Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Surreal Life

Part of my day job is acting as a copy-editor for our company's online magazine, e-Shop Talk. It makes me sound like I'm one of several editors, but the reality is I'm it. I'm not only a copy-editor, I'm the chief editor and one of the contributing writers. Wednesday mornings I've set aside time in my schedule to deal with these duties. Today was particularly grueling. Lots of articles to edit, coupled with a few writers who forgot what punctuation and grammar were, made my morning busy, and miserable.

The reason I'm miserable is that I'm a coward, and a hack. Compared to real professional writers and editors, I'm just not up to par. I'm a wannabe when it comes to writing, and I know it, so I hate editing others. The trouble is that some of them are worse than me. How do you tell your fellow hacks that they suck more that you do? It's not pretty. In any case, after a near non-stop four hour "sit and edit" fest in front of my computer, I finally got a reprieve. I could stand up and take a break.

Let me tell you something about my desk. For better or worse, when our department moved I volunteered to be in the crappy spot. It guaranteed (at the time) that I'd pretty much be left alone. I like that sort of thing when I'm working so it seemed like it would be a good thing. Now I share the space with two other people. So much for a good thing.

My workspace doesn't have much light. The only window is on the other side of the room, blocked by a cubicle divider. The overhead lamps need to be replaced so the only real light I get is from the CRT screen and the small fluorescent light attached to my desk.

After four hours I needed to see some sunshine. I needed to see the outside. I needed variety. There's a door right behind my desk that leads to one of the entranceways for my building. It's a small 4'x6' vestibule with a glass door on one side, leading out, two doors on either side (one leads to my department, the other to a stairway). There's another door, opposite the outside door, but it doesn't count. It's closet.

Anyway, I got up from my desk and went into the entranceway. The air outside was cold, and made the glass feel cold as well. The sky was clear and blue. Everything looked crisp and bright. The shock between sitting in the dark, enclosed space of my desk, and the glass door leading to the bright outdoors left me feeling like I was in an airlock. I consciously knew there was air on the other side of the door, but I couldn't help but wonder if I should find a space suit to put on. It was an amazing, and surreal experience.

So what did I do? I turned right around, returned to my desk, and started blogging about it.

I'm pathetic.

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