Another early morning. I jumped the gun yesterday when I said that the day was going by quickly. Keep in mind I was writing at 7.30 in the morning. I'm usually on the bus at that time, just kind of zoned out. I think I was delirious, just happy to have made it to work early without any major mishaps.
This morning went smoother? Well my alarm went off like it was supposed to, so I was already ahead of the game. Caught some of the Today show this morning. I know they are on TV all the time. But now, Meredith and Matt and Ann (I love Ann) are in Vancouver! I could literally walk over and harass...see them right now that's how close they are. I won't. I'm sure security is tight and I doubt Amy would let me...but the point is I could.
I guess the problem with these heinously early mornings, is that I haven't yet learned any real coping mechanisms. For a regular day, I have Anna to entertain me (emailing me about Hannah Montana...trust me, it was relevant), the Record to email with and of course, you lot to write to. In a weird, one-sided way. But right now, The Record is still fighting lights laid out by Inbred Drunk City Planners, Anna is somewhere on the skytrain, trying not to touch anything (or get touched by anyone. Or get herpes. Welcome to Vancouver), and none of the blogs that I follow has posted anything I haven't already posted.
OK segue, are you ready...
Of all my coping mechanisms, perhaps the most effective has been the emailing (kind of reminds me of an old school essay, that segue) I always have an email buddy. First it was Claire. Occasionally Mary-Kate will drop me a line, the Swede too. My cousin is always good for it. These days The Record steps up in a big way.
Point is, an email buddy is necessary to escape the crazy that is the Cubicle.
But not just any email buddy will do. You see, entertaining emailing is almost an art form. You must be funny, yet observant, empathetic, yet informative. Sounds like a lot of work no? It is. But you can do it. Because I have come up with some...I don't want to say rules, I don't want these to feel rigid...lets go with guidelines.
Guideline #1. Choose Wisely. Like choosing co-worker friends, an email buddy is a big committment. You don't want to make the wrong choice and be forever receiving chain emails that warn your genitals will turn green and fall off if you don't forward it to 5 people. Choose someone you already know, someone that has at least some time to kill every day, someone that has a similar sense of humour, who will understand (and not be offended by) sarcasm in print. Tricky.
Guideline #2. Start Generally. Becoming an email buddy can be intimidating so start slowly. Discuss the weather- did it affectyour commute? Is it unseasonably warm? Relate some amusing office anecdotes- did someone burp in the lunchroom? Fall off their chair? Did you see someone with a crazy haircut on the bus (didn't shaving under and leaving long on top die with the 90s?)? Once you start covering these generalities, you will start to find more interesting commonalities and that's where the real fun begins.
Guideline #3. Gain Your Buddy's Trust. In the beginning a new email buddy can feel very vulnerable, so in order to cement your status, you will have to do something to earn your buddy's trust. Maybe you have information about a Torch Relay that no one else does- share it. Maybe you know something about a mutual friend -pass it along. Obviously your email buddy plays by the same rules, and will keep your secret. After all, an email buddy relationship is a 2 way street.
Guideline #4. Gossip. Now that you are firmly established in an email buddy relationship, the fun stuff starts! But sometimes, nothing is really happening in real life. The office is boring, the weather is normal, no freaks on transit. What to do? Turn to celebrities. There's never a slow day in Hollywood (and if it is, they just make sh*t up). Quickly take a look at People.com or my favourite, laineygossip.com and find something. Maybe the Kardashians are fighting, maybe Brangelina adopted a new kid, maybe Madonna did something more messed up to her face. Something will have happened. Find it and discuss!
Guideline #5 Real Life Plans. By now you have shared something special for a number of weeks. Its time to take your relationship to the next level and plan real life outings. Maybe this isn't a stretch, perhaps your email buddy is your best friend in real life. In that case, you're ahead of the game. But more often, its someone that you don't see very often, used to work with, or a friend of a friend finding themselves in a similar work situation. And since you are champs at the written word, talk about everything in your daily lives, the time has come to translate that into a real life friendship. Start small- coffee, a drink, shopping. Go from there.
Follow these guidelines and you'll not only have a coping mechanism for every day in hell, but you might even make a real life friend.
Until that friend decides to volunteer and leave you in the lurch until March 1st.
PS Guideline #6 Delete Delete Delete! Always delete the emails you send and the emails you receive. And make sure to empty that trash!