- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 1, 2006

Ever wondered what it’s like to sit in the boss’ chair?

I guess I should explain. My section, Features, has three of us interns. My section also has two computers available for us. Doing the math here, that means every day becomes a Darwinian struggle for Apple supremacy. Considering I’m the only intern who drives, that means I’m about an hour late and a computer short.

So … I sit across the aisle, at the congressional bureau chief’s newsroom desk.

What? It’s not like he uses it. He’s at the Capitol. No one calls me on it: I, as an intern, can blend seamlessly into my environment.

If some trained observer notices me in an area other than my natural intern habitat I can always say, “I was put over here” (true enough). Or “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize — where’s the bathroom again?” (only somewhat true). Or, if I’m really desperate, “Me intern, no speak English” (more true than I care to admit).

Well, I can tell you for certain, this position of power is not as comfortable as you might think. Indeed, where is the chopping block for unruly subordinates? Where is the silver bell, beckoning copy editors to make haste with the caviar and champagne?

Where is the velvet pillow for the bureau chief to, in the parlance of the times, “kick it?” In fact, where is my bling bling, anyway? It’s positively barbaric, especially for a bureau chief’s desk.

Instead, the chief’s chair is “ergonomically correct,” which apparently means “I’m going to stick something in your back, so please enjoy the pain.” Perhaps my posture is improving, or perhaps I am losing the feeling in my spine.

If I am unable to leave said desk due to this iron maiden of cheap plastic and broken orthopedic promises, I will leave you with this message: Not only is the view lonely at the top, but it’s also uncomfortable, and not nearly as fancy as you’d think.

I mean, honestly, look where I’m sitting.

(P.S. to the bureau chief, if you’re reading this: I didn’t mean it. Honest. You’ve got a great desk, very cushy. Very chief-like … right. OK, then. Never mind.)

David Pepose, of St. Louis, Mo., is a member of the Class of ‘08 at Brandeis University.

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