Wednesday, October 29, 2008


In the past, when I've taken the liberty of using one of my paid vacation/sick/mental health/personal days to go shopping, clean my apartment, run errands and get in an extra-long workout, I've marveled with insane jealousy at how many people in this city spend their everydays in the same way I spend my stolen 8 hours.

These are not the suited people who grouchily shuffle along side of me as I walk to work. They are not the building security guards who I beam, "Thank God It's Friday" to once a week at 8:27am. These are not even tourists (at least not in my east-side neighborhood anyway.) These are people who have the glorious luxury of not working, or working from home, or who work weird hours that allow them late nights and even later morning.
There is nothing greater than a weekday in Manhattan spent out of the office. This is something I've always aspired to. This is the reason that I will one day finish the novel that will get published, send me on a book tour and leave me working from home, whatever hours I want, on my next great literary achievement about (purses, shoes, insert accesory of choice here). All I've ever wanted was to have the hours of 9-5 on Monday-Friday to myself (so I can stay in on Saturday nights scoffing at the poor saps who only have 48 hours to live it up every week). Only I've dreamed about it on my terms. Either via the above-mentioned New York Times best-seller or by my fiance getting rich enough through his website to turn me into a lady-who-lunches (at Per Se).

It looks like my dream might come halfway true (in that I'm an HR meeting away from having my weekdays all to myself), but not on the terms I envisioned (in that I am going to have to spend my days between temp assignments and looking for a cheaper apartment). My consulting firm announced Monday that layoffs are coming and we're expecting the proverbial hammer to come down on Thursday. And while my co-workers and I whisper to each other, wondering like Heidi Klum, who is IN or OUT, I can fairly confidently say that I'm in danger of getting the axe since my group's billings have been down for sometime now.

While I generally prefer the high-drama approach of making a mountain out of a mole hill, I'm left with no choice, but to take lemons and make them into lemonade. I have my mind on my money and my money on my mind and if I lose what was never really my dream job, I better figure out a way to keep up my stiletto-wearing, martini drinking ways even as the economy flounders.

I don't know stocks and I don't know bonds, but I do know how to put a great belt on an old dress and turn it into something fabulous. So as I approach unemployment this is my attempt to make some money off what I do best (writing a brutally honest, somewhat inflated, account of my existence) and how to keep up with the Jones' (or at least that 23 year Dartmouth grad who's Daddy covers 96.5% of her rent) without spending a dime.

Stay tuned...

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