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July  19

Toto, We're Not in Manhattan Anymore

Jaynee, better known in the blog world as Cootiehog, joins Baristanet as an occasional contributor. She lives in Bloomfield. Make her feel welcome, folks. She's going to help out later this summer so the baristas can take a vacation.

So yesterday was my first day of work at my new job in NJ.  Since my move to the NYC metro area in 1997 I have been working Manhattan.  However, a combination of events since moving to NJ in July 2001 encouraged me to find work closer to home.  Events like 9/11, the blackout of 2003, giving birth to two children - you know, little things.  It was only this past February that I got serious about the search for work in NJ.

It took a while. New Jersey companie don't pay what the big boys in Manhattan pay. But finally, I found job at a decent salary. Yesterday was my first day.

Now you have to understand - in NYC I got a lot of perks at my job.  It came with the territory after being there eight years.  It was only today when I sat at my new desk with my new computer that I realized how much I was going to miss those perks.

First, music.  At my old job I had Real Rhapsody on my machine and would rock out to tunage all day long at my desk, periodically turning it up to jam on whatever tune caught my fancy at the time.   At the new company?  They don't even have speakers on the computers.  None.  Nada.  And while walking through the office I heard no music whatsoever.  Who can work like that?

Second, internet email.  I live and breathe email during the day.  All throught my workday I would check my work email, then rotate through my yahoo, hotmail, gmail and private emails.  Today?  All tucked away behind firewalls.  I couldn't access a single one.  This discovery actually made my heart sink in my chest.

Third, no personalization of desktop computer.  On my old machine I downloaded all kinds of software to use on my machine - I can't tell you how much stuff I had on my machine at my old job.  I also had a personal screensaver that flashed pictures of my kids so I had something pleasant to look at when my computer was idle.  Not so at new company.  They even have that section of the control panel blacked out so I couldn't change the screensaver even if I wanetd to.  How depressing is that?

Fourth, no cell phone coverage.  My specific desk location allows for NO cell coverage whatsoever.  So the only way someone can contact me is on my direct work line, but I don't want to give that number away to just anyone.  That's what my cell phone is for.  But in order to use it I have to go down to the lobby of the building to get any kind of bars to show up on my phone.

The only good things about the new job?  A commute time cut in half, and I get paid OT.  But who wants to work OT when there's no music, no email and no pictures?  Is this what I left NYC for?  To be a mindless drone with no outlet for personal expression?  I know I left NYC to be closer to my family, and sure, my kids are cute - but are they worth this kind of sacrifice?

July 19, 2005 in Comings and Goings | Permalink


I feel like I wasted part of my life just reading this garbage.

Maybe you should move into Manhatan, nothing like the smell of fresh garbage and pidgeon fecies to start your day.

Posted by: pill poppin mama | Jul 19, 2005 1:15:32 PM

I feel like I wasted part of my life just reading this garbage.

Maybe you should move into Manhatan, nothing like the smell of fresh garbage and pidgeon feces to start your day.


Posted by: pill poppin mama | Jul 19, 2005 1:16:24 PM

i see i spelled manhattan wrong also. No i have really wasted more of my time then necessary.

Posted by: pill poppin mama | Jul 19, 2005 1:17:47 PM

HAHA, Welcome Jaynee. I feel sorry for you already.

Posted by: grme | Jul 19, 2005 1:39:36 PM

You know, grme, I feel like I've 'arrived', in that my very first response is such a snarky one complete with duplicate commenting AND spelling errors aplenty. Thanks, loyal baristaville reader!

Posted by: Jaynee | Jul 19, 2005 1:46:59 PM

Ugh, that does sound like a drag. A tip on gmail -- since google uses SSL, your firewall may let you access it if you do this: https://gmail.google.com . The 's' is the key here. Good luck! I personally have fought every move to a corporate-park-style NJ office that's been thrown my way, hope it ends up working for you.

Posted by: cb | Jul 19, 2005 2:17:33 PM

Sounds like you're ready to join the ranks of the self-employed! There's plenty of us on Chatistanet. Welcome aboard!

Posted by: selfPAZ | Jul 19, 2005 2:44:57 PM

You'll be happy in April when you file one less tax return...and what a pain in the butt that one is!!!

Good luck at the new job! I look forward to your future writings. :)

/me thinks mama needs to take a pill.

Posted by: Surrounded | Jul 19, 2005 2:48:31 PM

Welcome, jaynee!

Sorry about the uncalled-for nastiness.

Posted by: latebloomer | Jul 19, 2005 2:48:39 PM

Welcome Jaynee!

I look forward to hearing more about your adventures working in NJ. I am a Jersey girl born and bred but I have never held a job in the Garden State. I suspect that one day I will get tired of commuting to the City (and paying those taxes) and will start looking for a job a little closer to home.


