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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

pdf

I’m back. I’ve put it behind me. Francesca. Rome. And when I was back all I could think was give me something!! Give me something flat. Give me a plastic bag. Give me something dull. Something without taste and smell. No tango. No machiatos. Give me a coffee in a paper cup. Something zero, something without culture and style, without "penetrating eyes" and foreign accent. And damn it! you know what, I got it.Yesterday was my first day on the job. I work in a office now. None of this shuffling around with plates and cutlery anymore. And I discovered what kind of assistant I am too. I’m everyone’s assist. I assist people’s assistants. I spent the morning manning the xerox machine, and then I filed a man’s files. His name is Douwke. That’s a name. He asked me where I was from, I said, Croatia, he said, Sarajevo? I said Croatia without blinking an eye and he got it. A Richard Branson type with white teeth, a goatee and kind of constant half smile. He was quick to observe that in Dutch “Lui” (pronounced as single syllable) means lazy. Je zult twee keer zo hard moeten werken fucker– you’ll have to work twice as hard. Ha, ha, ha, that’s funny, ‘cause Douwke in Slovenian means dagger, but it also the fuzz on a man’s scrotum. I didn’t tell him that because it’s not true, but I would have. When I was done with his files he said, do you know data entry? I said tell me and I’ll do it. He talked about pdf files. He said, you take these pdf files and you print out these pdf files and with these pdf files you gotta do this and that with these pdf files. He said it so much I was loosing it, I was straying, I was hearing something else and I got this terrible, this totally horrible disturbing image, Richard Branson in a cellar with a bunch of kids all scared and scratched, which is the most horrendous shit you can possibly think of. Pdf files he kept saying. It’s a highest order of magnitude of evil. If murder is 1, ethnic cleansing 7 – and I know ethnic cleansing, I'm Balkan – this shit is easily 10, 15, maybe 20. It’s down there with shit that’s so evil just thinking about it is criminal. Just thinking! Lui! Yes, sir! Get with the program, he said, (or the Dutch equivalent). Richard Branson scratched his goatee and looked at me funny, and I said, give me the files sir and I’ll do it. And he said, I can’t give you the files they’re pdf files.