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another day at the office: part 1
a whole year of creamy intrepid goodness
by joe procopio (@jproco)
pop culture

A year.

A whole year.

I knew, at the moment of inspiration, that if Intrepid Media lasted longer than six months, it would last a long, long time. But even then, I never expected a year. I figured we'd cruise up to about ten readers a day, peak, and then limp along with eleven columns detailing how hard it is to write a column every month and one tirade on how impossible it is to publish twelve columns every month. Then we would turn into a Jennifer Aniston worship site, which had been my second idea all along.

We've met a lot of people over the last year, well beyond 25,000 different people, to get literal. And the second most popular question I am asked, after "Is Jael single?" is "What's a day at Intrepid Media really like?"

Yes. And...

00.8.31 - 5:30 A.M.
Park in my reserved space right by the door. It's the one perk I've allowed myself over the last year. Well, okay, one of the many. I'm kind of a tyrant and rather self-centered, but that's no secret and it's neither here nor there. Anyway, the first thing I do every morning is say hello to Melvin, our security guard, and ask him how his Yankees did the night before. He tells me to piss off.

5:42 A.M.
After a bit of small talk, a smattering of passwords, and a retinal scan, I'm in the elevator and on the way up to the executive offices. Up past marketing and advertising, past subscription sales, past site coding and design. Up and up beyond copy-editing, beyond graphics and production, beyond modeling, beyond the pool and extreme skate course. Finally the door opens on the executive floor.

5:58 A.M.
I wake Jeff, who's kind of living here for the time being, and turn on the lights in the west wing. It's still kind of dim outside and the bulletproof glass lets so little light through in the mornings. I start the three coffee makers (one regular, one decaf, and one with that French Vanilla stuff that Adam likes) and take the people mover down to my office at the end of the hall.

6:34 A.M.
Write first word of next month's column: "It's"

7:30 A.M.
Jael gets in. She glides down to my office and we have the first executive meeting of the day. Agenda:

* Guatemala
* Did Jeff find a new apartment yet?
* Jael helps me with rest of first sentence of my column "funny how many reality shows there are."
* Awful joke Jael heard on morning zoo
* Fire Adam, who thinks he's such a big shot

8:15 A.M.
The cheery jingling from outside the office door can only mean that the pastry cart has arrived. Jael and I choose and eat three danishes apiece.

8:18 A.M.
Just kind of zone out for an hour.

9:25 A.M.
Prank phone calls to Slate and the Onion. Ask each if Hugh Jass works there.

10:31 A.M.
Jack arrives and, as usual, he is way too happy to be alive. He stops by each of our offices to ask if we need anything and regales us with horribly manufactured stories about the previous night's adventures in the Australian outback. We all smile and nod at these now. One time, Adam asked Jack if he really thought we believed that he commuted from Australia every morning. Jack bolted and we didn't see him for three weeks.

10:45 A.M.
Finish first paragraph of my column. Hate it. Shred it. Weep openly. Begin anew with "The"

10:46 A.M.
Feed intrepid media fish.

11:02 A.M.
Get sleepy from work so I head down to executive lounge to work on still untitled third novel. Think about how foolish it is to write third novel after respectively refusing and failing to publish novels one and two.

11:13 A.M.
Get inspiration for rest of first sentence of next month's column: "thing about reality shows is that there's a lot of them." Search pockets in vain for micro-cassette recorder.

11:14 A.M.
Play foosball with Michelle. Lose.

12:00 P.M.
Lunch in the company lunchroom on the first floor. Begin with pre-lunch speech which concludes with the tote-board tally of yesterday's unique visitors. 523! Michael wins the pool.

12:14 P.M.
Casually mention to Jael that someone critiqued my last month's column yesterday and gave me a "4" and, even though the feedback that came with it was glowing, I was a little put off not getting a "5." She chuckles at the story, as if telling me not to worry so much. But there's a look in her eyes that might be pity and revulsion. Jael's never gotten a "4."

