Lessons from the Real World

New York City SubwayMonths have past since I updated this weblog (which turns seven years old at the end of the year) with some details about what I’m personally up to.
As you might know, I worked in financial consulting in Vienna last summer, from July to October. Since I didn’t like the way that was going, I decided to move back to the United States. I spent several months looking for a job, but never received any interview requests. It wasn’t until March that these started coming about, and by the 17th of that month I had committed to a job at TheLadders.com in New York City.
My starting date was April 2, and I moved in with my friend Nick Harisis a couple days before. I slept on a couch dubbed “Old Faithful” for an entire two months.
My job is pretty cool. The people are great, the material is for the most part interesting, and the company in general is amazing. It was recently featured in The New York Times:
Listing Top Jobs but Charging Candidates to Seek Them
Back to my living situation: About three weeks into “living on the couch,” Mike (remember him from college) and I basically locked ourselves into living in a great place on Park Avenue South in Manhattan after only looking at a total of three places in Brooklyn.
Just as we were supposed to move in, however, two major issues arose that have caused us to be looking for a new place, this time with three bedrooms.
I don’t want to dwell on the housing saga… It is what it is. For now I’m living in the Park Avenue South place on a double-height air mattress which keeps deflating at night after it randomly sprung a hole after its fourth night in operation.
The thing cost me $40 plus a $20 pump at Target in Brooklyn. I pondered the possibility of returning it, but there was no way to fit that into my schedule. A sheet in the box proclaimed “Do not return to the place of purchase,” instead suggesting that I send it back to the manufacturer. That wouldn’t leave me with an object to sleep on, however.
Saturday morning, on the way to picking my mom up from the bus station, I stopped by a K-Mart to see of they had any vinyl repair kits. They suggested I check out Modell’s (a regional sporting goods chain) around the corner. They told me to try K-Mart… Yeah… Just in case, I had picked up a roll of flexible tubing tape at K-Mart.
The tubing tape turned out to be ineffective, and on Monday I purchased some duct tape, after unsuccessfully searching the internet for a swimming pool store in Manhattan. Somehow pools and Manhattan don’t fit well, I suppose, unless they’re at the top of a luxury high-rise.
The duct tape works pretty well. I can currently lie down on a fully inflated mattress at midnight, and my back won’t hit the floor until around six in the morning… Almost long enough for my usual night’s sleep!
I am still determined to find a pool dealer in Manhattan though. Today at work I looked up “swimming pool dealers” on yellowpages.com and found one in the East Village. Unfortunately I remembered the number wrong and apparently walked right by the place. I’m pretty sure it’s a wrong listing though.
There’s no other furniture in my bedroom except for a bar stool and a plastic dresser tower thing (left by the previous tenant) that I have used as an “office” for the past couple days. Not trusting my air mattress as a reliable and halfway comfortable place to sit, I ventured out to the neighborhood drug store at 10 p.m. this evening to buy a $12.95 lawn chair. I might need it this summer anyway… It’s not bad to sit on with my laptop in my lap.
So maybe I’ll give you some more updates over the next couple weeks, but my week, especially Monday through Friday is so ridiculously filled. Here’s my average Monday-Wednesday:
6:00am: Wake up because my air mattress has deflated, somehow manage to go back to sleep
7:15am or 7:30am: Wake up, shower
8:20am: Head out and get on the subway
8:45am: Arrive at work
Sometime between 6:30pm and 7:30pm: Leave work, take care of task (eg. buying a lamp, searching for pool store, etc.)
Sometime between 8:00pm and 8:30pm: Arrive at home
8:40pm: Get on the subway to head to gym
9:00pm: Arrive at gym
10:30pm: Leave gym, eat at Subway (as in the restaurant) around the corner
11:15pm or so: Get home
Midnight: Go to sleep
Thursday is the same except I usually head out to an after-work bar night around 6:30 and stay out until midnight or so.
Friday is also the same except I have some time off from around 6:30 until around 10, when I usually head out.
The weekend usually flies by way too quickly, especially when much of it is spent traveling (Vestal, Syracuse, etc.) or I’m somehow otherwise occupied.
I think it’ll all somewhat improve when the living situation is settled. I’m looking forward to this summer, although it will be the first time in five years that I’ll not be spending it in Vienna.

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