Posted by: Denise O'Shea | Jul 19, 2005 3:02:59 PM

Welcome to corporate America, year 2005! Firewall protection and IT-centralized desktop configuration is pretty much standard equipment for any modern American company, thanks to security issues such as virus attacks and hackers. I suspect your old company either didn't subscribe to these strategies, forgot about your computer, or didn't have an IT department.

But I also agree with others so far ... don't forget your audience here are New Jerseyans! New Yorkers love to think of themselves as the center of the universe, but that attitude is only welcome within the confines of Manhattan!

Posted by: Jim | Jul 19, 2005 3:10:02 PM

Jaynee - Welcome! I sometimes check out Cootiehog. Cute site!

PS - the key is to work from home but for a Manhattan company! You get the pay, but no commute, no Manhattan hassles or threats, and you can use your own computer however you wish.

Posted by: butchcjg | Jul 19, 2005 3:16:37 PM

Welcome to Baristaville...yada, yada, yada.

Posted by: Frosty | Jul 19, 2005 3:24:18 PM

You have not "arrived," Jaynee, until ROC takes you to political task. That said, really, what was the point of the column above? That it engendered compliments from others?

Posted by: cathar | Jul 19, 2005 3:27:52 PM

cb - thanks for that tip! I'll definitely give that a shot and see if I can access gmail that way.

Jim - My old company did have certain restrictions (no Zip files, no instant messaging to name two), but is the type of company that figures happy employees equals better productivity. So complete computer freedom helped me last 8 years in that job, I suppose.

Cathar - no real point to the post other than as a way to introduce myself as an occasional new participant at Baristaville. I figured what better way than to talk about getting a job in NJ?

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Posted by: Jaynee | Jul 19, 2005 3:37:00 PM

Manhattan IS the center of the universe!

Posted by: Gonzo Journalist | Jul 19, 2005 3:40:38 PM

Welcome to our little world!

And remember, it's your column; write whatever your heart desires.

But don't forget, everyone will surely comment in whatever way their heart desires.

Posted by: Pam | Jul 19, 2005 3:53:31 PM

cb - it worked! IT WORKED! *joyous sigh* I feel so...connected again! Thanks!

Posted by: Jaynee | Jul 19, 2005 4:04:48 PM

Good grief. If you're having that much trouble adjusting after such a short leave from the workforce, I can't imagine what I'm in for. I have not had a "real" job since 1986. Part time here and there, but thinking of going to work full time when school starts up in September. I remember the last time I had a corporate job, I was one of the "lucky" ones because working in the president's office I had the perk of my own printer! Others had to share one printer/department! I'm going to feel like an alien!

BTW, good luck as a barista!! Welcome

Posted by: 1986 | Jul 19, 2005 4:21:21 PM

YAY!!! So glad that worked for you! Enjoy. :)

Posted by: cb | Jul 19, 2005 4:30:33 PM

1986 - the adjustment is merely because of going from a really lax company to a tightly controlled one. I enjoyed the laxity that allowed me to do whatever I wanted (literally). I know I'll like this job (the term "telecommute" has already been bandied about for me) but it's just weird having everything be so CORPORATE all of a sudden.

Posted by: Jaynee | Jul 19, 2005 5:00:52 PM

Hi Jaynee..you'll enjoy all that is Barista..which is alot..Say, would you like to say Hi to everyone on my cable show, Inside Montclair on Tv - 34.

We could do a mini ( 3 min,. ) interview over at Church Street Cafe..great owners, place, and its time again to do another spot there..it'll be fun ( always open to all Barista folks ), let me know.

Posted by: wayne robbins | Jul 19, 2005 6:57:54 PM


you may have forgotten the single most important item in changing jobs: the 2% or 3% raise (at least if you used to live in NJ & commute to NYC)...last time I made that change, I think the NYS-NYC tax combo was something like 2%-3% cheaper than the NJS (& other ancilliary taxes)...

welcome to the ranks of those stuck in traffic on some NJ choke point (GSP, NJT, 280, 287, 46, 3 -- take your pick, they ***all*** backup, sometime!! :(


oh, yeah...one more thing...driving to work...that was a shock to my system, after I took the subway to high school for 3 years!! :)

Posted by: jsi | Jul 19, 2005 8:39:00 PM

I can sympathize - the internet was down for 2-3 days last year at my job and I thought I would go crazy. I never realized how much I depended on those little mental vacations. I too work for a large soulless corporation with strict rules - we can't access Netzero, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. either. But at least I can have a desktop picture of San Francisco, my favorite place, on my screen to look at. And I solve the problem of not accessing personal e-mail accounts by just having all my personal e-mails come to my work e-mail address. Hey, a girl has to communicate! (At first I was worried about being caught but it's been years and so far no one has said a thing). I assume even my straitlaced company agrees it is better for employees to be happy. And the e-mailing cuts down on those personal phone calls!

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Jul 20, 2005 12:13:25 AM

Whew! For a minute there I thought you were describing what it's like to work at Baristanet ;-)

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