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I’m re-watching the first season of the Wire. They mentioned Avon Barksdale is 31. In 31 years Avon gains control of the heroin trade in half of a major metropolitan market. I’m 31 and I don’t have a single corner. I just sit in a cubicle all day.

One of those things that makes you wonder if you could be doing more with your life.

I like the title, I might have to make that a regular WFS feature. So I’ve spent a lot of time over the last 14 years driving too close to the car in front of me. I have also encouraged many friends to get in fender benders with attractive women, thus requiring said women to fork over their phone number. This morning the logical conclusion of those two habits happened. I rear ended a cute girl, and got not one, but two cute girls phone numbers.

Cutie A saw a bum who looked like he wanted to cross the street and did the natural thing one does when they are in heavy traffic turning onto a freeway on ramp and one spots a bum, slammed on the breaks as hard as she could. Cutie B then smacked Cutie A in the bumper, and slammed into Cutie B’s bumper. This sounds more fun than it was. The previously mentioned bum helped me push my car to the side of the road before scurrying off.

Nobody was hurt, info was exchanged, I have two cute girls phone numbers. And the question is, would it be creepy to attempt to use these numbers to get a date? I suppose I only need one of the two girls to answer ‘no’ to make this a viable option.

On the down side of the incident, my car is fucked up, I don’t know how long it will be before I can drive again. That means my commute will triple in time (assuming Google’s estimate of the trip is accurate), and if it isn’t road worthy by the time school starts I’m going to have 3+ hours of commuting to do everyday. On the whole I would not recommend this as an effective strategy to meet women.

I have a job interview tomorrow, very inconvenient on the eve of the eve of my first final. When I first saw the job ad it seemed like a good fit and the company did a good job of hyping itself up (they have an on-site gym). All my interactions thus far have been with a particularly inhuman HR department*, assuring me that I’m walking back into another soulless corporation.

After a year of living as a poor graduate student, the prospect of a regular pay check is enticing. The job also seems like a step up from what I’ve done in the past, but I never liked what I did in the past.

I hope this blog still doesn’t show up when my name is googled. Hopefully near-future posts will be more upbeat.

*I’m not trying to insult the persons I’ve talked to, the inhumanity stems from the fact that they seem to have a lot of anal protocal to follow.

The Setup

A friend of mine had good connections to get interviews to work as an investment banker when he graduated from college. He didn’t take advantage because he didn’t want to work 100+ hours a week. Instead he has worked a variety of jobs that he hasn’t been very happy with, and occasionally laments not giving Wall Street a chance.
Today I was pulled into an email discussion about whether or not recent market events should make him happy he chose the path he did. I was alone arguing that even if he was currently losing his fortune and at risk of losing his job he still might be happier had he been an investment banker. The two arguing that he was better off not giving his life to his job at 23 are two of the most career oriented people I know under 30. I pointed out the oddity of our positions, considering I was sitting at a coffee shop by the beach at 11:30 on a monday morning, and had bought my refreshment with student loan money.
The response was that the grass is always greener on the other side. Finally getting me to my point.

The Best Email I Wrote Today

The grass is pretty fucking green where I’m sitting.

A Tangent

Suppose that my friends overall happiness since graduating from college is higher than it would’ve been had he been an investment banker. Let’s also suppose that his overall happiness would have been higher had he been a rich Wall Street type and the financial collapse didn’t happen (so the current path is better soley because of the financial collapse). Did he still make the right choice?
My point being that looking at decisions in retrospect, is it fair to judge them with full hindsight, or should they be judged by what we knew at the time? I would argue the latter.
It’s also a nice example of how the black swan theory can be applied to personal decisions. If you decide to follow road A, imagine some horrible scenarios that the road could take you to (like devoting your life to a job just for money and then losing everything). Then consider the likelihood. Even if the chance is small, if it’s bad enough you might want to take road B. Of course the same considerations should be made about road B.

In true Workings for Suckers fashion, I’ve been trying to quit my job this week. Every time I do my boss is either gone or gives me a ‘No Time!’ Her love of pretending to be busy used to be funny, but I’m losing my patience.

This might not amuse the blog-o-sphere as much as it does me, but a co-worker found this picture of my boss online:

She doesn’t usually look that pleasent around the office.

A female middle aged cubicle neighbor told me I look like a partier today at work. I’m not sure how to take that, but I don’t think I like it. I would’ve argued if I hadn’t had a six pack last night.

In unrelated news, I don’t usually click on ads for dating sites, but I couldn’t pass up on this one.

One of the key concepts to the working is for suckers proof is known as the Easterlin paradox. As you know, the Eastern paradox states that increased wealth, in the form of economic growth, does not lead to increased happiness. So clearly, working which makes few people happy and many people sad, for more money, which doesn’t make you happy, is for suckers.

Once again, the liberal media has shaken my world view. The New York Times reports on a paper that offers a rebuttal to the Easterlin paradox. I haven’t read the paper, but if this is true I might have to re-name the blog and start paying attention to what’s going on around the cubicle farm.

Hat tip (on perhaps the opposite) to Marginal Revolution.

The man took away my casual friday this week, something about a client visit. This upsets me, and it upsets me that this upsets me. Casaul Friday is a silly idea, why do I care that I can’t wear jeans to work for one day?

It occurs to me that other things about cubicle life upset me in relation to the principles I had when I was a younger (poorer) lad. I’m not very happy how good I am with Excel. I find spreadsheets to be an excellent symbol of…while I’m not sure. But they symbolize something, and I’m part of the problem, not the solution.

I would like to remedy these problems with a job that involves no dress code (even for client visits) and requires no use of spreadsheets, or anything else that puts collections of numbers and letters into 2X2 grids.

I think I might be asking too much.

ps I wanted to put a bubble of Lumberg in the above picture telling me I have to wear slacks tomorrow, but my Photoshop is screwy.

Tyler at Marginal Revolution asks his readers (lucky bastard has readers) for great years for individuals compared to Al Gore who has received an Oscar, a Nobel Peace prize and wrote a bestseller.

While 2007 hasn’t been long on awards for me, I did quit my job travel around Central America, relocate to San Diego and hopefully quit a second job. I love quitting jobs. I also started a noteworthy blog.

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