Thursday, July 19, 2007

Matt Inaction Day

A proposal by one of our interns (yes, that intern). Although he has known me but a few short months, he understands me better than many who have known me for years.

The following e-mail was forwarded throughout the legal department:
The day will be spent watching ways in which Matt highlights his inactivity.

Potential observed activities include: watching Matt update his blog, watching Matt delete inappropriate comments from John made on his blog, watching Matt read his NAB emails and craft pithy responses, watching Matt send off pithy responses to nearly everyone he knows, listening to Matt snore, attempting to listen to Matt snore over the drone of his fan, attempting to overhear the swill Matt listens to on his FM radio, watching Matt's body slowly decay as he eats only the spinach and prune shakes he makes in the morning, watching Matt draft long and winding memoranda on various and sundry arcana of telecommunications law, observing Matt as he slowly wanders into the intern office to level baseless insults at the interns.
For the record, my radio is more commonly tuned to AM (Rush Limbaugh, of course!). Also, my shakes contain not just spinach and prune juice, but also protein powder, thus ensuring that the decay will be minimal.

UPDATE: Neil the Intern, in a comment to this post, recommended that I publish the original e-mail I sent out, which led to his proposal. I think that is a fine idea.

In response to an e-mail from my boss soliciting suggestions for the next legal newsletter, I e-mailed the following spur-of-the-moment article to the Legal Department (edited for Google anonymity):

By Matthew S. ___
NAB Staff Reporter

WASHINGTON, DC -- From the first day John H___ set foot into the legal office, staff attorney Scott G___ knew he had made a mistake.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” G___ says, rubbing his eyes wearily. G___ looks like he hasn’t slept in days. His office is strewn with empty tea bags. “This kid was wearing hot pink pants. I [expletive] you not. Hot pink.”

G___ had been responsible for selecting three interns to work in the legal department for the summer. One, Evan M___, was a known commodity, having interned there before. Another, Neil M___, had political connections that might make him valuable (Neil is the son of a Congressman).

Then there was H___. On paper, he looked like a sure thing. A rising second-year law student, he had gotten himself published in the New York Times. He had also achieved the highest echelons of Scouting, attaining the storied realm of “Eagle.”

“When we talked on the phone, he seemed nice enough,” G___ recalls. G___ had skimmed several hundred resumes sent by eager up-and-comers across the country. Another thousand envelopes sat unopened underneath his desk.

Unopened they would remain. G___ decided to go with the Eagle Scout.

To this day, it is what he calls his “biggest regret.”

“I’ve made mistakes before, no doubt.” He leans back in his chair and stares at the ceiling, a slow smile spreading across his face. He is thinking about college, grad school, all the poor, uninformed, underinformed, misinformed youthful indiscretions of the past ten years. “I could tell you stories!” Suddenly, he turns serious, and looks a reporter square in the eyes. “But John… I don’t know what I was thinking.”

To be fair, H___ gets high marks from the rest of the staff. “He’s a good kid,” says Marsha M___, head of the department. “Always gets his work done quickly.”

Gruff contract attorney M. Scott S___ agrees. “I have no complaints,” he says. “I like his pants.”

None of this consoles G___, who to this day wishes he had taken the time to look through the thousand unopened packages under his desk, instead of burning them all at an alcohol-inspired bonfire he threw to celebrate the vernal equinox.

“I’m chalking it up to life experience,” G___ says. He vows that next year will be different.

Will he read all the summer intern applications? a reporter asks.

G___ looks down at his shoes, appearing to think deeply. Just when it looks like he is about to fall asleep, G___’s head lifts back up. “I’ll open all the applications,” he says. “I can’t promise any more than that.

“One man can only do so much.”


Neil said...

You should post your faux news article that prompted my celebration of your inaction.

Matt said...

GOOD CALL. I may add it to this post (last names removed, of course).