12:58 P.M.
End lunch with my patented pep-rally-halftime speech. The entire staff runs out of the lunchroom cheering and roaring back to their cubes with renewed vigor.

1:12 P.M.
Post-lunch lull. Get on web and search for the following:

* Sarah Michelle Gellar nude
* Jennifer Love Hewitt nude
* Reese Witherspoon nude
* Joe Procopio nude (just checking)

2:14 P.M.
Begin drinking.

2:55 P.M.
Second meeting of the day, this time with the entire staff. Agenda:

* Guatemala
* Is Jeff really looking for an apartment?
* Bidet is busted in the bathroom on our floor
* Lenny Kravitz - cool or poser?
* Jael repeats awful joke she heard on morning zoo
* Let's force parachute pants back into pop-culture and then openly decry them

3:45 P.M.
Michael and I put together press release for the AP declaring that black is the new black.

3:57 P.M.
Back in my office, stare at the word "The" trying to figure out what the hell I meant. Scrap it and start over with "In"

4:31 P.M.
CNN announces that black is the new black.

4:33 P.M.

5:36 P.M.
Critique my own column from last month. Give myself a "5."

6:11 P.M.
Pretend like I'm walking past Jael's office and matter-of-factly stop by and mention that, since lunchtime, someone critiqued me and gave me a "5." Jael mm-hmms without looking up.

6:12 P.M.
Casually walk back to my own office trying to figure out who gave me that "4." Decide it was Jael and it's all part of her plan to take over intrepid media in a coup, beginning with that "4" and a vote of no confidence.

6:45 P.M.
Back in my office. Critique Jael's last column and give her a "4."

6:46 P.M.
Phone rings. Answer. It's Jael. She says "Stop it" and hangs up.

7:12 P.M.
Realize that sometime during the day someone (most likely me) has added to the first sentence of my new column which now reads, "In a gadda da vida, baby."

7:14 P.M.
Play ping-pong with Michelle. Lose.

8:00 P.M.
The entirety of the intrepid media staff gathers in the conference room to watch a re-run of Friends. You can call it sappy if you want, but it brings us all together and we run our company using the same philosophical skills that the Friends share between them. Except Adam, who watches for "Rachel's headlights."

8:31 P.M.
Stop drinking for a little while.

8:33 P.M.

8:45 P.M.
Rehearse with brilliant for tomorrow night's anniversary party.

11:42 P.M.
Realize that my column actually runs tomorrow. Take five minutes to write fluff anniversary piece. Beg Jael to do part 2 of 2 to make it seem weighty.


Joe Procopio trades in pop culture and tech culture, allowing him to poke fun at so many things. He's written for a number of online and offline publications from the late, lamented Smug to the fancy-pants Chicago Tribune and also for television. He's a novelist, a shredder, a joker, and a family man. Scoff at joeprocopio.com or follow on Twitter @jproco.

more about joe procopio


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topic: pop culture
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jack bradley
9.1.00 @ 2:11a

Oh, goody...I get to go first... First of all, I am NOT too happy to be alive. I just know what annoys people, and people like to read shit that annoys them. Secondly, you left out the bit about how well Melvin the security guard likes Jael. He's actually pretty nice to me, too. And I've never seen him surly towards Jeff, and he has to deal with him coming and going at all hours since he's sleeping on the couch in the waiting room outside of my office. Maybe it's just you, Joe. Oh, and what's with that orange font at the top of the page? I thought we voted on puce?

lila snow
9.1.00 @ 4:38a

Am I the only one who noticed that Joe got to work at 5:30 a.m. and didn't stop working till 11:42 p.m.? Geeze, talk about being the boss's pet. And he never even took a potty break. No wonder he's so crabby. Hey, Joe! Add stewed prunes to the menu tomorrow, and make us all a little happier.

jael mchenry
9.1.00 @ 8:31a

joe's not the boss's pet -- he's the boss. The big cheese. The head honcho. The Man. The face of authority, the head on our shoulders, the wind beneath our wings.

