It is hard to talk about this work. It is hard to do it, too. The best time to work is when it’s quiet, from ten at night till two in the morning. Because sometimes, well, [laughs] almost always, it’s a frustrating job. You know, it’s easy to use finished product, like computer games or Microsoft products, but the process to completing software is very frustrating. It is sometimes even pretty easy to write a program, but to make it so the users who will use the program cannot do anything stupid or cause some problems you have to imagine every single thing the user could do on keyboard. That part takes almost all of time. And it is a very boring time.
GAS STATION ATTENDANT
Out where this place is, it’s just all desert, and there’s a lot of weird people that live out around here. They’re kind of scary. They actually scare me more than the freeway people do because the main reason anybody’d live all the way out here is because of drug problems and problems with the government. Most of them are like that. Not all of them—there’s nice ones, but there’s a lot of weirdos that do weird things, they drive really awful-looking cars. White trucks with blue doors. No teeth. I try not to get involved with them. I’m polite. I smile, take their money, bag what they’re buying, but that’s it. I’m scared so I try not to get personal. That’s probably the worst part about the job. The drive is no fun, but the scary people, they’re the worst.
PERSONAL INJURY TRIAL LAWYER
And by the way, I have never, and I mean this, never met an honest man. I have had rabbis lie. I have had priests lie. I have had witnesses of every color and denomination and persuasion lie. Clients come to me and tell me that they were caused to have an accident and they were injured in a certain way. But the truth is that it usually didn’t happen exactly the way they say it happened. The client may be fundamentally and inherently a good and honest person, but when it comes to their case their theory is, well, it’s a goddamn insurance company, and they’ve got more money than God, and it isn’t right, and it isn’t fair. And so it’s okay if, on the margins, on the fringes, they improve or enhance their story a little bit.
So we have to begin with a premise that it’s not a question of whether someone’s honest, it’s a question of the degree. And lawyers are the most dishonest people of all. A lawyer will prepare his witness in such a way that he, the lawyer, thinks he’s being honest, but in truth and in all candor, he’s really not. Because he’s kind of steering or directing the witness in a certain direction—the direction that says the other party is at fault. And that’s part of our business. A good lawyer has to approach every accident, every case, with the mindset that his client is not at fault. The other party is at fault. And so a good lawyer is often dishonest and so is everyone else.
I’m not an actor. I’m not into that. I’m a temp, a forty-year-old temp. Let’s leave it at that, okay? I mean, I know there’s stigma attached to being a forty-year-old temp. At forty, people assume you should have achieved something. And they don’t see this as an achievement. But I don’t care. I’m happy doing this. I’ve never fit in. The more I see what fitting in is, the less I want to. It’s plots that you already know the ending to. Why do you want to live out a story and know that you’re gonna do this or do that, you know? A steady job is a plot. I will stay here and I will do this, then I’ll retire, then I’ll move to Florida. Then I’ll die, you know? You spend your days at work dreaming of the future, you spend your days at work getting ready to get off of work. Me, I don’t know if I’ll make it to my job tomorrow. So it’s the moment, living in the moment.
Like last year, I took a vacation. I’d been at this place a couple of months and it was getting old. I called up and said, “I’m going on a vacation.” And they’re like, “Well, we don’t know if we’ll have a job for you when you get back.” I said, “I know you don’t know if you’ll have a job for me when I get back ’cause I’m not even sure when I’m coming back.” So I went on this bike trip; I took a bunch of time. I love to travel and see things. Two-week vacations just don’t do it for me.
Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs
NOTE – Highly recommended book