I've Discovered My Dream Job
I want to be employed to walk around cities looking busy. I know this job doesn't exist – or if it does it's not well advertised – but I think it has some benefit besides paying my rent and affording me Pepsi Max in cartons.
People hustling about sidewalks make cities look busy. It probably motivates people in those cities to work a little bit harder, to be like that guy they saw who looked super active. Or at least it might make them ponder why they're not in a hurry.
I wouldn't do any actual business in this job. It would mainly be walking around the streets of the CBD wearing a suit at a ridiculous pace. I'd basically walk from coffee shop to coffee shop, talking on my mobile gruffly and not waiting for pedestrian crossings to go green before crossing. And then I'd buy coffee in branded carry cups and walk around drinking it. I'd go into skyscrapers and board elevators and look at my watch repeatedly and tap my fingers. I'd walk into offices and sit at empty desks and go through the files in my briefcase with a controlled but reckless approach to make it look like I needed a certain document right now, and every second I didn't have it was costing me money. Businesses would let me into their meeting rooms with glass walls and I'd sit there with two or three folders open glancing rapidly between each one. I'd print out emails and read them on the bus or the train at the end of the day, with my tie loosened to show that I'd stepped down the intensity but there's no way I had the time to take the whole tie off and roll it up. I'd walk past receptionists in foyers and yell "Mary! Hold my calls" to him or her. I'll buy my lunch in food courts at 3:30 in the afternoon when most of them are closing and there's only two baguettes left in the window.
I worked in the city again today and I was busy today and it felt good. I enjoyed being busy, but not as much as I enjoyed looking busy. The busier I act the more I feel like I'm fighting to achieve something important. Writing an Excel macro to auto-generate Telnet tunnels to 45 virtual servers is an important but not essential task in a large but not vital project. But if I try and do that task inhumanely fast it feel engaging. It feels significant. It feels like I deserve to go to Hudsons and buy an ice-cream coffee out of what looks like a re-purposed frozen coke machine.