A vibrant, humming corporate office is off to another productive and early start. The coffee’s long since been brewed by a caring administrative assistant, and calls and e-mails are flying back and forth. Everyone’s looking especially crisp today – there’s an important lunch meeting with a client who we really need on board with the project. Our bright-eyed young interns are busy typing away, hoping to make a good impression on the boss.
“Jamie? Can I please see you in my office?” says Matt.
“Of course.” I save my article on Hillary Clinton’s latest diplomatic mission and report to Matt’s office.
“Have a seat,” he says, so I do.
“Do you lie to everyone like that, or only our readers?” he gives me the evil eye.
“Eh… I might lie some. You know, sometimes. Occasionally.”
Matt shakes his head. “Pathological,” he declares. “Tell it like it really is. And just introduce the staff first. I’m not sure if I’m ready to reveal what really goes on here.”
“Okay,” I say, feeling devilish. “I will.”
I’m here at 9:30 every morning, and that’s the truth. Everyone else comes in, alternately, at Matt-o’clock, Sarah-o’clock, Megan-o’clock, Other-Matt-o’clock, Kristine-o’clock, Dennis-o’clock and Joe-o’clock. To be fair, they all stay far beyond when I leave for class, child-wrangling or car inspections.
Matt’s the ship’s captain. He’s the only young’un on staff who’s not in school. He doesn’t have time. He works late into the night, nurturing his business and plotting world domination brainstorming. Matt’s the youngest of all of us. In the past I’ve had difficulty working for people I might have babysat under different circumstances, but not here. He knows too much, and has ninja photographer skills. He also brought us our office dog, Connor, who eats everything, including light bulbs.
Megan is like vice president. She’s been working with Matt the longest and has been instrumental in launching Tickle. She also lives across the street from me and helped scare off an intruder in my basement last weekend. She loaned me movies when my whole family had H1N1. I still haven’t returned Reservoir Dogs. You will often find Megan on the floor, typing on her knees. Megan is interesting not only because she plays the trombone in various symphonies and is learning Japanese, but also because she never talks about sex. Ever. Which is strange, given our line of work. She’s almost done with her master’s degree in… trombone.
Sarah is our sex toy/computer guru. She has quite the collection, and is writing a memoir called Sex and Sushi, which I cannot wait to read. When she doesn’t have a boyfriend, she regales us with okcupid tales, making us feel lame for being sexually inactive and/or married. Sarah has worked every job there ever was. Name a place, she’s worked there. A model and photographer, she also posts lovely philosophical status updates on Facebook and is working on her business degree.
Kristine is our in-house writer. She sits in the corner; the only sound coming from her desk is the sound of keys clicking. She listens to Pandora on headphones, so forget trying to talk to her. You might see her Twittering now and then, which suits her, since she pretty much only speaks on the page. She’s really afraid of the grocery store. Our kids go to kindergarten together, but if you ever see her at a birthday party or a field trip, she’ll be hanging out quietly in the background. Kristine’s in grad school, but I don’t really understand what for. She’s also the oldest of the group, which makes her unhappy.
Other Matt is our fantastic intern. I seriously don’t know how he puts up with us without getting paid. He does all sorts of random and interesting things, and I suspect he may only come to the office to engage in our ridiculous conversations, though he says he comes here for career development and growth. A former college soccer star, Other Matt is just a real nice guy who wants to settle down and have a family. He has a marketing degree and is MBA-bound. Somehow in all this, he managed a restaurant for four years, though I don’t see where he had the time. Other Matt is going places, I tell you.
Dennis is interesting. He’s in and out doing important things that I don’t understand. He serves dutifully as Chief Cookie Buyer, which aggravates Matt and me to no end. If there’s cookies, we’re eating them, so we beg him to stop – alas, he never fails to come with a weekly batch of cookies to feed an entire platoon. Dennis likes to cook and work on building his boat. He asked me to advertise for a girlfriend here, but I said no. Dennis tried his first slice of veggie pizza last week and he actually liked it.
Painter Joe is our resident remodeler. He had to do most of the office in oil-based paint; as such, when we use the printer it heats up the oil molecules floating in the air and gives off the odor of natural gas. He and his crew did a beautiful job though, and they continue to work on the kitchen and conference room. Painter Joe also tried his first slice of veggie pizza last week, and he didn’t hate it.
Then there’s me. I am, when it suits me, Tickle Spot Magazine Editor/Contributor, Internship Coordinator, Procurement Associate, Administrative Ass and Office Recycling Manager. I frequently give myself new titles. I’ve had a lot of different jobs in the past (not as many as Sarah), some of which include record store clerk, obituary writer, advertising peon, banquet server, preschool teacher and standardized test essay grader. I felt sorry for some of those 10th graders I failed. Actually, no I didn’t. They were illiterate. I’m a former roller skater who won lots of second-place medals, which sums me up pretty concisely. I’m trying to locate the energy to apply to MFA programs.
We have a few other interns who just started here, so I’m looking forward to writing about them in the future. We also have a large number of far-flung freelance artists, designers and writers, who I have not met face to face and sadly cannot describe in colorful terms. But they all do great work and we appreciate them!
Welcome to Tickle! In the next installment, I’ll tell you a little bit about what goes on in the office. It may or may not be NSFW.