where i work {a.k.a. the fiery pits of hades}

When people ask me where I work, my simple answer is, "The city." Because when you live in the suburbs of New York, there is no need to name it. Around here there really is no other city that matters. New Yorkers are a fairly geo-centric lot. And, I think I may have just made up that word/phrase.

The real story and the long answer to the question of where I work is a bit more complicated. New York City has five boroughs (and no, Long Island is not one of them) and I work in three of the five: Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Manhattan is my favorite for so many reasons because, hello, it is Manhattan people. I can take the train which allows me to either work or read. The office is in the financial district right on the water with fabulous views, amazing choices for food (ahem, Pump and Crumbs) and people watching. While it is about a 90-minute commute door to door, relying on subway and train schedules, it is relatively easy to get in and out.

Brooklyn. The Brooklyn office is in the middle of godforsaken nowhere and it takes over 90 minutes to drive the 26 miles from our house. Say what? The highway portion of the drive is easy but, the last five miles is the commute from hell with upwards of 50 traffic lights, millions of pedestrians and the need to dodge horribly driven dollar vans. There is nowhere for me to sit at this office. Ever. Which makes pumping an interesting feat that goes something like this, "Hi, I hate to bother but, would it be at all possible to kick you out of your office for the next 15 minutes so that I can express my baby's next meal?" A lovely conversation for both parties. But, this location does have one redeeming quality. It sits right next to a brand-new Target. And, how can you truly hate any place that neighbors the beloved bulls eye?

Then, there is my home base and the office where I spend the majority of my working days. The Bronx. More specifically, the South Bronx which I will refer to today as the Fiery Pits of Hell or {FPoH}. The location is just bad. Bad as in, no way I'm parking my car on the street past 5:00 pm as I like having four tires. Bad as in, turn your engagement ring toward your palm and stick your hand in your pocket lest the sparkle catch the eye of, well, pretty much anyone you may pass. Bad as in, the deal on the street right now is 3 pair of riveted, spandex hotpants for $5.00. You read that correctly.

Riveted. Spandex. Hotpants.

I would have taken a photo as proof but, weighed the consequences if someone were to see me and decided against it in about a nanosecond. B.A.D. My husband will be happy to read that there will be no shopping on my lunch hour because even on the best body image day of my life I would not be caught dead in those hotpants (sorry babe!) so unless I have a need to browse the aisles of Rite Aid or Staples, my cash stays in my wallet. Then, there is the food. Street carts with suspect meat, chain fast food places where even the lettuce is wilted (really, Subway, have you no standards?) or places pretending to be just like the popular chains but missing by a mile (Twin Donut). Have I mentioned that this location is bad? Oh and, I have no office space of my own here yet, either. It's in the process of being built and will be finished sometime before the end of this year. Maybe. However, there is still more space in general here and finding a private office for the day is usually not an issue.

The upside? I enjoy working with the people here. I've been with this company a long time, believe in it's mission and the services we deliver and am grateful that they valued my experience enough that I was able to come back from maternity leave as a part-time employee. Doing this, terrible locations and all, allows me to be home with our son the majority of the time while still contributing to our family income. With good reason, when asked where I work I generally stick to, "The city."


Mom said...

Great post...you do make me laugh!

nfaband said...

Wow Jen ... you certainly have brought to life the many boroughs of the city, you truly have a knack for writing. So sorry that you have to travel so much for the job, that must be tiring for a young mother like you. I'm sure though returning home to your adorable little G makes it all so much better.

Stacey said...

I'm dying over the comment about the hotpants. Seriously, that's hillarious. I'm also quite envious that you get to work in Manhattan, even if it's only on occasion.

P.S. I tagged you for a survey on my blog :) This will take you directly to the post - http://thematczakfamily.blogspot.com/2010/09/tag-youre-it.html

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