Miss(ed) Manners

June 23, 2006

Miss(ed) Manners: Happy Hour!

Filed under: Column,Humor,Life,Manners,Personal — missedmanners @ 5:04 pm

Finally! The long awaited Happy Hour Miss(ed) Manners! I know you’ve been waiting for it, right? Right?

Hahahaha Psyyyyyyche Again! Got you! hahahaha oh man that was awesome.

Sorry to disappoint, but it’s just not happening. Over the past two weeks I took the heavy burden of pre-dark alcohol consumption upon my weary shoulders and hoofed it from bar to bar down here in hopes of pinpointing the exact time when the fabled “Witching Hour” of mega-conglomerate-bank-omnicorp happy hour celebrations takes place. The magical hour when Ken, the sweaty, mangina lump sporting IT guy can engage in a brutal make-out session with Sarah, the HR cougar-extraordinaire.
There were like, fifty hyphens in that paragraph

I went to a handful of places, because honestly, there really are only a handful of places to go down here. Ulysses, which everyone kept telling me to go to, is a clusterfuck of Spring Break proportions. My assumption that the ladies get tarted up to go out after work was dashed when a friend let me know that instead they just get tarted up for work in the morning and then respray on a sheen of slore-mist when the 5 o’clock alarm blares, by way of aerosol can.

I’d heard alot about how apparently during happy hour, class, race and station disappear and you’ll see construction workers playing pool with suits. Whatever, no you don’t. Everywhere I went it was the same shit: blue shirts, bereft of their loving necktie life-partners, talking to other tieless blue shirts about the same shit you hear at any other happy hour, sports. NO WAI! Did you know that that one guy is getting traded to that other team over there?

Long story short: Happy hour downtown is, for all intents and purposes, a self perpetuating booze cruise, a walk down frat-memory lane, a congratulatory circle jerk pat on the back, which you can find anywhere in any bar in New York; don’t waste the subway fare.

This was a little disappointing, to say the least. I’m a huge fan of cutting loose and having a good time and I mean that in the purest summer-camp movie sort of way. So when I found out my new hood’s party of choice was just so fucking plain and regular, well I was kind of sad and whenever I get sad I like to sit somewhere really visible and try to look as outwardly depressed as possible. It’s called pouting, I do it a lot.

So last Friday, there I was, pouting on the steps of some place next to some statue outside of the Stock Exchange, taking it all in when something started to make sense to me. People downtown don’t need to cut loose and get wild, they live in the world’s largest club, the Financial District.

That’s right, the F.D. is one giant analogy for a megaclub and it’s soooo obvious. Have you ever tried to walk anywhere down here? You don’t, you’re herded, following the waddling ass of some silly jacketed floor trader until you get to where you were supposed to meet your friends two hours ago but totally forgot because you were talking to some stranger about how the scene’s just not like it used to be, man.

The similarities are all over the place but lets start with the most obvious, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange:

Just add in a few colored spots, some phat beats and you’ve got something that’s hotter than a circuit party taking place in between Danny Tenaglia’s butt cheeks after a five mile run, check it out!

Actually, that looks like what I’ve always envisioned Daft Punk’s house would look like.

Anyway, more club structures. The deli’s and diners down here are the closest equivalent to a superclub bar. They’re always mobbed, the staff is uncaring, unpersonable and can’t understand a fucking word you’re saying to them.

There are even specific entrances and exits with bouncers checking bags. The office buildings are the dance floor with your office your own little pyramid steps where you and your boys hang out. The DJ’s are up in the penthouses.

The people all fall into severely limited categories. There are meathead traders who stand outside ogling every thing with a vagina that walks by, and I mean EVERYTHING. One morning I had just gotten off the train and was making my way to the office. I look up and see this really great can in front of me, bonus, great way to start the day right? I look off to my left and there’s this group of five idiots literally drooling as they stare in that really gross date rape sort of way while the girl walks past them.

Then I see what can only be described a female Weeble walking towards me and I swear the same five idiots give her the same stare. I swear if I’d started rapping out a simple drum beat anywhere within earshot they would have started pelvis bumping that poor chick’s donut around like a greased pig at a county fair.

Cops = Security. Same complexes, same asshole-ish nature. Thanks for saving the world by letting me know I can’t walk into the Stock Exchange/VIP Room, Serpico.

You’ve got your old school heads walking around with their briefcases and trenchcoats, talking about how things used to be, back when Chase was Chemical or when Twilo was Sound Factory.

There are the bottle service guys who are actually not an analogy. The guys who look like bottle service guys down here actually ARE the same twats who shell out hundreds for a chance to finagle a blow job out of some Weehawken airhead looking for a ride home. I found that amusing.

Oh and fucking tourists! Asking where Broadway is when you’re on it is about as funny as asking when Mr. Sasha Digweed is playing his set. Do some research, hayseed.

Oh and finally, I already mentioned the hoochies above, but let me do it again: Business Casual Fridays is basically the F. Diss equivalent of Halloween at Crobar. You’re going to see a lot of slutty secretaries.

That’s basically it, I’ve got to jet, DJ Customer Service is coming on and I never miss a set.

June 9, 2006

Miss(ed) Manners: Building a Relationship

Filed under: Column,Humor,Life,Manners,Personal — missedmanners @ 5:04 pm

Remember when I said last week that I was going to be doing a week-long sampling of Downtown happy hour joints and report back to you on all the hilarity? Well, that didn’t happen. Haven’t had that many happy hours this week, been too busy.

Now I know what you’re saying, “Dave, there’s always time for Happy Hour. I don’t care if you have to pull out the flask at 5:01pm and start boozing right in the middle of that conference call!” To which I’ll say, “Grandpa, we both know you’re right, but there just hasn’t been the time.”

In lieu of rubbing elbows with all manner of seersucker, tweed and silk clad bottom feeding salesmen (which I’ve got planned to do all next week), I’ve decided this week to give you a tour of my new home.

I’m sure most of you have at one time or another worked in a big office building. Shit, you may be reading this from one of them right now. But not me. No, I’ve had the good fortune of working in lofts, apartments, garages and back alleys for most of my adult life, so this is all new to me.

The first thing that weirded me upon moving to the new place was the security checkpoint right beyond the revolving doors. Wait, let’s back up, revolving doors, they definitely weirded me out first. On some weekday mornings I have a hard enough time dealing with my apartment door, let alone a constantly rotating death cage of steel and glass. People jump through this thing like it’s the last portal out of the Necronomicon. Sometimes I just wait until everyone’s through and I can take my sweet time.

Now, the front desk: This is apparently a three person job, the description of which reads like this:

Sit down.
Talk amongst yourselves.

I’ve never gotten stopped walking into the building and I go to great lengths not to fit in around here. Today I have a stubbly, dirty mustache, bed-head, a slight dust cloud of alcohol sweat hanging over me and a tee shirt that reads “Breakfast of Champions” above a silk screened depiction of a cigarette and glass of whiskey. Dave’s all class, baby.

I guess what my friend Rod said last night is true, “The more you look like a terrorist, the less people assume you are one.” Which would explain why he gets to globe-hop without molestation, and why everyone thinks I’m the junior senator from Kansas.

Once you pass Sloman’s shield you’re greeted by a bank of elevators. Now, these are reaaaally useful. I haven’t used an elevator since college. In our old office we had a four flight walk up, which, after three years of use has forged my calves into idols fit for Hebrew worship. Since the only exercise I’m doing now a days is pressing the 15 button, I’m guessing my shocker skill is going to go through the roof. *High Fives dude sitting next to me*

You know how every sitcom ever made in America has to have one episode where they make the keen observation that no one talks in elevators? Well it’s true! Oh man, talk about something being funny because it’s true!

Anyway, just beyond the elevator is the real treat this building has to offer: Literally. A snack stand. INSIDE the building.

It’s like a mini-vice enabling, spirit crushing enslave-o-matic. It’s got Coffee, candy, cigarettes, celebrity magazines and a Lottery machine. You could, in theory never leave this building, it’s got an ATM so if you work out a direct deposit, you could just go downstairs and blow your entire paycheck on all this crap and then go right back to work, secure in the knowledge you made it through another bi-weekly billing period or whatever these automatons do around here.

I’ve started buying little scratch off tickets whenever I get the chance. I’ve joined their very exclusive “Coffee Club” which grants me free coffee whenever I so desire by forging their stamp ten times on my personally issued membership card.

Alright, so now that I’ve got my nutritious breakfast of Reese’s Pieces, three cups of free coffee, a copy of Us Weekly and a wrist-thick roll of “Win for Life’s”, it’s time to head upstairs, quietly. Oh the hilarity.

The first thing you notice when you get to my floor is the carpet, oh the hideous carpeting. It’s a little known fact that during the Oil Crisis in the 70’s, business leaders in the financial district hoped to harness the alternative energy of Static cling and use it to drive the smallest cars you’ve ever imagined. Some people blame it on the Upholstery-industrial complex that had most of Congress in its pocket at the time, but that’s neither here nor there.

This hideous knit carpet is everywhere. You can see slight discolorations that very subtley tell you which office goes to the bathroom the most. Which is another thing: We SHARE a bathroom. This creeps me out, the whole public restroom thing. I mean, I’m sure some people are really comfortable with this, but Jesus H. do I really need to hear someone enact a personal vendetta against their colon and hernia simultaneously when I’m trying to have a thoughtful moment on the can? Pinch it off for at least two seconds while I get out of your way, thunderpants. Have a little scatological courtesy.

Now, we share the 15th floor with a few other offices, I grabbed a picture of the floor sign:

Now, I’ve done a little research and come up with whom we’re co-existing.

Great American Insurance Group
This company provides insurance to Great Americans. Qualifications for being great include the following: Having great hair. Having a great car. Having a great big mole on your chin that you refuse to have lasered off, you scary freakish ogre.

Protax Services
These guys are actually a branch office for the planet Protax in the Centauri quadrant. They do mainly anal probing.

A&M Logos blah blah
I talked to these guys, that was a misprint, it’s actually supposed to read S&M Logos etc. I left after that.