(What I'm trying to say, lila, is that I'm the boss' pet.

jeffrey walker
9.1.00 @ 9:28a

I'm not, as the politically vorrect might say, "apartment challenged," I'm just that dedicated to the job.

Ok. You could read this as a cry for help.

jeffrey walker
9.1.00 @ 9:38a

PS - as evidenced my my spelling... I'm drunk.

(P.P.S. -- I drink a lot with Melvin - that's why he likes me)

michelle von euw
9.1.00 @ 9:51a

Sweetness! I just knew Melvin was a Red Sox fan!

michelle von euw
9.1.00 @ 9:56a

Damnit...I read that wrong. You said "his" Yankees...now I know who slashed the tires on my Geo (the one with the "RedSox21" license plate...doesn't Mel realize that was Clemens' number, and he's now a Yankee, and he should leave my car alone?!?)

jael mchenry
9.1.00 @ 10:37a

As my computer currently says it's 10:30, I expect Jack to show up in a minute or so. By the way, no one should take this column as an excuse to start giving all my columns "4" ratings. I'm really quite fragile.

joe procopio
9.1.00 @ 12:04p

Does anyone know why Melvin took a swing at me this morning? I swear I can't win with that guy.

Lila, the new org chart is on your desk. Plus 9:31a.m. - pee, 1:03 p.m. - pee, 6:52 p.m. - release the hounds. I was under the impression that no one would want to read that.

Jeff, I've seen you drunk. Often. You're not drunk yet. I haven't heard you threaten to bite anyone in the throat yet.

Michelle, that was me. Sorry. I'm not a very good loser.

adam kraemer
9.1.00 @ 12:39p

A few points: a)When can I come back to work? b)You're right about Rachel's "headlights" being on throughout the show, but really I'm staring at Jael's headlights. c) My last column got a 4 average, but in so far as I gave myself a 3 for it, I don't know what meaning to take from that. d)Sorry about the bidet.

michelle von euw
9.1.00 @ 12:49p

OK, this office sounds a bit too dominated by male lust - Jael, I hope you point out the life-sized photo of Nicholas Bredon on the wall behind your desk.

Jeff, with our salaries, I can't believe you didn't buy that five bedroom condo...I guess it was too small for you.

jael mchenry
9.1.00 @ 1:15p

Michelle, I've upgraded since your last visit to the office. Now instead of a life-size picture of Nicholas Brendon, I have a life-size Nicholas Brendon. He's the one who makes the prank calls asking for Hugh Jass, I.P. Freely, and Amanda Hugginkiss. And, when necessary, stands between me and Adam to shield my headlights from view. Adam, you can come back to work when you've thought long and hard about what you've done.

adam kraemer
9.1.00 @ 1:18p

I just appreciate that nearly 12 hours after I got fired, I was still allowed to watch Friends with you guys.

joe procopio
9.1.00 @ 2:30p

No problem Adam. I just thought, "Would Joey let Chandler watch Friends with him, even if he was still mad?" Of course he would. And you didn't get fired, we just had to downsize to pay for the damage you did to the video-conference room.

jeffrey walker
9.1.00 @ 3:17p

Michelle - couldn't buy the condo because the covenants to the property specify "no keg stands allowed on the property."

honestly... you can see for yourself. I just wasn't willing to bend on that one.

jael mchenry
9.1.00 @ 3:19p

If this were Friends we would have stuck Adam in a box long ago. And Michelle and I would have switched identities for insurance fraud purposes but the whole thing would have fallen apart (in wacky hijinks, of course) because of some cute doctors. And there would be a monkey.

Or maybe there is a monkey. It's a big office, I might have missed the Jungle Room.

lila snow
9.2.00 @ 4:34a

Okay, the truth is, I knew Joe is the boss. That was a trick comment, to see if any of the rest of you people really exist, or if Joe is basically a schizophrenic with 37 different personalities. I think the result is clear.

