A Day with FXCollaborative's Angie Lee
By Angie Lee
6:42am: I’m about to solve the mystery of life, but then I wake up minutes before my alarm goes off. My husband has been up since 5 and is working in his office next door. Our new pit bull rescue puppy pushes off me to sit up at the sound of my daughter being cheerful and fully dressed. I bring the dog to my son, who is deeply asleep, and get her to thoroughly lick his face to wake him up. There’s a roulette of chores: make lunch to pack for the kids, walk the dog, or drive them to middle school.
8:00am: I study my calendar. I’m looking to see if I have multiple client meetings and if there’s a need to accommodate different cultural sensibilities. I don’t know why I do this – I always end up wearing black with something black. My husband tries to feed me breakfast. I decline, regret that decision, and then opt in - he’s a great cook. Sometimes I stray from my uniform, uncaffeinated, and he will toss out annoyingly accurate fashion critique as I reach the elevator. His best one was Star Trek ‘stewardess’ because who even says stewardess any more?
9:00am: The L train is a mass of humanity and breaks down. The upside is that I start tackling email or type up things like this. I try to write down the ideas before I cross the street, and vow to exercise more. It’s so good for your brain and also, being out of breath stinks. I walk through the Union Square farmer’s market and window shop bread, bourbon, corn on the cob, lavender. Love it.
9:30am: I navigate an antique elevatoring system at the office which takes longer than it should. But, it gives me time to check the news through social media news outlets. When I finally walk off of the slowest elevator in the world, everything moves into hyper speed. My day-long caffeination process begins, and I power through a litany of creative and strategic meetings with amazing people and colleagues.
Conversations range from selecting hazard orange piping to mediate very beige bench cushions to organizing the story and vision for a once in a lifetime, prominently positioned cultural and institutional entity. My interiors teams move fast, and our deadlines are frequent. Our clients rely on us to be agile and responsive so we juggle and multi-task in a blur. We navigate mounds of finishes, zoning square feet, jockey for meeting rooms, or crowd around someone’s desk. We also socialize in the corridors, the kitchen, and oddly, more than a little bit in the bathrooms.
12:30pm: My assistant scolds me for not eating lunch, partly because I’ve finally stopped asking him to grab smoothies for me. It’s taken an embarrassingly long time to break the habit of consuming single-use plastic. There is food all over the office. Grazing a deconstructed meal from the Lunch and Learn vendors and people back from vacation importing carb-intensive food in the pantry, gallery, and on the food alter next to my desk means I’m fed one way or the other.
2:00pm: Client presentations happen a lot in the afternoons. We lug heavy bags or trays full of finishes and stones to meetings, so I order a car and work on proposals or things for Madame Architect along the way.
3:15pm: One or both of my kids texts me to ask about homework, if they can play a video game, and then complain about each other. The older one is starting to take the subway home by himself from school so I’ve also been over-protectively texting and tracking him to make sure he’s gotten home.
5:00pm: On Thursdays, FXCollaborative holds office wide design reviews. I love design, and the reviews really are a kind of a battlefield, people here battle gently and respectfully even though they rarely agree with each other. It’s super interesting. The best part is that every comment makes an impact sooner or later.
6:00pm: My husband texts me about when I’ll be home. I reply that I’m packing up and I should be home around 6:30.
6:25pm: I look at the clock and swear at my computer. My husband receives a text that I’m in the elevator.
7:30pm: In the elevator. Thankfully iPhone has a tracking function for family accounts. My husband probably saw that the GPS dot didn’t move towards Brooklyn until now, and knows that I got stuck at my desk or ran into someone who needed to talk. Because of this, we have stopped bickering about my bad habit of losing track of time and cold dinners. He is awesome.
8:00pm: One kid is in a good mood. The other one is in a terrible mood. I demand hugs, because they’re not automatic any more from teens and tweeners. I ask questions about school, needle them about homework, and then we all eat my husband’s amazing dinner. Years ago he started pushing back dinner time so we could all eat together. I wish it was every night, but eating together is a treat we get only two or three times during the work week.
10:00pm: One of three things happens: I fall asleep before my kids do, I mark up design presentations, or lately, I watch Ugly Delicious on Netflix. The dog competes for real estate on the bed in all of those scenarios.
12:00am: Instagram. I scroll, fret about politics, the environment, and probably post something after my husband finally finishes his work day and it’s his turn to compete for real estate on the bed with the dog.