09 July 2010
The sport of People Watching has always been one of my favorites.
Meeting new people may be a close second.
I don’t always love the new people I meet, but I do love learning about other people’s lives.
As the great English poet Roderick David Stewart once said, Every Picture Tells A Story, Don’t It?
It sure do.
In my current workplace, a temporary job for two more weeks, I share an office with two gentlemen.
On the surface, we don’t have a whole lot in common.
One is a 24-year old single-man and one is a 52-year old married man.
They don’t have kids. I have three.
In just a couple of weeks of getting to know him, the single man has shared many a detail about his single life. He lives downtown, enjoys the nightlife and wonders where his career is going.
The married man, a former standup comedian, has been writing and producing television shows for much of his adult life. He moved to our area, from Los Angeles, to try and improve his quality of life.
When it comes to ranking their priorities, work and career are definitely not at the top of the list.
Both guys, like me, are on freelance status.
Meaning, we don’t get medical insurance or any “benefits” AND as an extra bonus, they can get rid of us at any time.
In my case, I was signed for seven weeks, of which I have served five so far.
In their case, as long as there is work to be done, hopefully they have a place to spend their days.
Fortunately, we all get along VERY well.
We share a similar sense of humor.
We all have a cloudy, cynical outlook on what the working world has become.
And at 5 O’clock, we go home.
The 52-year old man recently bought a new home in our area after moving here just a couple of months ago.
The fact that his wife is out of work and he could be the same at any moment doesn’t seem to bother him.
His credentials are very impressive with previous work in everything from sitcoms to music videos to cable series, so hopefully he’s got a nice stash under his mattress.
The other member of our office trio is just getting started.
He is still trying to battle his way out of college debt.
He earned his degree a couple of years ago and with it came a big pile of bills.
Now he’s working a couple of jobs, including one in his preferred field of a career (TV production) and one in his preferred field of making money (bartending).
Like any 24-year old single man living in a downtown bachelor pad, he still finds time to work in a social life.
Just two weeks ago, he informed us that if you are ever downtown AND you run out of cash AND you need to buy a hot dog from a street vendor in the middle of the night, there is one street vendor downtown who actually takes credit cards.
Last Saturday night he was headed to that vendor for a late night/early morning snack.
Unfortunately he never made it there.
While on his way, walking with a couple of friends, a “huge” man walked up to my friend and punched him in the face.
It must’ve been punched, as in plural, because when the attack was over, the damage was devastating.
Broken bones on his forehead, a broken nose, two swollen eyes and he had some teeth knocked out.
The injuries were so bad that when he got to the hospital after the attack, they had to airlift him to another hospital for more specialized treatment.
By all accounts, this was a completely random attack for no apparent reason and unfortunately the man who did this has not been caught.
According to the police, there has been a string of these going on downtown for the last few months.
There have been some arrests made, but clearly they didn’t get everyone.
My co-worker had some significant plastic surgery yesterday and fortunately he is doing well.
He expects to be back at work as early as next week, which is great news for us.
And great news for him as he looks to pay off some new debt.