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Me Me Me: My First Week in NYC

I realized I’ve yet to introduce myself since getting hired by Barstool, and an extremely small percentage of readers might want to get a better feel for who I am. If you don’t give a fuck about me or my life, which is a sentiment that I respect and share, then I’d suggest exiting out of this now. 

A year ago, I was finishing up my master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Ed and working with infants and toddlers with disabilities (preemptive “you’re welcome” for my services) in the women-dominated field of Early Intervention. Around that time, if someone would’ve told me I’d end up working for Barstool, I would’ve humbly said “that kind of makes sense,” because I was actively sending them sample blogs and trying to get a job there.

By day, I was evaluating little boys and girls for developmental delays and attempting to elicit communication skills from nonverbal two-year-olds with Autism. And by night, I was writing blogs about ferociously horny adult men and angering Twitter with GoFundMe donation requests for Cancun trips and Coachella tickets, because my “terminally ill,” fictional step dad could no longer afford to send me money. Some might say my own behaviors would justifiably award me a spot on some kind of list or spectrum. Others might simply refer to me as a loser devoid of a life. I’d bite my tongue and refrain from debating either of those theories.

Regardless of my perceived social status or undiagnosed, high-functioning disorders, I defied the odds and landed a job at one of the most respected and prestigious digital media companies on West 27th Street in Manhattan. A random or non-random onlooker wouldn’t have been able to tell from my repulsive lack of charisma and complete inability to express positive emotions properly, but I was ecstatic about getting hired. And who wouldn’t be? I was given a gigantic platform to do what I love for a living, even if “what I love” is widely considered a red flag for something that ends in -path. Not only that, but I was gifted the unique opportunity to live in New York City; something so unique that only 8.6+ million other people (0.1% of the world’s population) have the privilege of doing.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t experience my share of fears and setbacks on the road to “building my brand” as a vulgar blogger while also trying to maintain a career in special education. Certainly, an obscure alias like “KB” (my initials) and a mysterious avatar of an 11-year-old boy (myself) would make it virtually impossible for a boss, colleague, or client’s parent to discover me online in 2018, right? Hearing the PTSD-inducing words, “so I found you on Twitter…” is a fate I’d wish on none of my shit-posting, semi anonymous brethren. Luckily, I (awkwardly) managed to avoid termination and continue to play on the floor with save the lives of babies for a living. Even if it meant succumbing to a private, stagnant Twitter account for a few months.

I won’t bore you with any other details about my uninteresting path to becoming a Barstool employee, except that I spent four years as a wrestler at Kent State. So, when it comes to putting the SPORTS in Barstool Sports, I’d definitely be open to covering college wrestling in an unconventional manner. I’d also be open to fucking off and not writing a single word about a sport with a minuscule fanbase.

And if you’re curious about my accomplishments and accolades as an NCAA athlete, I’ll just say that I was better known within the wrestling community for my social media presence than anything I did as a wrestler:

Finally, I’ll culminate this blog by sharing my top 3 takeaways from working and living in New York City* so far:

1. Fuck public transportation

I’ve been commuting from my temporary roommate’s house in *Parsippany, New Jersey to Manhattan for a week now and I’ve spent a total of about three days on a train. And that’s just the train portion of the commute. From the moment my roommate dryly pecks me on the cheek and sees me out the door in the morning, to the moment I walk into the office at Barstool HQ, my total travel time logged is a smooth two and a half hours. On a good day.

Last Friday, I found myself stuck on an unmoving train for about three hours due to a variety of affairs and issues. One being that a group of hooligans “trespassed on the tracks” and the scenario required “police intervention” (instead of natural selection intervention). Apparently, that’s something that “just happens” and it’s a situation that’s completely out of the control of the passengers. Like, I couldn’t just simply exit the idle train and finish my route by Uber or something. As a naive, simple-minded Midwestern/Appalachian boy, I was equal parts befuddled, equal parts infuriated.

And when I say I was stuck on the train, I mean I was stuck on the train. My modest 150 pound body was getting alpha’d by the colossal, man-spreading thighs and overflowing torso of the morbidly obese Haitian man (not assuming ethnicity, he was loudly speaking Haitian Creole on the phone) who infiltrated my seating arrangement like Emperor Jacques I. In hindsight, I should’ve just forfeited the entire seat to him and stood—it would’ve been far less emasculating.

Once my scrawny, squat-deprived, FDR legs reached the point of numbness, I was able to actually focus my frustrations on the transportation woes of the trip. That’s when I looked around and noticed something quite peculiar. While the train dilemmas were repeatedly fucking me physically and mentally like an emotionally unstable orgy attendee, the middle-aged men and women who surrounded me seemed to be strangely indifferent about the whole predicament. Like an unsuccessful ménage à trois, no one gave two fucks, and I was perplexed. Was I glimpsing at my future? Is there a direct correlation between commuting long distances via public transportation to New York City and becoming dead inside? Because, it was almost like they were so mentally-drained and soulless that they didn’t even have the energy or capability to feel frustration or anger anymore.

2. Fuck pedestrians in NYC

My main takeaway from navigating the streets of Manhattan by foot for a week is that the human race is still comically bad at the act of walking. I’m not even talking about the elderly and physically impaired. Slender, young adults with perfectly-functioning limbs and spry joints are absolutely fucking atrocious at moving at a regular pace by lifting and setting down each foot in an alternating manner. Inexplicable stops and random lulls in pace, nonexistent spacial awareness or use of peripherals, “merging” left and right at fluctuating speeds for seemingly no reason. It’s all been mind-numbingly infuriating.

3. This is all karma 

In the midst of pondering and writing about my grievances with commuting, I remembered someone else who was in a similar situation once upon a time. Someone who also went through extensive lengths to try to get to a job in New York City and was hindered by obstacles and adversity along the way:

A young woman named Beth desperately took to Craigslist in the summer of 2015 in hopes of receiving a ride from Iowa to NYC from a kind-hearted stranger. But instead, she found herself in the crossfires of a juvenile “prank text” conversation with the likes of a budding Craigslist troll loser.

I don’t necessarily believe in karma, but for this shit alone, I certainly deserved to be squished in place by a corpulent Caribbean man on an immobile train to Penn Station for at least a few hours.

Everything considered, I’m thrilled about this new chapter of my life and getting the chance to write for a website that I’ve been reading and browsing on a daily basis for the last couple years.

And lastly, for the BOYS who so courageously made it this far into the blog, I gift you: