I eat the same thing for lunch every day — vegetables, hummus and pita bread. No, I’m not a vegan health nut. No, I’m not a rabbit. No, I’m not a vegan health nut rabbit. I’m a guy who sits at a desk all day and needs to eat.
My coworkers find it a little odd. They find it funny. They find it amazing that my steady diet of vegan rabbit food doesn’t drive me to afternoon microwave popcorn and pod coffee binges. That’s okay, I enjoy the ridicule. My behavior is odd and funny and amazing, at least within the mundanity of office life. It also makes perfect sense. So let’s unpack my lunch.
Lunch in midtown Manhattan isn’t cheap. Oceana, one block over, serves a tasty Salad of Grilled Louisiana Shrimp with mango, young coconut (none of that geriatric, senior citizen coconut), yogurt dressing and cashews for $27. The Capital Grille features a Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, dished up chilled with wasabi arugula, for a price that magically appears on the check moments before you lay down that American Express Black card. What can I say? Bankers like seafood and steak, and investing taxpayer money to make billions, which then gets funneled back into bonuses and expense accounts and spent on pricey lunches.
Technology is a beautiful thing. It lets us wander the beautiful streets of Manhattan, amidst her majestic skyscrapers, expensive stores and bustling throngs, completely focused on a screen the size of my hand. What better way to connect with the world than to disconnect from it? In all fairness, technology also lets me have a job in one of those tall buildings, creating content for people looking at those tiny devices. I’m grateful for that. Though lately I’ve been feeling a little vulnerable.
Technology also seeps into the private corners of our lives.
Take a look in consider the bathrooms in my office. The sinks turn on by themselves, activated by motion sensors that detect hands underneath a faucet. The toilets flush when you step away. They’re even beta-testing a robot that will relieve itself for you, so you can continue working.
So… come here often?
The elevator in my office building doesn’t work sometimes. I don’t mean that in the plunging-40-stories-to-a-fiery-death-to-be-covered-in-gruesome-yet-inaccurate-detail-on-CNN-for-the-next-two-weeks sense; after all, I am writing from this side of the grave. It just has a weird glitch. When the elevator stops on, say, 42, on its way to one of the higher floors, it will forget your floor and head back down.
This happened to me the other day on my way to work. I wasn’t paying any attention to the floor numbers counting up or the digital message scrolling by, welcoming me to the building with the personal warmth that only LCD can offer. The elevator stopped; the other person on it got off. The doors closed, and the elevator continued on. When the doors opened again, I got off too.