You ran a comedy show in Williamsburg called Filthy Stinking Rich. Each week you brought fake money and coins you bought at dollar stores and put them all over the backroom of the venue. Money was the most fascinating and hilarious topic to you, and you knew so many comedians had bits about being broke and terrible with money so you were hoping it would resonate with Williamsburg hipsters. You were wrong. The show lasted two years and never advanced past "extremely poorly attended Brooklyn bar show" status. Your promotional skills were lacking and perhaps you were more focused on making sure you had fake 100 dollar bills for the audience.
Money is a subject of desire. It is a character in the world that can bring immense joy, extreme pleasure, extraordinary stress, and life ruination. You were trying to explore it, understand it, and overcome its power. Then, you became a temporary receptionist at one of the largest wealth asset management firms in the world.
Temping is the casual sex of work. You interviewed for a full time position and waited nearly 8 weeks to hear if you got it or not. The word was that the company (which was a Fortune 500) did not want to pay your temp agency fee. Every day you went into this company and looked at the floral arrangement on your desk.
On your first day there, your boss asked you how much you thought the flowers cost. He said with cocaine fueled pride that the flowers cost the exact same as your weekly pay.
Each week, the florist would swap out the flowers for fresh ones, even though the flowers were still very beautiful and healthy. And the florist who delivered them told you that she insisted on keeping them for herself and continued to let them grow in her own personal garden because it was such a huge waste to throw away perfectly beautiful, healthy flowers weekly. She knew it was a disgusting thing to do. They did this to impress clients. That's it. You also knew she had to live in Jersey if she had a garden.
You wanted more than anything to be accepted there. You were ready to part with a half assed media career and become a full time money queen. A financial guru, a wolfette of Wall Street. It meant you would receive a full time salary, healthcare benefits, 401K, and fancy midtown happy hours. And most of all, not having a panic attack about making rent every single month.
Each day you arrived early in a pretty Forever 21 dress and stocked the fridge full of Perrier. The hungover finance guys loved their ice cold water. They noticed. They adored you. But still it was not enough. You had a degree in creative writing, not in finance. They saw you for what you were - the temporary.
They threw you away. Some of them felt bad about it, others stopped talking to you when you replaced the Keurig cups on their floor because they felt awkward about it being the right decision. You were a messy comedian with a background in television, not a woman ready to reception clients and be involved with managing the wealth of large companies and powerful entities. You had a lot to learn about what money really meant both personally and professionally.
On your last day, they had a small party for you. Whole Foods mini cupcakes and champagne. You left that day with a plastic cup full of champagne and walked down 5th avenue with it in tow, head held high and tears falling down your face. You were really going to miss that 49th floor view.