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I’ve been more negligent than I had planned to be with Jerk Ethic in the past week, which I suppose is a fairly dull and predictable disclaimer for a recreational blogger. Next time I’ll come up with something interesting like, “Oh, I’ve been fighting a ton of crime ever since I mastered Jujitsu. I swear, once I get this mugger out of a headlock I’ll post more often.” Nothing that sexy. We’ve gotten some much needed freelance work and I’ve been preparing to move into a new apartment so I can move out of the spank bank. Boring stuff, but edumacational. Tonight I present to you a list of Things I’m Learning. Maybe it, too, can enlighten you. And if you enjoy Jerk Ethic and would like to read it more often, as always, you can always pay me to write it.

Sometimes sharing an office can be a lot like an open relationship.

Just like casual dating, it initially seems liberating and wise, especially if you like the other party involved and want to make them happy. However, just like polyamory, it can quickly spiral out into an out-of-control, socially overwhelming and unnecessarily intimidating situation that inevitably leads to arguing, avoidance, a loss of money, and possibly chlamydia.

Okay, neither one of us has chlamydia. Yet.

We haven’t been to our office in a week. That means that ¼ of our rent this month was wasted. Partially this was due to a computer being in a locked room belonging to a friend in an out-of-the-way location but also we’ve heard that several other individuals have been invited to share our space. What had started out as a three person share is now five to seven people in a single room.

It doesn’t help when two of these people are what we can refer to as “talkers.” We’re talkers, too, but we’re also panickers. As in, we panic, fight like hell, and produce stellar copy. Much like getting in the middle of a bayonet duel, it’s probably best to just leave us the hell alone when we’re working together.

My counterpart says that we should invest in some industrial grade headphones. (He’s serious.) While I think that wearing an air traffic controller costume might send the message that I want to be left the fuck alone because my medication has worn off, I don’t think this is a viable long-term solution. We’ll have to see.

Just like the cheating husband who buys his wife jewelry, if you’re cut a check that seems too large, chances are there’s something amiss.

This isn’t to say that we believe in selling our work for cheap. We don’t. Even when we’re down to our last nickels for bus fare and we’re sharing an apple as a meal we don’t lower our rates. Period. But when you sit down and have a project outlined in vagaries, incoherent business jargon (“We really took a bath but now we’re movin’ up, with your help, we’ll be movin’ up.”) and then you’re just cut a fairly sizeable check without being told what you’re supposed to actually do to earn that money, well, it’s a little dumbfounding.

And confusing.

But, hey, we’re more than grateful and walking out of an office, check-in-hand, feels a lot better than walking into a soup kitchen, bowl in hand. Besides, we turn in good work on time. Even if we’re unsure what direction this particular client is going with us, we’re still writing. And we’ll continue to do so until he tells us to strip naked and fuck on camera, ’cause, hey, kids, that’s what he’s paying for, etc.

Working with someone you love can mean wanting to kill the person you work with.

It’s great to wake up next to someone who makes you feel like the world’s a pretty rad place to be stuck to. It’s even better when you work on a project with someone who challenges you and makes you excited to do a good job. Celebrating your loved ones’ successes is part of the joy of having relationships and families and all that gushy interpersonal stuff. But financial strife and fear and hormones and just general day-to-day nonsense can lead to more tears than a The Cure fan-club meeting in a cemetery, not to mention the kind of fighting that gets Quentin Tarantino erect.

Meanings of some of the looks we’ve shot each other of late:

  • I know that tongue is good for something. Talking right now? Yeah, that ain’t it.
  • Several variations of the expression “fuck off.”
  • Hold me, leave me alone, hold me, leave me alone.
  • Right. Great idea. What’s next, buying a puppy and panhandling?
  • If I had a pen knife I’d slice off your fingers, stick them in your mouth, gouge out your eyes, and then open all the mail I haven’t had time to get through since I started dealing with your bullshit.

The plus side of this is that the things that turn out well are, for lack of a better term, double-happiness. The other day one of the projects that we worked on went live. He had done most of the writing, I had been on the revising end. I saw his words, thoughts, and vision on a website and it was better than seeing something I had constructed solo up anywhere. I felt proud, not only to be his girlfriend, but also to be a part of the company that churns out such brilliant work. (Back pats all around.) When you work with someone who pretty much astounds you daily with their intellectual and creative capacity it’s incredibly rewarding, even if that reward comes with a fair amount of risk and resignation. That said, our business account had best include a monthly sum put aside to post bail.

Don’t talk about cunnilingus in a business meeting.

Just don’t.

Keep reading, stay tuned, check out Bitchcraft as it becomes more regular, just like I hope my period will…

office chicks

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