|WE WERE FRACTIOUS
AND overpaid. Our mornings lacked promise. At least those of us who smoked
had something to look forward to at ten-fifteen. Most of us liked most
everyone, a few of us hated specific individuals, one or two people loved
everyone and everything. Those who loved everyone were unanimously
reviled. We loved free bagels in the morning. They happened all too
infrequently. Our benefits were astonishing in comprehensiveness and
quality of care. Sometimes we questioned whether they were worth it. We
thought moving to India might be better, or going back to nursing school.
Doing something with the handicapped or working with our hands. No one
ever acted on these impulses, despite their daily, sometimes hourly
contractions. Instead we met in conference rooms to discuss the issues of
Ordinarily jobs came in and we completed them in a timely and professional manner. Sometimes fuckups did occur. Printing errors, transposed numbers.Our business was advertising and details were important. If the third number after the second hyphen in a client's toll-free number was a six instead of an eight, and if it went to print like that, and showed up in Time magazine, no one reading the ad could call now and order today. No matter they could go to the website, we still had to eat the price of the ad. Is this boring you yet? It bored us every day. Our boredom was ongoing, a collective boredom, and it would never die because we would never die.
Lynn Mason was dying. She was a partner in the agency. Dying? It was uncertain. She was in her early forties. Breast cancer. No one could identify exactly how everyone had come to know this fact. Was it a fact?