Leif Pettersen's Travelogue

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Random Musings on Being Unemployed
(SUBTITLED: “Neener, Neener, Neeeeeener!!!”)

Posted on 6/20/03


I have been unemployed for a whopping seven business days now. I have not even eclipsed my longest vacation-related absence from the Bank yet, but somehow, I have changed. Reached a higher level of consciousness. Evolved.

What does that feel like? Well, it pretty much feels like I’m EFFING BRILLIANT!!!! Ha, ha, ha! Woo hoo! I rule!!!

Jezus, I tell ya, tomorrow morning, for the first time since leaving work, I have to get up at a certain time so as not to miss my complimentary breakfast at this beautiful, yet dry-heave-inducingly over-priced Bergen hotel. As I was diddling with the alarm and sorting out the timing for me to sleep as late as possible while still having time to thoroughly stuff my face and/or pocket as much food as decency will allow, I realized that this is exactly what I used to go through each week-night. I would get into my rocket ship jammies, brush my teeth and then sit on my bed and go through the wake-up schedule calculations. I’ll try to paraphrase the running mental narrative of the thought process that I used to go through every night:

“OK, what day is tomorrow? Wednesday? Fuck, is that all? Arrrrrg! This is the longest week in the history of human existence!!!!! OK, OK, calm down. So, I need to be at work at 10:00, so that means getting up at 9:00. But wait, I don’t have to make my lunch. I have that left-over pad thai chicken in the fridge. OK, add five minutes. What else? Do I need to shave? (check face) Nah! Add seven minutes! That puts me at 9:12! Awright! Now we’re talkin’! What else can I slice off? If I’m naughty and park in the pay lot, and not pay of course, rather than parking on the other side of the river, I can knock another 12 minutes off! Cool. I’m getting up at 9:24! Oh shit, I have a conference call at exactly 10:00, don’t I? Dammit! So, that means I have to be there and ready to function at 10:00, not just half-dazed and wandering around the building, pre-caffeinated. I need to be in a room somewhere with my cup of ice and my Coke and preferably have sucked down at least half the Coke by 10:00. Aw, man... OK minus seven minutes, that brings us to 9:17. Anything else?….” And so on until about 1:30 in the morning.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled as a wino at a Bartles and James tanker accident to have that task bounced out of my daily routine forever. Just having the freedom to wake up at 11:00 on any particular day and think to myself, “Naah, not yet,” roll over, fart and go back to sleep... It’s priceless. Yeah, I have planes to catch, people to meet and complimentary breakfasts to plunder, but by and large this kind of freedom is all mine, baby. Besides, I can always go back to sleep after the breakfast or on the plane or what have you. That was not an option at the Bank. Those people rode me like the town mule… Not really, they were pretty great, but they sure as hell weren’t going to let me curl up on the floor and go back to sleep upon arrival at my desk, so the analogy still stands.

This is as sickeningly sweet as it gets. Having gotten too drunk on several occasions and with the jetlag that I’ve been nursing from all of the times zones that I’ve ripped through in the past week, the realization of this independence has just hit me in the past 10 minutes. Seriously. I was all ready for bed (I’m in my penguin boxers, there wasn’t enough room for the rocket ship jammies) and totally exhausted from a full day of wandering around Bergen. It was a perfect day. Sunny and 75 degrees. I kept myself busy watching ships of every size from dinghies to ocean-liners come and go, eating a salmon and mini-shrimp sandwich from the harbor that was so fresh that it was still twitching and ogling the countless beautiful women in the park, half naked and swarming around me in every direction. But it wasn’t all roses, I do have a little bit of a sun burn on my shoulders…. Bwaa ha ha ha! I’m messin’ with ya, it was frickin’ heaven! Where was I? Oh yeah, so I was about to collapse into my itty bitty bed when this realization whacked me in the kneecap and I lunged for my laptop to put these feelings into print. Aren’t you glad that I did? Especially you guys at the Bank? Huh? Aren’tcha?

Yeah, I’m a little shit. :P

Good night.


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