a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Friday, January 11, 2008

A lazy way to bond at the office....

The pod of four desks brought us together but it was the Lazy Susan that sealed the bond. Heidi Price wanted a place for us to share our junk food at the Observer-Reporter newsroom in Washington, Pa. I wanted something efficient, and found a wooden Lazy Susan for $1.50 at a Donora thrift shop operated by the Washington City Mission.

It fit perfectly on the ledge where our four desks were merged together.
Popcorn Willy, a restaurant a few blocks from the newsroom that makes popcorn in such flavors as banana or Chocolate drizzle, provided the snack of choice.

Then came the many bags of Zenoba Turkish pistachios. “God they were good,” said Mike Jones, one of our podmates. If you would look around, you might find some shells or kernels of popcorn still hiding under our iMacs.

But then, Heidi started taping pieces of paper around the outer edges of the spinning wheel that helped to widen our waistlines. On them, she wrote the names of U.S. senators and congressmen to help her become more aware of the wider world around us. On other days, she substituted notes and phrases in Spanish, as she was trying to learn to speak that language. If that wasn't enough, she turned Susan into an herb garden one dreadful summer. Then she left us in June for a better job at Carnegie Mellon University, and, well, things have never been the same in our corner of the working universe.

Some days we wonder who will lead us to the next kooky diet. Amanda Gillooly, to my left, now wants to take up clog dancing for 15 minutes after lunch to improve our karma and stimulate our heart rates. Instead, I drop a bag of the new Life Savers Gummies Wild Berry Sours onto the spinning serving platter. We gorge ourselves to a new sugar high. A part-timer and our pod's newest Wannabe, Erin Faulk, takes a seat at an empty desk to write a story about municipal sewers. Nod.

Hey Heidi, we need some serious cheering up. Come and visit us soon and don’t forget to grab your clogging shoes and a few bags of pistachios on your way.

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