All in a Day’s Work

Remember those Warner Brothers cartoons from the 50’s and 60’s, featuring a sheepdog and a wolf?

They would turn up every morning, first thing, holding their lunchboxes and punching a time clock. “Hello Ralph.” “Hi Sam.” A couple of working stiffs. Their workday consisted of the wolf trying to steal a sheep, and the sheepdog preventing this. At day’s end, they’d clock out and head for home.

“Another day, another dollar.”

It’s a little like my work now. Except there are no time clocks.

As a kid, I really had no idea how my father spent his day. He drove off to some mysterious place in the city called Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. (The name sounds like a barrel falling down stairs.) He came home each night, with his 60’s suit, hat and skinny tie, and poured himself a bourbon with water, over ice. What did he do all day?

Now I work in an office. And I have in inkling of what it was like for my dad, who once took us to his Mad Men-like place of work. It’s not a bad life, just not what I thought I’d do back in Junior High.

My day starts at the ungodly hour of 8:00 a.m. If I could change this I would. It takes my brain and body until roughly 8:30 or later to wake up, so I use this time to scan email and check the day’s headlines.

My coffee is consumed by 8:45, so I’ll pick up yesterday’s unfinished projects around then.

What I do all day is called Data Collection, but in fact the data has been collected already. We just have to process it and massage it into a format that makes sense. And then enter it into our database. Then check to see if it still makes sense. Make sense?

This is not all I do, but mostly it is.

Music to Work By: Lunch Break: Peak Hour – The Moody Blues

The people around me (the ones not goofing off or chatting about politics) are doing the same as me, staring intently into their computer monitors. I might talk to them, and I might not.

Break time comes at 10:15. I might walk outside if the weather is nice. The office park is huge, with lots of choices. There’s even a pond.

Lunch is a godsend, and lasts from noon to one o’clock. I normally brown bag it and read at my desk, then take another walk around the premises.

It’s hard to come back at one, but we all do. Three and a half hours to go. I’m fully awake now. I usually pick an especially tough project to work on, and power through until it’s done, by God!

Music to Work By: “Powerhouse” by Raymond Scott, performed by Carl Stalling

Afternoon break is at 2:45. I might go outside again, or find a small room off the hallway to read in. Or just sit in my car if I’m really tired that day.

Quittin’ time comes at 4:30. The office comes to violent life as we all gather our things and stampede to the doors. The parking lot is a busy place as well, with some people warming up their cars for the long ride home. Mine’s only five minutes, so I turn the key and take off right away. My comfortable home awaits.

Such is the life of a research analyst. Goodnight, Sam. Pleasant evening, Ralph.

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About meremention

Resident of the Granite State, I am a freelance writer who also toils as a research analyst.
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3 Responses to All in a Day’s Work

  1. Lee-Ann says:

    I understand this so well! Good job describing your job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Undersquid says:

    This is great. You do such a wonderful job of describing what should be utterly boring and mundane, and making it interesting. I can see a day like yours the routine beginning of a great adventure. Say a zombie movie, or an alien invasion. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skipk111 says:

    was just thinking about the stuff TV in the 60s had to offer our grey matter … whole lotta violence going on ….remember “I’m gonna beat these meeses to pieces?” I’ll take those old cartoons to todays offerings anyday.

    On Sat, Jan 13, 2018 at 9:50 PM, the mere mention wrote:

    > meremention posted: “Remember those Warner Brothers cartoons from the 50’s > and 60’s, featuring a sheepdog and a wolf? They would turn up every > morning, first thing, holding their lunchboxes and punching a time clock. > “Hello Ralph.” “Hi Sam.” A couple of working stiffs. Their” >

    Liked by 1 person

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