Wednesday, March 01, 2006

From Here to Eternity

Lord have MERCY! Jane has been on quite an adventure this morning. I always have jobs where I feel like Zelig—I pop in and out of all these weird yet fascinating scenarios.

This morning I had to be up and at ‘em so I could help out with a HUGE conference at Our Client’s Mothership. This is a really cool conference—it’s all over the news right now--but loathe would I be to identify it directly. We’ll just leave it at that.

Anyhoo, the Client Mothership is the mother of ALL Motherships and I have never really navigated its “ship” solo. So I got up at 5:00 a.m. And went downstairs and, because the Clydesdale has been feeling a little impinged upon lately, she had some oatmeal. And some coffee. And read the paper a little bit. And then looked at the clock and it was 5:35. Shit! Then 5:45. Still in my robe. Glass of orange juice. I NEED MY POTASSIUM, DAMMIT.

Take a shower. Get dressed whilst MZA semi-slumbers crankily—he’s mad because I make so much noise in the morning, etc. etc. However the Law of Mornings goes: If I bloody hell have to get up this early, I’m taking no prisoners.

I sandblast the Clinique products into place—maybe a li’l too much mascara? Cabaret anyone? Willkommen and beinvenue? With a touch of Roy Scheider in “All That Jazz” thrown in. IT’S SHOWTIME! Gimme a little soft-shoe…

Suddenly it’s 6:24 and I am supposed to be AT THE MOTHERSHIP at 7:00 a.m. And I gotta go through two rounds of security AND PARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have I become arrogant in my old age? Ignoring time like a diva?

I blend into the Beltway traffic, glide up some avenues, jog over a little and come to the Ship. I get to the security gate and glide thru—I have a “special badge” that is sort of like a decoder ring. Wave her through, she’s fine! HELLO DOLLY via Maxwell Smart!

I am terrified there won’t be parking. I drive right up to the huge building where the conference will be and I just pull in no problem. Hmmm. Then I breeze thru building security—look at that badge!!!

This was an all-hands-on-deck-command-performance kind of thing, so I helped out with anything and everything, but mainly finding people’s badges. Oh my. See I have a little “alphabet” problem, not to be confused with my “numbers” problem. I literally have alphabet dyslexia. And we had a lot of imperious dames on our hands!! Oh, indeedy we did.

We also had lots of Very Bad Plastic Surgery—I told my colleague it was a cautionary tale, as in: Don’t do it! Unless you want to look like a cat who’s been to a drunk taxidermist.

Furthermore, as I pointed out to my colleague, I think the idea behind plastic surgery is to preserve something WORTH PRESERVING. It’s not time to make those Helen Gurley Brown dreams come true—uh-uh. Basically, if you’ve got a face that’s worth the investment, then go fer it. If you don’t, suck it up. That's why they invented Valium--so you can relax and forget you're aging.

Oooooooooooooooooooo we had some imperious ladyloves on our hands. I saw one who was haughtily surveying the scene and I looked at her and thought, “I see your imperious bitch, and I RAISE YOU.”

Pass Lady Bracknell another cucumber sandwich.

And lemme just say this: If you are standing behind an “official table,” people just want to ASK QUESTIONS. I don’t care about what; they just want to ask them. Like, “I can’t get any reception for my cell phone down here. Do you think it’s better upstairs?”

I witnessed so many fascinating psychological tics and weirdnesses. One of the young members of our staff came up to me and said, “It’s like their whole world is crushed if we don’t have a badge for them.” And it’s true! People approach the table with the expectation that SOMETHING WILL BE WRONG and you feel the pressure and you search, and you get this pit in your stomach, like, “Oh shit, there is not a badge for this person,” and they look sideways like, I KNEW this would happen...story of my life…"It’s H-A-N-S-O-N…” and you’re thinking, Well if you spelled it “H-A-T-F-I-E-L-D" then we’d have a badge for ya! But you don’t! Soooooooooo, "Onsite registration is at the end of the table." And you motion toward the slum, the ghetto portion of the table, and they look at it like you are sending them to a manure heap for lunch. All pursed lips and torqued countenance.

It’s tough. It’s tough, kids. Then we had the Grand Poobah High Finicky Priestess. She was the prizewinner extraordinaire! So Huffy! So Pissed! So Indignant! Everything was ALL WRONG! Does Sylvia Hyde-Pierce-Plucked-Butt know about this? Well! When she finds out…” Yeah, right. We’re all quaking in our boots. NEXT!

I was EXHAUSTED. It’s a workout dealing with the public. And I must say, 85% of them were adorable and polite and sweet. Of course it’s the difficult ones that stick in your craw.

I stopped at Caribou coffee on the way back in because I was DESPERATE for a “treat,” a little soft cushion amid the drudgery, and I ordered a “shot” of hazelnut in it. I think just for the fun of ordering a “shot” of anything. Like I was in a saloon in the Wild West.

Gimme a shot Harry. Make it a double…


Cynicism is another word for reality

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