Sep 17, 2008

Tedium and Nostalgia

On my way to work this morning, my ipod stumbled upon "Relax" and I almost cried. This is not a good sign. I think I may be suffering from PTSD.

Perhaps the pangs of nostalgia would subside somewhat if things picked up a bit at BM. Unfortunately, I seem to be de trop on my current assignment (whatever it is), and my manager has yet to find any use for me other than going through a small library of background documents (all of which I've already finished reading; one of the side-effects of having been a lawyer is being able to digest mountains of information in a very short timespan). So, instead of being productively employed and thus suitably distracted from my INSEAD-driven thoughts, I am sitting at my sad little desk, staring at my sad little computer and (discreetly) blogging.

The silver lining (and there always is one) is that the lack of anything BM-related to do has left me plenty of time for flat-hunting, my current number 1 priority. I mean, it's nice to be living the teenage dream of having my mother coddle me while still being able to go out whenever I want, but all good things must come to an end. It is time for me to trade in home-cooked meals, clean laundry and a vastly oversized living space for a "room of my own", à la Virgina Woolf, where everything in the fridge will be past its due date, six-months old editions of ELLE will be littering the floor and two cats will be on the verge of murder-suicide. But the parties will be legendary (apologies to my future neighbours). It's not a done deal yet but I think I may have found the perfect bachelorette pad, in my favourite neighbourhood in Paris. Fingers crossed.

Sep 14, 2008

BM 007

In theory, I start proper work tomorrow. I say in theory because my manager at BM has yet to contact me to tell me what the heck I'm actually supposed to be doing, or even where I'm supposed to be. I'm taking an educated guess and hoping that somewhere in the Paris area is my general destination. Perhaps on my way to the office some woman will stop me and say "gee, there sure are a lot more people in red t-shirts than there used to be" and I'll say "well, red is the new black", at which point she'll hand me a briefcase with fingerprint-encrypted DVD instructions inside that self-destruct after 30 seconds. "Your mission, should you decide to accept it..."

Of course my "mission" is top secret. As is everything at BM. We are not allowed to tell strangers we work for BM. We are not allowed to disclose the name of our clients, or to tell people where we are travelling to in case they can deduce the identity of our client based on the destination. We are not to use the BM name to reserve a table in a restaurant, in the apparently quite likely event that enemy agents decide to sit next to us and spike our drinks and end up torturing us for information.

On the one hand, it's rather intoxicating to think that I'm a new, corporate James-Bond-type figure (in a dashing, fitted Hugo Boss pant suit and Jimmy Choos, of course). On the other hand, it's a massive conversation killer and basically guarantees that I will never get a date again. Imagine the scene: it's a crowded, no-longer-smoky bar, the margaritas appear, a tall, dark handsome stranger leans in and asks: "So, what do you do?" "I can't tell you." "Oh. Will you be in Paris next week?" "I can't tell you." "Right. Oh look. I think I see my friend over there. Nice meeting you. (Aside) Nut case."

Sep 7, 2008

Week 1 as a Nugget

There's only one person I know of who will understand the joke in the title, which just goes to show I have a very odd sense of humour, but hey, sometimes you need it, particularly when you turn your life topsy-turvy and go from law school to law firm to MBA to consulting firm and people start looking at you like you're nuts.

It's now official. I am a bona fide consultant at Big Massive Consulting Firm (BM). Well, sort of. So far, all I've done is spent one week learning how to use a telephone, how to fill in my expense reports, and how to locate the coffee machine while blindfolded and chased by a rabid dog at 5a.m. Next week, I get to replay INSEAD, and spend long hours learning how to work in a group, read and analyse a case, make a very lame powerpoint presentation and take abuse while smiling. And then I will be a bona fide consultant at BM. Assuming I get staffed on something (as opposed to "beached", which sounds nice if you're thinking pina coladas with umbrellas, but not so nice if you're thinking large, stranded whale).

So here I am, staring out the window at a grey, uninviting sky, thinking I really need to get a move on and pack my suitcase for training, and wincing as I recall that less than 10 days ago I was in the south of France, basking in sunshine and surrounded by some of my closest INSEAD friends. Just this past Friday I met a group of alumni, toutes promotions confondues, and was told by someone older and wiser than myself that I should be prepared for 6 months to one year of post-graduation depression. Oh goody. On a positive note, I was also told that no matter how cynical I might be, I was sure to keep some of my fellow MBA friends for life, a thought which cheered me up considerably.

My next plan of action (besides learning how to be a good little BM nugget) is therefore to go out there and find myself a flat (must at all costs avoid the Tanguy syndrome), and make sure it includes lots of spare mattresses, sleeping bags, closets to pass out in, so I can welcome all my friends, new and old, and turn it into a small but vital hub of cheerfulness when BM gets me down (and we all know it will).

Please say a little prayer for me to the gods of flathunting.

PS: As I was having dinner with my absolutely oldest friend last night (congrats on the engagement!) I realized that besides the occasional wedding recap, I spend very little time writing about those who have been near and dear for more than just ten months. This does not mean I do not love you, and I promise to remedy this grave injustice in the future. So to all of you who, while I have been frolicking in the forest being utterly irresponsible, have been busy working, changing jobs, running companies, buying flats, getting engaged/married/pregnant/small people, thanks for being patient and forgiving. I'm back.