NYUCCC
This is where they do closed captioning captioning, for the illiterate deaf.

SHC-NY
She-He-Champs New York, this is a sports agency for transgendered kickboxers.

So, that’s my building, from foyer to floor fifteen. We’re still moving in, so everytime we open the door and someone sees all the boxes and the mess, they faint. They’re as astonished as we are that we didn’t hire professional movers.

Anyway, back to work, the She-He-Champs secretary dudette and I are on our way to grab a bite to eat. Til next week!

June 2, 2006

Miss(ed) Manners: Meatpacking It In

Filed under: Column — missedmanners @ 5:03 pm

Hey!

Yeah, you!

No, not you… you.

Guess where I am?

The Fi-poonan-cial District.

After a grueling two month move (we’re still not done) my office has taken its leave of the gilded streets of the high-fasion and zero taste area known as the Meatpacking district.

Oh how I’ll miss you MPD! How the once rancid smell of beef on summer days slowly transformed into that unmistakeable new upper lip injection funk when the Hotel Gansevoort went up. How our neighbors could finally breath a long sigh of relief when Filter 14 became a Baby Scoop, because everyone deserves a kid that dresses as much like a cunt as you do.

I’ll miss the idiot waif models who would knock on our door asking about castings, telling them they were two floors off and snickering amongst the office with innuendos involving casting couches. That NEVER gets old! Ha ha, ha ha…. wait for it: lol.

I’ll miss Nick’s City Kitchen, or wait, “The Diner” as it’s called now, because apparently the more words you take off your name during a refurbishment is directly tied to the amount you’re allowed to multiply your base cost for a limp, greasy hamburger.

Ah, the memories.

A few months ago we seized the opportunity on our lease ending to find more a accommodating space. By accommodating I of course mean anything that would cost less than $40 a square foot.

They’re practically giving away space down here in the FDiss, we found a space that was three times the size at nearly 75% of the price. It’s in a giant office building, which is a little weird, but weird in that “getting to know you” stage of a relationship where you hope your lover gets turned on by watching Mannix reruns sort of way, but you know she won’t.

Before moving down here I could have counted the times I’d hung out in the FizzleDizzle on two hands. Most were either after parties, or party parties or drunken gutter nights when I’d fallen asleep on the train and just decided to slum it at the mission.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day, Mom!

It’s a whole new animal, The District, people act differently, they look different, Coach is hanging out walking around, it’s all just so strange and alien. There are new customs to learn, new idiots to meet, new ways to get annoyed.

I’m sure you’re as excited as I am when I say that I’m starting a multiweek multipart essay series on coming to grips with the Dirty South of New York. Errbody ready?

Dave’s Guide to the Fi-poonan-cial District: Part 1

The Commute

Remember how I used to bitch and complain about having to take three trains, two buses and one piggy-back ride from an ex-linebacker from UC San Diego who’d contracted syphilis during a tour of duty in Iraq and was making ends meet by carrying the well-to-do? Well all that’s a thing of the past, now I take one train to work.

The J train.

That’s pretty fucking sweet. Why? You may ask. Well, the J train hates Manhattan. It comes from Brooklyn, has an accent, it spends like four stops in downtown then decides it likes it better out in BK, says, “Fugghedaboudit” and heads out to get some sauce and a track suit or some shit.

I’m just glad to be away from the F train and its snobbish, classist cousin the V train. Fuck those orange bastards and anyone who lives near the 2nd Avenue stop.

The People

Midtown has all the fresh faced, just out of college MBA’s who strut around in their new suits and suit-dresses. They’re happy to be on their own, they’re secure in the fact that their supreme management of some hedge fund is going to make this world a better place. Or they’re certain that hungry children will get fed because of their awesome new Heineken Light ad campaign pitch. Soma enemas are handed out at the GCT 4,5,6 stop.

Not down here. The Financial District is where careers and souls go to die.

Never in my life have I seen such a large collection of gray faced peons moving in lockstep with each other, trudging through a mind numbing routine, all wearing the same death mask that’s counting down the minutes to 5:00pm begging for an extra personal day so they renew their prespcription for Xanax or pick a high cliff for their ultimate swan dive into a parked car.

They’re all really friendly though, it’s like Children of the fucking Corn.

Our building is filled with those service companies that do all those jobs that you’d think are just completely pointless, but someone’s got to do them. But how could anyone enjoy being an insurance company’s fraud investigation management office? Or an accountants’ filing service company? Traffic lawyer? Public notary? The smell of TPS reports fills the hallway.

We’re not sure how we’re going to fit in down here. We don’t work very regular hours, lots of late mornings, late nights and loud weekends. We tie up the freight elevator, play loud music whenever something needs lifting and we shout in the hallways, either at each other, or just at the hallway.

So far, things are looking up, being in the Nancial. I mean, we’ve got security badges and rules and regulations out the wazoo and in a few years we’ll be in the shade of that idiot Freedumb Tower. But for now, it’s all an awesome new adventure. Next week I’m going explore the awesome tradition that is the “Happy Hour.”

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