Your Totally Princeton Office Nemesis Quit to Be a Stripper?!


I am angrier than Whitney Houston the last time Bobby faced “injustice.” I am more tightly wound than the skin in front of Mickey Rourke’s ears. I am more pissed off than I was when Doogie Howser, MD. got cancelled. Why? You may be wondering. What, pray tell, has sent me into such a frenzy?

My office nemesis.

I despise her with every fiber of my being.

You may be wondering how a lowly blogger like myself can actually have an office nemesis. After all, I don’t even have an office. All I’ve really got is a stool at Starbucks and free wireless jacked from the architecture firm next door. Nay! The Internet is a big, wild place—it’s my workplace and my play place. My office nemesis resides there, in the trappings of the World Wide Web.

You see, I opened up my trusty New York Times a couple days ago and after gazing at Maureen Dowd’s rather deceiving glamour shot, (I ask you, is this a personals ad or a political column she’s penning?) I came across a piece of news that set my sensibilities ablaze.

Arianna Huffington, politi-ho about town and generally successful L.A bullshit slinger is starting her own blog, featuring the deep musings of real life celebrities.

Silly me! I thought that’s what Gawker was for.

Who doesn’t want to hear Malcolm Jamal Warner wax philosophical about the strength of the dollar? What well-read and -bred American wouldn’t want to chat live with the stars of Smallville about our strategy in Iraq?

Wait, what strategy?

I tossed and turned for hours that night. Would I survive going toe to toe with this new redheaded force?

The office nemesis is an all-encompassing obsession. Nothing can distract from her. And the office nemesis is nearly always a “her.” You never hear Joe in accounting complain about what a dirty slut Chad in client services is, how he should’ve gotten that promotion over Chad, for sure. But though infuriating, the office nemesis keeps the excitement of the nine-to-five chugging along at a mighty pace. A job is just a paycheck without the office nemesis.

Note that the office nemesis can never be your boss. At the end of the day, the boss will always hold more power than you. You versus boss always means boss wins. An office nemesis must be your peer, your equal.

Take my original office nemesis, for example. The pre-Huffington hussy that made my days as long and pointless as a Step by Step marathon.

When I first moved to New York after college, I put aside my desires to write full-time for fear I would never be able to support myself (read: my rent) that way. I wished desperately for success in my New York life. I wished to flourish like my personal hero Fabian Basabe.

Writing full-time seemed too much like a pipe dream, so I took an office job at an advertising agency. On my first day, after I settled into my gray three-walled cubicle, I made my way to the kitchen to get a Diet Pepsi, which I later discovered was the only perk at this job.

That’s where I met her. Princeton.

That’s not her name of course, it’s where she went to school. But in an ironic twist of fate, the word perfectly describes her WASP-y, elitist, horse-faced personality.

Who said that?

I was merely a 10-bucks-an-hour intern while Princeton was the proud owner of a full-time position. With benefits that did not just include a fizzy drink. She, of course, never let me forget my tenuous job status, often musing aloud about how much longer I would be able to hold onto my job.

Princeton also had a penchant for dressing for the office as if she were a Fly Girl instead of assistant account manager.

Homie don’t play that.

Princeton haunted me. She stole my office supplies. She walked by my cubicle and commented that I looked hungover and “really super tired.”

I retaliated by telling Hot Jerry that she had airborne Gonnoreah.

It was war and we battled it out for months, in secret. We still smiled at one another as we stood waiting for the copier to fulfill our all-important collating duties.

And then, one day, without a word, Princeton was gone. Rumors flew around the office about her disappearance. Was she fired? Did she quit?

Did she leave to become an exotic dancer?

A late-night visit to a “Gentleman’s Cabaret” by a friend of a friend of an office mate confirmed that she had indeed fulfilled her destiny. She had left advertising to pursue a dream, to do what she was really good at (rule number one in Paula Froelich’s new book It!).

At the end of the day, Princeton inspired me. I too left advertising to be a stripper.

I mean, to be a writer.

And now, thanks to Princeton, I’m ready to go head to head with Arianna Huffington.

Bring it.