Friday, November 7, 2008

Men at Work

I haven't been near a computer much over the past couple of days. In fact, right now, I'm meant to be sitting at a table, with a large cup of coffee and perhaps a Danish pastry or a sub-par bagel, and listening to a couple of lawyers take turns talking about some of the current developments in the more arcane areas of pass-through entity taxation. But I'm not doing that because yesterday, after a very long and very boring day of doing that exact same thing, I and two of my bosses had to hurry back to the office to have an evening meeting with some clients who could not wait until Monday to discuss their own developments, which also happened to be occurring in some of the more arcane areas of pass-through taxation. After the meeting, my bosses and I discussed the tax issues, then I did some more research, and then it was too late to go to choir practice, so I went home. I self-medicated (Benadryl: am I wicked or what?) and was asleep before 10.

I believe, and my boss believes, that I've resolved the technical issues for this particular problem, but according to the clients, there exists in their lawyer's office a 110-page, single-spaced memo about a particular issue, and we don't want to give the client the final answer until I've had a chance to review that memo. So while I should be downtown trying to stay awake, I'm at the office, hoping that the lawyer got my boss' voicemail and emails the memo to me early enough in the day so that I can still make it downtown in time for lunch and to sleep through the afternoon session.

I can't truly claim to love my job or even like it very much. I can say that I don't dislike it and that it is not infrequently interesting and intellectually stimulating. I can also say that I work for and with good people who value my contributions and who mostly don't require me to assume the sort of odious managerial duties that are typically required of someone at my level. And, really, it doesn't much matter to me whether I'm sitting in my office waiting for an email or sitting at a seminar table trying not to stay awake at least a few moments longer than my boss.

It is depressingly common for white-collar workers (What a phrase: I can't remember the last time I wore a white-collared shirt to work. It's business casual around here, except that during tax season and the summer, Fridays are jeans days.) to whinge about how difficult their jobs are. Oh, the work! Oh, the hours! Dude. Sitting at a desk and reading, typing, and answering the occasional phone call are not hard work. Attending frequent meetings (which I really don't have to do because I'm relatively smart and very lucky) is unpleasant, but it's not hard work, either. I'm sure there are exceptions, but for the most part in our society, the people who work the hardest are the people who earn the least. So, yeah, I missed choir practice last night, but I'm pretty sure that I didn't work nearly as hard as the people who served us our lunch yesterday.

Anyway, my memo has arrived, and it pretty much confirms what I already knew, so I'm going to print it out, highlight a few passages, and head downtown. Enjoy these pictures of men who are doing a particular kind of job that they appear to love.


A Lewis said...

I see that you medicate with the same illegal drugs that I do...although I use generic Benadryl. And I dig that top boy with bare feet.

Ashe said...

You do what the rest of us do, just like the pics. We all just suck it up.

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Actually, Lewis, I generally take two Benadryl, but I only had one generic Benadryl left, so I stole one of b&c's name brand Benadryls. I think that makes it a designer drug.

I picked up a bottle of the generic at Costco this weekend, though. At my current rate of consumption, they should last me until 2015 or so.