Now I am 29. I have worked at a large marketing research company for about a year. It is situated in the chic office tower area in West LA called Century City, right next to the enclave of glamorous Beverly Hills neighborhood, where well-dressed power attorneys, entertainment agents and CPAs roll in and out in their Mercedes and Porsches. People who drive old model BMWs are scorned upon.
I am a research manager, helping client companies from numerous industries understand what consumers want and need via complex data analysis and derived insights, a well-suited job for a guy who has a Master of Science’s degree in Marketing Research and a couple years of experience. I work on projects for Fortune 1000 companies only, because only these guys can afford our hefty fees.
The two companies I spent most of time on researching in the past year are both blue-chip technology giants: Facebook and Youtube. One afternoon, I didn’t even pretend I was working and I watched Chinese comedies for as many hours as I could, laughing hysterically often, thanks to the great soundproof earphones given to all employees by the company as Christmas gift last year. To date, I still have no idea why the company gifted us that: did the managers encourage us to watch movies and TV shows online during work hours? But anyway, I had a lot of fun with these two Internet companies, as well as the soundproof earphones. In addition to the video, one day I invited almost 100 people as friends on Facebook, most of whom I didn’t know at all. I thought I could have a lot of friends that way, as I don’t have many in real life.
Well, there are many other things happening in my company that I don’t understand. For instance, my company has an internal IT department that surveillances our use of the Internet. As I was squandering my time in chunks every work day, I was always afraid someone would all of a sudden be standing behind my shoulders when I was on Youtube, ordering me to his office and giving me a pink slip. Well, it is kind of shameful, but to tell you the truth, due to my disappointing performances, I did not get a promotion after the critical one-year review and was sent to a special group called SWAT team, composed basically of the lowest performers of the company. We got the most menial tasks that no one else wanted. But hey, I kept my job when many people in California lost theirs. I needed this paycheck. My company is a good company and it cares about its employees.