Friday, May 22, 2009

editors are scary

We had a new intern start on Tuesday; he was supposed to work Tuesdays and Fridays all summer. He arrived at the intern arrival hour on Tuesday, and left for lunch at 11:30. He never came back from lunch.

My assistant (the intern supervisor) only just noticed today, since he hasn't come in again. "I think we scared him off!" she cried. "It only took 2 hours!"

If anyone's seen an intern named Thomas wandering the streets of New York, tell him it's ok, not everyone's cut out for publishing.

51 comments:

David said...

Had 'im cleaning out the slush pile, did ye? Hilarious post.

David Eric Tomlinson said...

This almost made me laugh coffee out of my nose.

Sarah Laurenson said...

LOL

Poor Thomas! We hardly knew you. We hardly missed you, too.

David said...

Maybe he got lost on the way back from lunch. Or maybe he was just doing research for a paper, and he got what he needed.

BuffySquirrel said...

*snarf*

Charles Gramlich said...

two hours? Is that a new record?

freddie said...

Was his last name Bartleby?

Kerry said...

haha! poor Thomas.

booksandbiscuits said...

Poor guy. But at the same time, what an opportunity to waste! speaking as a wannabe editorial ass, I would kill to get an internship like that!

literacracy said...

Hire me, I won't run away! Haha. I already have my internship for the summer, but I haven't started yet.

Perhaps I should worry? Haha.

Anne said...

that's hilarious. i love that you imagine him wandering through the city instead of home eating a sandwich and watching 'man v wild.'

how rude, though! i would never just walk out of a job/internship.

Sara J. Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

Hopefully he's just a quitter, and not lying in an alley all beat up and bloody or something. 'Cause that would be awful.

Justus M. Bowman said...

I've heard of workers disappearing from "water treatment" plants, but I never thought it happened in the published business.

Justus M. Bowman said...

*publishing

Now I've saved face.

Jolie said...

Poor Thomas! I myself am starting to think I should forget about publishing and go teach somewhere.

Elle Parker said...

OH man that sucks...

We own our own business and we had an employee quit on us like that once. Went to lunch, never came back, and sent us an email the next day.

Elle Parker
http://elleparkerbooks.blogspot.com/

Elle said...

My husband worked at a grocery store for a little while. One day, a new guy left for lunch and didn't come back; when they called him, he didn't answer his phone. He showed up three days later. He'd been arrested on his lunch break and had just gotten out of jail.

Here's hoping that Thomas left of his own accord and that publishing just wasn't for him.

(Also, does this mean you're now looking for an intern? I'd love to dive into the slush pile for ya! :)

Ello said...

Poor kid - what the heck did you all do to him?

Kiersten said...

Perhaps you should abandon the intern hazing welcome, where you give them a thousand slush-induced paper cuts.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

He prolly decided to make use of that engineering degree after all. not everyone's cut out for rocket science...

David said...

Of course not everyone's cut out for rocket science. Actually, no one is. That's because there's no such thing.

Anonymous said...

You don't think he realized in his first two hours that he was in a position where it would take his supervisor three days to notice his absence?

Rose Pressey said...

One look at the slush pile and it was all over.

Anonymous said...

Well, David, true that engineers perform rocket science, but I say it is a science--the science of rocketry, which is a kind of physics (and chemistry).

Anonymous said...

Man, any job where they don't notice you're not there for 3 days is a good job in my book!

Jo said...

Wow, it must have been ghastly! What did you do to the poor boy?
I've only walked out of a job once- I was 17, I was accused of stealing by the manager who couldn't see that it was my cute co-worker who was doing the thievery.
Since then I've had some truly awful bosses and yet never quit.
Hmmmmm...

Miriam S.Forster said...

Harhar... He's probably in the hospital recovering from cliche poisoning and poor grammar trauma.

Chris Eldin said...

OMG!!! This is the funniest post EVER!
But you must know, it was Robert and not you.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

We had such AWOLs occur in the retail business. Waaaay too often.

The First Carol said...

My intern is the boss' son, as in owner, which means I am training my future boss. I consider: go down in company history as kid's bad @$$ boss (man, she wouldn't let me do crap!), intelligence queen (wow, she is sooo smart), or...

Suggestions?

Janet Reid said...

Actually, I waylaid him, brought him to my office, plied him with liquor and I'll be returning him shortly, slightly shopworn.

I took the liberty of putting a template contract offer in his jacket pocket to save you having to find one for that deal you'll be calling me to offer on Tuesday.

Cause I'm all about saving you time and trouble.

Ann Victor said...

Were you feeding the interns sushi again, Moon Rat? It's the sushi that did it!

I_am_Tulsa said...

