January 13th, 2012 / 4:45 pm



LinkedIn is a tower of screaming youth. New York City is a LinkedIn multiprojection, on a perfect black wall. It’s a failure. Investment bankers point and laugh and forget the time they showed up for their first day of work.
In 2011, we stumbled here with nothing but a Harvard MBA, a new Condo in LES, and 200k in an HSBC global account. We are so fucked. We came from every wealthy suburb in the world: Moscow plush, Santa Monica classics, and the total new money Cascade software babies. But now we are making strange moves in New York City, alone for the first and final time. We are helpless and nobody wants our labor. There is a place near NYU where the Russian money daughters hang out and talk about critical theory. One problem: they have never lived, except in malls and sex bars. They can’t sell much authority, except in the seminar. They don’t know how to make American business expertise. It would be hard for them to show up for work, knowing their own value exceeds it. The least wealthy among them is the safest – she understands her commodity. When her money runs out in 2022, she will need some kind of high-level creative employment. Something that really understands her. She needs to express. This compells her to become an employee for the first time. She uses her real MBA to lie her way into an unpaid art gallery internship. She wants to be around boys who get her scene.

In another American location, a sandy-haired surfer kid leans against the construction site fence. This is the new World Trade Center building in Lower Manhattan. The guy removes an iconic American cigarette from his Carhartt and smokes for the first time. I’m reaching understanding, he thinks. Ten minute break as required by his union.

He looks across the busy financial street to a Irish bar called Green River. He smiles. There is a pretty girl form Louisiana in there. She always works Tuesdays. Sometimes they share a bed. This is America.

The boy is doing this job because it is easier than Teaching For America. He wanted to direct movies about the inner city, but now he is thinking of writing a novel about construction workers that construction workers will not read. It seems fitting. His break is over anyways.


A high-power executive search firm is very busy on Saturday in 2012. Everyone wants out. Everyone is tired of their current position.

The firm sets everything up. The usual thing is to meet at a golf course. No names. No company stationary. Just vague business chat and sports talk. There are seldom women. The course is clear today – the search firm has purchased rights to the entire back nine.

The sun is shining and everyone is having a great time. It’s the middle of winter in Westchester.



  1. Brian M

      This is awesome. Makes me sad b/c I’m poor and going nowhere, hoping to move from making copies to being a secretary. Stuck at less than 30,000 a year, or the possibility of making between 30,000-60,000, and moving up. Doing your job well at the bottom of the ladder is counter intuitive b/c they’d keep you there. You do more than your market value, you do it well. It’s capitalism of the insignificants. emo comment

  2. Jimmy Chen

      the G-rated blooper reel of ‘american pyscho’ via 0 calorie pepsi needs an animated .gif of a circuit board retracting into the k-hole of itself when a nosebleed turns the power lunch cocktail into a bloody martini

  3. Lorrie Moore

      It’s now more than ever that we need the Rage Against the Machine 2012 reunion tour

  4. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Don’t worry we got Refused and ATDI back together, close enough!

  5. Jonathan Safran Foer

      You can marry more money 5 minutes than you can earn in a lifetime, friends

  6. Jonathan Safran Foer

      What do you do? 

  7. Jonathan Safran Foer

      Oh, you’re temping… was talking to one of the office boys at NYU today. You ought to try academic administration. If you have a decently prestigious undergrad degree, should be a cinch to get something. The jobs are squishy 9-5 busywork and the floor is 45K for an officer position and it climbs quickly if you lateral within the school. 


      They say be in the 99th percentile at one thing, or 75 percentile at two things (like writing and statistics or editing and web technology)…

  8. Erik Stinson

      jimmy is so right, again