say with a smile on my face. The smile is genuine. The bossman stands to greet me, introduces me to the rest of the team, slight mention of the weather. I need to ask about the elevator. Oh man do I need to ask about the elevator. Conversation is progressively getting more important. I’m losing it big style, focused only on the sounds of the conversation rather than the words, waiting like a crouched cat, eyes dilated, for a chance to break the flow without it being weird.
The sound of steel tapping ceramic causes my head to tilt, an inhale held. Ladies and gents, that’s an idea.
“Can I just grab a quick coffee?” I don’t know what I meant by “quick”, I mean a coffee’s a coffee and I’m going to drink it normally, I’m likely going to acquire it in a normal amount of time too. The bossman is apologetic now, and pretty much insisting that I go get one like it was his idea all along. Ah coffee, there’s just something about hot drinks that enables the flow of casual conversation. The mysteries of the elevator will be revealed.
This building has its own canteen and dining area, that might not seem weird to you, depending on where you work… like in a school, or a restaurant, but it’s pretty unheard of in my industry. A bit of a shame as I won’t be working in the office, that’s one of the things I’m here to discuss actually. The bossman is going to tell me that he’d prefer I work with the rest of the team in-house, but I know something he doesn’t, and we’ll get to that tiny conversation later.
One major benefit of not working at the office came in the form of “That’ll be £1.80″, I’m not amazing with numbers but multiplying that by the amount of coffee I’ll drink during my employment should equate to roughly 10 octodecillion, sterling. They do have what appears to be tiny open plan kitchens scattered about, but the situation of these leads me to believe that each one belongs to a certain group within the office. If I worked here, it would take months of analysing and not asking before I worked out which one I’d be accepted in. I check the desks of my new colleagues. No mugs, they’re probably still trying to work it out themselves. Bless.
Most of the people here use Mac’s, sort of. I mean they’ve got the Mac machines, and the giant £2,000+ Apple monitors, but they’re all running windows. I don’t know who’s in charge of this, but I reckon I could save them a pretty penny or two.
I was bringing my coffee back to where I needed to be when I noticed a second elevator, it was actually right next to the one I entered, I’m not entirely sure how I missed the fact that there were two, but what’s done is done. I’m thinking that maybe only one elevator has access to the first floor, it seems likely, but now I’ve generated more questions.
“What’s the deal with the elevator?”. A weight lifts off my shoulders as I address the 4 people who I would soon consider friends after many work drinks and bantering about how clients are so stupid, am I right? The timing was perfect, it was an ease-in conversation to halt the dry roughness of just jumping straight back to business. “What do you mean?”. They don’t know what I mean, how do they not know what I mean? “There’s no button for the first floor, unless it’s in the elevator I didn’t use?”.
“Oh right, yeah I don’t really know” the rest sing the song of agreement and carry on not making eye contact. Well fuck.
Back to business then, I’m sat with the bossman and we’re discussing the project he’d like me to start on, there isn’t much time for anything else other than starting immediately. The job hasn’t officially been offered at this point, but 10 months into the future I’ll still be receiving a monthly salary so we can all assume I’m hired at this juncture. I have to talk with the client, this is new to me, I’ve had unofficial lead roles before, but even leads rarely dealt directly with the client, and I’m brand spanking new, like “Hello, I’m the man you need to speak to, I’ve been working here for a good 34 minutes so you can rest assured that your vision is my vision”
I do as much as I can, read as quick as I can and pretend to be on the same page as the client without even knowing what book he’s referring to. The book’s a metaphor, by the way.
A few hours go by and things begin to slow down. The client is gone now and it’s just me and the bossman again. I start thinking about how much I want to get back into Skyrim again but won’t be able to due to my recent employment, the thought is halted when I realise we’re discussing my work related location.
The thing about my job, and what I do, is that it needs at least a regular amount of desk space, more if I wish to work comfortably. They only had a small space available, sort of on the corner, comprised of the spare space from the two desks ether side. They also had no spare computers, which meant they also wouldn’t have the software that I’d need. My solution of course, my pitch as it were, was that it’s going to be much cheaper for them to let me use my own machine, my own software, and work in my own home.
“So you can set your laptop up here” the bossman says. I’m not sure if I laughed out loud or not, it certainly felt like I did. Fucking casuals.
The day wraps up early for me and I head home, to my new office. I guess I’m supposed to feel happy, I’m working again, the money’s good, zero commute, and this is what I do, it’s what I’ve always done. Can’t seem to crack a sigh of relief though, “start as you mean to go on” pops into my head and I worry that my future in this position will be stressful. Unfortunately, I’m not wrong.
You want to know what the real kicker is though? I rode the other elevator down, no button for the first floor. Upon exiting I take a moment to properly assess my surroundings.
No stairs… No goddamn stairs? How is that even possible!? WHERE THE FUCK IS THE FIRST FLOOR?.