On the subway Thursday afternoon while fretting about arriving to work on time I had a sane idea. Over the next 100 days, I will write about New York City each day. Each post will be between 100-300 words and focus on my experiences and observations as a new New Yorker (me). Here’s Day 1.
The white streaks staining my khaki pants below the knees remind me of bird poop. They’re not the work of a rogue squadron of pigeons though. They just look that way to me at 1:24 in the morning.
Thursday afternoon in the shadow of Grand Central Terminal I worked my first New York City job – a yogurt promo. I loaded dollies with cases of blueberry-, strawberry-, and honey apricot-flavored yogurt, broke down boxes, and handed cases to cab drivers stuck in traffic. My uniform consisted of a red T-shirt and khakis, the latter of which I bought for $11 at a place called El Mundo an hour before my shift started. Hours later, busted containers of yogurt transformed my pants into pooped-on house painter chic.
As a Louisiana native, I am a rookie to the promo scene. If promos existed in south Louisiana they would involve handing out cans of beer and mosquito spray – the lifebloods of bayou survival.
Bayou survival doesn’t suffice in New York City. New Yorkers need fuel for their hurried walks from landmark to landmark, skyscraper to skyscraper. They need yogurt that has no nutritional value but tastes like dessert. And they need it NOW!
Once passerby learned we were giving away yogurt for free a mini-crack epidemic occurred – minus the crack and guns. New Yorkers descended like vultures upon the booth in which I worked. Women shoved yogurt containers into their purses as if yogurt extinction were imminent.
Yogurt cases were fair game too. I overheard a fellow worker refuse a man a case because she had already provided him one minutes earlier. He admitted she was correct, but informed her he had sold the first for $2. Maybe he was drunk. If not, he was running a yogurt racket in order to get drunk.
Mmmm, beer. A bayou survival promo sounds good right about now.