Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Ten Ways To Spot a Tourist

Until recently, I sat in my office during my lunch break, using my phone, talking, or killing time some other way. Then one day I decided that people all over the world dream of visiting NYC, and spend a huge amount of their money doing it, yet here I am, in the heart of manhattan, day after day after day. And I don't appreciate it at all.

So lately, I've taken to walking during my lunch break. I have so much fun "people watching" as I like to call it. (The exercise-I walk fast- is a nice bonus too.) Lately I've been noticing that tourists and New Yorkers are different species. Here are Top Ten ways to spot a tourist:

10) They buy things from street vendors without haggling or trying to get a discount of any sort.

9) They have a camera on a strap around their neck. And they're wearing an I-Love-NY tee-shirt.

8) They look shocked that there is a man cursing into a public telephone at the top of his lungs.

7) They stand at street corners taking pictures of the tall, tall buildings.

6) The roll these huge suitcases along the street, and they look thrilled to be doing it.

5) They walk really slowly. They probably talk slowly too, though you generally can't see that.

4) They look surprised, rather than alarmed, when a random stranger smiles at them.

3) They stand on the sidewalk until the walk sign actually appears. And they look scandalized that there are natives already across the street by then.

2) They actually notice, and seem both fascinated and terrified by the homeless man standing at the corner singing into an old flute as if it's a mic.

1) They can't recognize a Jew when choosing someone from whom to ask directions to the nearest Burger King.

How do you spot a tourist in NYC?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I'm Feeling Old. Again.

She looks up at me with her sweet, 9 year old eyes. "You know which book I really like? A light for Greytowers. Did you ever read it?"

"I did," I replied. "But not for a long time. I probably haven't read it since I was your age."

She looked puzzled. "That can't be. The book isn't THAT old."

Suddenly her eyes weren't so sweet anymore. Way to make me feel old, kid.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hereby, Forthwith, and All That Other Stuff

That's it. I quit.

Seriously, when I applied, I had no idea what I was signing up for. The toilet paper, the toothbrush- they have nothing on me. This job is the pits, plain and simple.

My first interview feels like yesterday. It started with MP elbow deep in my drawer, scrounging for what she deemed "appropriate" for the occasion. My hair was scrutinized, ("you'll have to wear it down.) My makeup was subject to strict critique, ("not too much, you don't want to look like a clown, but not too little; you need to look put together.") Then we tackled my shoes. Don't even get me started.

I arrived at the interview exactly on time. As I walked in, I tried not to think about MP's opinion of such compulsive behavior. ("You don't want to look too desperate.") Keeping all of the (unsolicited) advice in my mind, I walked in. I like to think I appeared natural, but not overconfident. Smiley, but not smug.

The lady who conducted my interview was pleasant enough, but underneath her friendly demeanor I could tell that she was asking some pretty pointed questions.

I won't relive the follow up interviews. Suffice it to day that I did not enjoy them. Not at all. The end, I repeatedly told myself, will justify the means.

Yet as the whole process dragged on, I started to lose hope. Maybe I won't get this job. Maybe I don't even want this job.

And hear I sit, thoroughly absorbed in this business, and it doesn't live up to the hype. It doesn't live up to any of the glorious expectations. Others seem happy here, but I think this job is a heap of abuse.

And I've had enough. Why did I sign up for a position that would constantly occupy my thoughts, cause such misery, and pay so little? When did shidduchim turn into a full time job anyway?

And so I quit. Hereby, forthwith, and all that other stuff. Who else is jumping ship?