It’s Funny ‘Cause It’s True


My roomate is on Match.com.

I have two roomates, so, to protect the privacy of one roomate, I’m going to implicate both roomates and not tell you which one of them is on Match.com.   But, I’m pretty sure you can guess which one.

Living with someone on Match.com is a lot of fun.  You get to laugh at browse profiles, scope out local hotties, and, when you’re roomate’s not looking, you can even send winks to your favorite dreamloafs — who will then send your roomate creepy messages in all caps, much to your roomate’s dismay. In short, Match.com is kind of like facebook, back in the glory days before everyone’s profile was set to private.  Unlike facebook though, you can see when other people have viewed your profile. This means that your roomate with a Match.com account won’t think it’s as funny as you do to lurk around the site clicking on profiles and flipping through awkward vacation, party, and hugging random children pictures.  Cut to: the most brilliant solution ever —

So you know how Match (we’re on a first syllable basis with the website in my apartment) has those commercials that profess “it’s free to look” as random awkward vacation, party, and hugging random children pictures zoom across the television screen? Well, guess what, it is free to look.  This means that just anyone can sign up for a user name, search for, say, men ages 23 -33, and profit from the results.  You don’t even have to fill out a profile or upload any pictures! The only downside:  Match.com will start sending you daily e-newsletters that you can’t figure out how to opt out of. But you’ll grow to get used to the daily routine of waking up in the morning, eating breakfast, watching Saved by the Bell re-runs, checking your email inbox, and deleting the message titled New! Daily Matches from Match.com! After about a year, it will become a non-issue.

Some things are still kind of an issue almost a year later.  Like, for example, my staggering lack of legit employment.  Sure I had my restaurant job, and the temp agency was getting me assignments from time to time, but resisting the urge to spit on the food of rude tourists, and cold-calling strangers from a tiny cubicle all day were not exactly what I thought my $45,000 dollars a year college tuition was paying for.  Granted, I know that two years out of college no one is waking up for the morning commute to their dream job; we’re all slaving away with little personal gratification.  Yet, I can’t help brooding over the fact that for the most part, although currently clinging to the bottom rung of the Career Ladder, my peers at least have a foot-hold on their future careers.  I, on the other hand, am blindly driving down a road of successive short-term jobs, each one culminating in a mud streaked DEAD END sign.  And, for as many, “once the economy picks up, and companies lift their hiring freezes, you’ll start seeing some progress” and “it’s just a hard time for everyone right now” your gainfully employed friends will consolingly hand out, these platitudes won’t change the fact that you’re sitting in a tiny cubicle cold calling construction companies in Dallas, trying to trick them into taking a survey before they hang up on you.

This is my reality, one gray, cold January day.  This is what it means to “get an assignment” from a temp agency.  Although, I feel I should confess that I wasn’t actually sitting in a cubicle.  I was actually sitting in a glass box on the 30-somethingth floor of a pretty important office building in downtown San Francisco.  My assignment really was to cold-call a bunch of random companies in Dallas, on behalf of a consulting firm, to try to get a feel of the roofing market in Texas.

“How are you at accents? You might want to try out a fake Texas accent if you can.  Apparently that helps, sometimes.” My supervisor for the day, a young, fresh-faced little cherub face of a fellow named Jim Meadows*, helpfully recommends as he closes the glass door behind him, trapping me in the tiny glass box.  But it doesn’t help, and, in fact, I’m pretty sure badly faking a Texas accent just results in faster hang-up times.  I’m not positive though.  Perhaps a consulting firm would like to test that out sometime in the near future?

Four hours, 576 phone calls (I kept count), five successfully (one kind of made up…) completed surveys later, and Jim Meadows knocks on my glass cage.

“Hey, so, I just got an email from my supervisor, and he said to stop the cold calls. ” He opened the door a little wider and stepped into the room “so, I guess you can go home.”  I stared up from my excel spreadsheet, stunned.  I can go home? I simultaneously wanted to hug Jim Meadows’ little cherub face and burst into tears.  I settled for a nonchalant “oh, wow. Excellent. Thank you.” instead.

Jim Meadows smiled and held the cage door open for me.  In the bright flourescent lighting of the hallway not obscured by glass doors, I realized Jim Meadows was really very cute.  He had a sweet little boy’s face — the face of an angel? And a really unaffected, charming demeanor.  He also smelled vaguely of the Chipotle he had had for lunch. Turns out Jim Meadows had graduated from college the year before I had.  He wasn’t working his dream job either, but someday, he hoped to have his own consulting firm.  He smiled, and his dark cherubic eyes actually twinkled a bit.  No, like, legit twinkled. I decided I liked him.  Maybe even as more than a supervisor.

“Oh hey, do you need to get that time sheet signed?”

I did.  I rifled around in my purse for the time sheet my temp agency had given me.  Several seconds of rummaging revealed no time sheet and the vague memory of it sitting crumpled up on my bed.

“I guess I forgot to bring it, but I have an electronic copy I can just print from my email.”

“Okay, no prob.  Here, let’s go back to my cube, you can just print it off my computer.”

“I don’t usually go back to my supervisor’s cube on the first temp assignment,” I wanted to say, but did not, for obvious reasons.

His cube smelled like Chipotle too, but instead of being gross, this only made him more endearing.

“Okay, here ya go.” He signed his computer onto the company internet network, then gestured that I could have a seat at the computer.  He hovered close behind me, and I could feel the heat from his body on the back of my neck.  Kind of thrilled, I signed on to gmail, waited a few seconds for my inbox to load, and that’s when I saw it.  Only new message in my inbox.  Bold font.

New! Daily Matches from Match.com!

It happened so quickly it might as well have been in slow-motion, for both speeds would have had the same result of me sitting there too stunned to move, but totally aware of the fact that angel-face Jim Meadows and I were not going to ever go back to his anything — cube or otherwise, ever again.

“Oh, huh, that’s weird.  How’d that get there?”I quickly clicked away, but the damage had already been done.

Jim Meadows totally thinks I’m some spinster 23-year-old lookin’ for love in all the wrong online places.  I quickly printed out my time sheet and raced out of his Chipotle cubicle.  It didn’t seem worth it to explain myself.  The truth might have actually been even worse — it’s not that I have an actual account on match.com, it’s just that I like to creep on strangers’ profiles, looking at their awkward vacation, party, and random children pictures! I’m not looking for love, I’m just looking! Those commercials told me it’s okay to look!

Well, actually they never told me it was okay to look, they said it was free to look.  Little did I know that “free” comes with a price.  In this case, dignity.

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