Regarding the headlights, honestly, it isn't so great to leave them turned on during the daytime, Jael. I know a lot of the new cars are sold with "smart lights" that decide for themselves whether it's dark enough to shine or not, but there is a way to override that, and it saves a lot of extra power on the battery. Anyway, you might want to look into this so that Adam can START paying better attention to the road and STOP causing all of our insurance rates to keep going up. Personally, I plan to send him my $1386 Sept-Mar car insurance bill, which might drive the lesson home, so to speak. As for the rest of you, feel free to go ahead and blame Adam for the high cost of auto insurance, and let him pay your bill too. It will be ever-so-much easier to bu

lila snow
9.2.00 @ 4:38a

(oops) to buy groceries this year, and Adam can feel good about himself for once.

jack bradley
9.2.00 @ 7:24a

Hey, Jael? The monkey is in my office. (Now you can stop standing by the water cooler every morning and saying "What's that smell?" Oh, and it's 10:21pm in Australia...on Labor Day weekend. Why aren't you writing your novel instead of worrying about where my monkey is? (And Lila? Joe is like Kevin...we're all "him." that was a deep inside joke, for Lila and Juli...sorry guys.

joe procopio
9.5.00 @ 12:45a

You know, that's a good point, whether or not I exist. Or, to turn it around, whether any of you exist.

I was wondering who the new guy and the monkey were. Jael, please tell him I'm sorry I kept calling him "dorkus" yesterday - I just didn't know his name.

And Jack, come ON, you live two and a half miles from the office, man! HR has your address on file. I'VE BEEN TO YOUR HOUSE! It's okay. We still think you're cool.

jael mchenry
9.5.00 @ 9:40a

for those who wonder how many of us exist, i'd like to take the opportunity to plug our end-of-the-month column, "secrets of the intrepid media staff." jael and i would be happy to ... oh ... damn! i thought i was logged on as joe ... well, there goes my evil genius plan to take over the world through identity duplication. sigh. now i'll have to go to plan b: superintelligent monkeys.

adam kraemer
9.5.00 @ 12:16p

Q: How can you tell the superintelligent monkeys from the current staff?

That's not a joke; I really want to know.

jael mchenry
9.5.00 @ 1:09p


jack bradley
9.5.00 @ 6:49p

How fur?

jael mchenry
9.7.00 @ 8:27a

They have more.

joe procopio
9.13.00 @ 11:38a

Michelle, am I to assume that the eggs on the rear-window of my Boxter are due to the last minute and completely undeserved Jets whipping of the Pats on Monday?

I mean, come on, Vinateri knocking line drives over the uprights was funny at least the third time they got into the red zone.

lila snow
9.13.00 @ 12:48p

Alright, I think I have this straight now. Joe is everyone, except for Jael, who controls Joe, I think by keeping him in a "special" part of her brain and only letting him out during the airing of Moonlighting and Friends. And, apparently, some kind of violent sports game where Mets whip Pats (or is that a violent sex game? no matter). Adam is the monkey, and he is cleverly asking about superintelligent monkeys in order to throw the rest of us off track. Jack pretends to be living in Australia to hide his quiet hatred of aborigine's, although he is secretly enamored by ALL monkeys. And me? I just sit here typing, laughing silently, wondering why my boss doesn't fire my ass for never working.

jael mchenry
9.13.00 @ 1:48p

Thanks for the clarifications, Lila. Spot on. Of course, this will all become a beautiful sequel to Being John Malkovich what with brain-prisoners and monkey-flashbacks and all. I will, of course, be played by Cameron Diaz.

adam kraemer
9.14.00 @ 9:24a

The bad news is that apparently I'm played by the monkey. The good news is that in the last movie the monkey got to kiss Cameron Diaz.

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