It's funny, sad and rude all at the same time!
...
I hope he didn't get in an accident or worse... abducted by aliens! :O

storyqueen said...

Maybe he just got misplaced or something.....are you sure he's not like, at the bottom of the slushpile?

Katiek patrianoceu said...

wow. Is that really right that no one noticed until Friday?

BookEnds, LLC said...

Hilarious. I've heard multiple stories of assistants doing this, but not interns.

If he decides to resurface, I could use an intern, ours flaked before even showing

-jhf

Melanie Avila said...

Oh no! Poor kid! We had that happen with a receptionist one time, although she did make it through the day -- she just never came back.

RedHawk said...

The question --- Was he being paid?
Robert the Publisher would be too much for any unpaid intern.

BuffySquirrel said...

The lack of rocket science probably explains the lack of rockets.

moonrat said...

RedHawk--interns...paid?! Hahahahaha. You're funny.

Word verification: paiging. Heehee.

gringo said...

His cover, fragile from the beginning, was blown. Interning at a publishing house was supposed to be easy, to simply pretend that editing was his life and that this was all that mattered, but it became complicated in a hurry. The “company” had unwittingly thrown him into the dragon’s lair. She seemed terse, this boss who was supposed to not know his true identity, and he was accustomed to such clandestine insertions so that her demeanor meant nothing, except for when he inadvertently glanced at her computer screen while passing by to run photocopies.

Moonrat!

He left at lunch, knowing that the next time they met it would surely be under less amiable circumstances. The boys back at Langley were apparently asleep on the job; Thomas was sure that she made him as an agent. He stopped to grab lunch, a hot dog from a sidewalk vendor. He took stock: one pill, intact; four recording devices, two for sound and two for video; four pistols, one hidden in a shoe, one in a pants pocket, and two others in the front and back of a wide belt. He was covered for the moment.

There would be no returning from lunch, if bugs had been planted then he needed to get sanitized, so a trip to Ted’s workshop was in order. Moonrat would certainly be suspicious, but Thomas reckoned that with a little makeup and some hair-dye, he could probably pose as a literary agent, so long as Ted could clean any probing details. They told him that taking down Moonrat was impossible and certainly not part of the assignment, but Thomas had other ideas. He would need a writer – a good writer, and fast…

The First Carol said...

Moonrat, are you international spy?

Gringo: are you color blind?

ALL: watch out for the next lit agent who pops up with dyed hair, and if it's YOU don't ask for assistance, just grab the first box of dye you can get your hands on and run!

Yesterday, my daughter asked unworldly sales clerk for assistance in choosing the perfect accent--blue or purple streaks. The woman plucked at her thick, dark bob and asked, "What kind of Caucasian are you?"

My daughter's brush lashes fluttered in surprise. Then she pulled her eyes into tiny Asian slits and said, "I'm not."

Immediately thereafter we learned Asians have the worst hair, and all the dye reasons why.

moonrat said...

gringo--HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

FionaJane said...

Perhaps your literary double agent got abducted by aliens. Given the lack of rockets, nobody would have seen them coming...

Fab anecdote - and love the blog (I'm a friend of Froog: an actual, real-life friend, from the days before he felt the need to run away to a different continent!)

Whirlochre said...

And I thought interns were pin-toed ballet dancers who didn't know when to de-pirouette. Was he wearing a tutu? Did he find the editorial landscape unsympathetic to flicking out his tuche and crying, "ba-daaaar!"?

Only America's Got Talent 2010 will tell.

quackingalone said...

The Senior Partner at our law firm used to terrify all the new people. We had one temp who was to work a full day. About 10 am she gathered up her stuff and left, telling a co-worker that she was going fishing.

Another time, we had a new receptionist in for her first day. Mind you, she was hired to answer the phone and greet clients. The Senior Partner hated to see anyone not working. When he saw her sitting and unfrazzled, he asked her if she could type. About an hour later, he walked by her desk and asked the same thing. Just before she left for lunch, he asked her a third time.

Her husband called over lunch saying his wife wouldn't be back to work. He said she'd come home crying because the Senior Partner humiliated her because she couldn't type.

When we told the boss, he looked surprised and sheepish. He'd been so busy that he hadn't remembered asking her the question more than once, or her giving him the answer three times.

Maybe our temp, receptionist and your intern are all out together - fishing.

Juliana Stone said...

thanks for the laugh Moonie! hope you have a great long weekend!

Mike Lindgren said...

Oh, dear. I hope Thomas is all right, wherever he is.

Anonymous said...

naming the intern is tacky

moonrat said...

Anon--obviously it's not his real name. No names used in this blog are real; in fact, most "characters" are composites. Please cf my FAQ for more info.