Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Intern of Oz

Monday was a fun little adventure in brushes with the corporate upper class. And by fun little adventure I mean miserable fucking nightmare. As I recall, it all began when I started my internship about a month and some-odd days ago... errands are, inevitably, part of the job (at 50 cents a mile for reimbursement, then hell, send me to Nevada to pick up your dry cleaning, I could use the extra 10 bucks). I had to drop off some something or other at a film distribution office in Century City.

To give you a rough idea of what Century City looks like:

Bankers and film execs and zillionaires, oh my!
Or at least, the part where I was. Maybe the majority of Century City is actually an incredibly violent, gang-ridden city, likely because all their money goes towards maintaining the very nice downtown area I found myself in. I had to go to the 14th floor of some 40-story skyscraper nestled cozily beside like twenty other gargantuan skyscrapers. I rolled up to the parking garage in my humble, dirt-crusted Hyundai that yes, thank you for asking, I have not washed since my cross-country roadtrip two and a half months ago. It was like requesting entrance into a dystopian citadel. I had to pop my trunk to be searched (which was not nearly as erotic as it sounds), but they weren't too worried about me, 'cause I'm just a white chick. So I parked in the vast and endless underground garage that brought to mind a mole-people civilization, and made my way up into the inner walls of Century Plaza.

You know that scene in Big Fish where the dude emerges from the spider-infested woods and suddenly finds himself in the town of Spectre?

It was like that, except the buildings were all made of glass and at least fifty times taller. They surrounded this beautiful grassy area filled with pricy little restaurants, tables, and herds of corporate folks strutting about in their most professional three-inch heels. They ate expensive salads, chatted busily over laptops and touched very important buttons on their iPhones. By fate or by chance, I had stumbled upon a haven for successful white people.

And a high number of insanely attractive Asians.
With my canvas purse, flowy-hippie-pants and flip-flops, I felt just a tad out of place. I guess Casual Monday hasn't reached the Corporation of Eden. After walking around and gawking at everything like a dazed poor person, I checked in with security at one of the buildings, received a "guest pass" that was used to electronically operate the elevator, dropped off the drive, and considered the job taken care of. During this whole part I felt a little like James Bond, with the one major discrepancy being I was the least well-dressed of anyone in the building.

Things were pretty hunky-dory until I had to leave. To make a long, boring story a short, boring story, I was sent around to every end of that strange, shiny place like a god damn pinball to get my parking validated. Even after I did get it validated the first time, it only covered half of my luxurious $16 parking spot and I had to leave my car with the emergency lights on in an unyielding one-way parking garage exit and... it was just, overwhelming. I was like a flustered hobo on the move, huffing around from floor to floor begging people with golden tie clips to help me escape. I finally got out by flip-flopping on down to the deliveries parking garage, located a few miles north of the Center Of The Earth. The deliveries man (who was literally just a dude sitting at a desk plopped against the wall of a vacuous concrete loading dock) obliged me with validation, but in the most unobliging manner possible.

I escaped.


Believe it or not, this entire ordeal took roughly 2 and a half hours from start to finish. Okay, I admit that possibly 15 of those minutes was spent on getting a frappe, but how often do you get to say you went to "the Fancy Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf"?

Summary: the update on parking in Los Angeles is that it still sucks. You need to be rich enough to own a "pass," disabled enough to own a placard, or ghetto enough to take advantage of the ample curb space in Crenshaw. The rest of us here in middle-to-lower-middle land will just let the daily stress of parking take its toll on us until over time we develop acute muscular dystrophy or some severe psycho-physical disability. I read all about it in my "Stress and Disease in the 21st Century" course.

Because "Drugs and Modern Society" posed a scheduling conflict.

Summary: Traffic and parking is what's killing you.

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