The Miss Jobless Chronicles is written by Caitlin O’Toole.
A wise man once said, "Under-employment is rough — especially when it's 100 degrees out and it's the first of the month." Okay, a wise man didn't really say that — but someone should have.
The air is thick like soup, and my shifts at ‘Snapshot’ magazine are sporadic. I'm getting some other nibbles, but companies are taking total advantage of the shitty economy and hiring people for like pennies an hour. Desperate fools like me apply, then do the work while quietly resenting it.
The perk of hanging around — however involuntarily — is that you get to know your neighbors. I've told you about June, my friend down the hall. Who's kind of like the hip Betty White of the building and has achieved a weird kind of Chelsea cult status. Now I have new friends — Liam, an older gay guy with a Houdini mustache who told me the other day that he had a dream about me. Creepy. Then there's Billy G., a sort of has-been actor who never really was. He has two dachshunds that drool and lick my feet in the elevator. The other day, he invited me up to his apartment to see his renovation which I was a little freaked out by — not that I was nervous about being alone with him — he seems harmless — but New Yorkers don't like to get close to anyone or make new friends. Sort of kidding, but I think I actually fall into that category.
Then there’s the woman in the apartment below me, who I simply call bitch face, who complains that my music is too “bassy.” I swear she came up one night when I was playing Billie Holiday and complained about the bass level.
Then there's Eleanor, who I call The Troll, because she's short and has insanely matted salt and pepper hair. As if someone took her in their hands and shook her like she was a toy perched on top of a pencil. She has a slightly pock-marked complexion, like she had a shitty acne problem in high school and can't get rid of the faint craters. Her skin always looks kind of moist and she has beady troll-like eyes. She also smells like patchouli, and few people can get away with that. She's always petitioning for some cause. Like, yesterday she had me sign a list to try and get the mail person to deliver the mail earlier. Okay…. I love getting mail as much as the next person. But really, honestly, it doesn't matter when it comes unless I'm expecting a check — then if it doesn't come by 6pm it sucks because I can't cash it til the next day. (Which, on most days, matters.)
The troll is tres annoying, if you haven’t already gathered. Like, she corners you with her clipboard at the door when you’re just coming home.
“Will you sign my petition?” she’ll say in her nasaly voice.
“Well, it depends on what your petition is.”
“We’re trying to get the post office to offer a more gender-neutral selection of stamps.”
Gender neutral stamps? Who does she think she is, the Betty Friedan of the building? Who the hell does she want on the stamps — Chaz Bono?
Like, right now I have Liberty Bell stamps. Are those male or female? Read more