Ennui

I’m paid pretty well. Although not that well for Manhattan. My coworkers seem to think I’m talented. But sometimes I feel like I’m really bad at my job. And I really am bad at my job sometimes. It’s not just crying wolf. Clearly I am feeling sorry for myself, even though in a global or even historical sense I am one of the most fortunate people ever born.

I went to a goodbye party today for one of the assistants at Time Inc. She told a story that boiled down to this: Her VP asked her to go buy a tie that he wanted to give as a gift — a “power tie.” He says, “Here’s $40. Go to Saks and buy a tie.” This gets a big laugh that I don’t understand. Then my boss says, “Did he say go to 7/11?” And I’m thinking, “What is she talking about???” Then the assistant reveals that the ties at Sacks are around $150, but she did manage to pick one up at Banana Republic for $60. But it was rejected by the VP and he took her back to Saks to teach her how to buy a real tie. He just didn’t have any concept of how much his ties cost, so he had just handed her what cash was in his wallet. Everyone was asking her why she left with $40 when she knew it was at least $100 shy of what she’d need. And I kept thinking that I wouldn’t have thought twice about that.

I doubt that I will ever be wealthy. But I also doubt there’s enough wealth in the world to justify $150 ties. I heard somewhere that only people who can truly envision themselves as rich ever get rich. I don’t think I’m on that list.

I’m all over the place tonight. I need something to focus me. I feel like I’m a little light on confidence. For the millionth time I think maybe I’ll do some writing, but I usually don’t. When I was younger the things that I wrote always created such a fuss, that I began to dread it. I’m not such a fine person that I didn’t like the accolades. I just began to sink under the weight of not being able to live up to my own hype. So first I wrote for newspapers, and then television, then ad copy and finally tiny internet blurbs. And I don’t even write many of those anymore. I’m hopelessly backward about the whole thing.

Maybe I’m spending too much time in my head.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. You can justify a $150 tie by… um. By saying… er… they last longer?
    They’re better at catching food?
    You should write a novel. One page a day, just like Glenn. Starting… now!

    Reply

  2. You can’t spell Ennui without NYC…well, metaphorically. I think New York is a city that fosters that mood and you have to fight it. The juxtaposition of so many people and such extremes of wealth and poverty all in the same block, all in the same office for that matter can be overwhelming. Everyone I know in New York is beating themselves up right now because they’re not where or who they think they should be. Let yourself off the hook. You don’t have to be doing anything right now but paying your bills and finding ways to enjoy yourself. When you want to write, you will but your not a bad person if you don’t.
    …this from a man who’s supposed to have a Rock Opera staged in April that he hasn’t written yet.

    Reply

  3. I would pay $150 for a tie that could catch food, but only if it would cook it too. But after I finished watching it do that, I would sell it on Craig’s List to try to get my cash back.
    Maybe I will write a novel. And I will dedicate it to you for your great energy and attitude.

    Reply

  4. You both offer good advice and just the right attitude. Work is just bad right now, and like most people in a bad situation I’m very short sighted. It can’t stay like this, right? Right?

    Reply

  5. A good tie knows that food tastes better when you catch it yourself.
    Why thank ye, ma’am. I shall beam profoundly when I see it on the Barnes and Noble Staff Recomendations shelf.
    Just so you know, the dedication page doesn’t count as today’s page. No cheating!

    Reply

  6. A month ago I had four mortgages, a shaky job situation, and a cold.
    Now I have two mortgages, some lucrative moonlighting work with no forseeable end, and a 48 pack of Alka-Seltzer Plus.
    Ride that roller coaster, baby.

    Reply

  7. RyanJ delivers the only out-loud laugh of the day!
    You’re a good man.

    Reply

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