Week Seven

In which I somehow still have a boss, marvel at some art  and get a new desk.

A cliché is only a cliché because it was once meaningful. And honestly, the entire concept doesn’t particularly make sense to me. So if something wise or weighty catches the attention of the public, that automatically makes it lose its meaning? I get why clichés may be annoying, but I don’t love the line of thinking that something popular is automatically less meaningful than something that isn’t. It’s baseless and pretentious. Taylor Swift can still be deep, even though she’s one of the most popular artists of today (hey mom, remember that time you made us all watch the “Bad Blood” music video like 7 times in a row? Good times).

Anyway, you get it, and I’m getting off track. The point is that the cliché “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” rang very true for me this week, as I’m sure it will again next week when my boss’ baby finally makes her debut. Hopefully. For now, I’m talking about my desk. My wonderful, spacious desk with its working monitor and internet connection and its premium location, right between the kitchen and the hallway with the bathrooms, and its nice, tree-filled view. It was a great desk, the kind of desk a higher-up should have been sitting in, but I ended up with because it was empty at the time of my arrival. But FH has a policy where every 6 months, the seating plan changes and people are assigned to (somewhat) random desks. I can only assume the reason is “synergy” or some similar corporate buzzword, but the bottom line is that I only had 4 weeks left at the time of the switch and, with only 6 weeks under my belt, I had only recently figured out where everyone important was sitting. Now I have no clue. Plus I’ve been banished to the back corner of the office, to a desk that was previously used by the whole office as a dump of sorts. There is a stapler sitting in the corner of my desk that looks like it was there when Steve Jobs founded Apple. Even my name on the seating chart was written in a different colored ink than everyone else’s, on a desk tacked onto a cubicle, and, come on guys, I know I have less than a month left but could you have more obviously forgot I worked here? I know I may sound peeved, but I actually think it’s pretty funny. Even the fact that none of my monitor’s USB ports work (no mouse, no keyboard) so I work exclusively on a laptop doesn’t bother me too much. At least this way I can wear headphones and listen to Spotify while I work. High highs and low lows.

So other than that…whole thing, work was good this week. My boss’ baby was due on the 5th I think, but he was still there at the end of this week, phone all but glued to his hand. I won’t complain, it’s nice to have a bit more time with my mentor-of-sorts, that way we can keep working on current projects, so I can save the long-term, brainstorming stuff for when I’m on my own. If he makes it through next week too, I’ll only have two weeks of unsupervised work time, which would be much better than the month I thought I’d have.

Weekend #7 was spent in Bruges, which I really did enjoy. But the funny thing about Bruges is that its entire appeal is based on this romanticized image of Bruges that came from a short novel, Bruges-la-Mort, which painted Bruges as the “city of the dead,” a dreary, damp, grey sort of place where people go to grieve because the city’s in an interminable state of mourning, where they go to decay because the city will decay with them. The novel is unbelievably morose, and so it effectively turned Bruges into a haven for sadness, gave the city a reputation, and that reputation was “cold, quiet, depressing, lonely.” I was sort of expecting to get a taste of that, but Bruges was anything but cold, quiet, and lonely. All day the sun was shining bright and the temperature hovered just under 80 degrees, so it wasn’t cold. There was a music festival going on while we there, so it wasn’t quiet. There were tons, tons, of people there, tourists mostly, so it wasn’t lonely. In fact, I would have preferred it a bit lonelier. It was crowded. So the funny thing – I’ve finally gotten to the funny part – is that this isolated, depressing  image of Bruges attracted tourists and – poof – there went Bruges’ cred. My teacher called it the Disneyland of Belgium. And it sort of was, in a low-rent sort of way. I still enjoyed Bruges, though it did not at all live up to its reputation. I saw some quality art – what’s up, Michelangelo – and rested on a bench next to the canal, with sunlight glinting off the water and dogs and kids bouncing around the park. Maybe it’s different in the winter.

Things I saw:

Belfry of Bruges and Town Hall

The Groeningemuseum – Flemish art work from the 15th century until now

The Canals

Church of Our Lady, Bruges

Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges

Things I tried:

Samurai sauce – sriracha and mayo (I think) | ★★★★★

Pasta in a Box – pretty much what it sounds like | ★★★★

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