Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An Intern Asks: Questions From Commoners

It is critical for the future of BearMeat, and really America, to keep our newspaper extremely profitable. One way, we do this is to have an army of unpaid, unskilled laborers willing to put in 80 hour weeks for one hour of course credit. These are our interns. However, not everyone, is willing to work for credit or for the greater common good of BearMeat. Some of our employees have families, mortgages or diseases and need greenbacks. We usually drive a hard bargain and pay bottom dollar, but our business model has been recently thrown into disarray when the local International Typographical Union discovered that the newly empowered Congress is pushing for a minimum wage increase.

BearMeat's continues to be at the forefront of the industry.

The Editorial Board finds this particularly distressing because the union realized a) minimum wage may go up to $7.25/hour, b) that minimum wage was raised to $5.15/hour in the 90s, and c) minimum wage laws exist. We have always prided ourselves on our ability to keep even the most senior of employees under $2.00/hour. Sabers were rattled(have I ever mentioned I wear a saber), a strike was threatened, and in the end we had to let go of a lot of people for completely non-union related issues. Needless to say the strike was averted and the paper continues to be published.

This group was recently honored at our five or more years of service gala.

But it got me thinking about the people that work for us, not the paid ones, but the interns who put in many hours for no remuneration. They are the real backbone of our middle-lower staff. I asked them what I could do to improve their quality of life and was told that some organizations have "suggestion boxes", that employees can drop off ideas to improve a working environment. This seemed to suggest to me that the interns were feeling a bit entitled, so I dismissed the idea and instead allowed them to place questions in the box about anything relating to BearMeat. I figured it would raise their spirits to realize that no matter how unimportant their work at the paper was, they were still a part of something special. So here it is the first in a weekly series, "An Intern Asks".

Red at career day, looking for some BearMeat volunteers.

Why do you wear a cape?

I'm not sure if this series will continue if I continue to get such inane questions from our stupid interns. I can only assume this is Thorfinn, who during our exhaustive interview process, repeatedly and mistakenly poured lemon juice into my Corpse Reviver No.1, when anyone who been outside the city limits of Mexia, Texas, realizes it only goes in No.2. You might as well ask me why I wear a chaperon. The answer is obvious, it is highly fashionable and it attracts all persuasions.

Got a great deal on this hat at Old Navy.

How do you get to the Ferrell Center on Game Day?

Like anyone else. I leave from the office in one of two ways. The most likely avenue, is the catacombs that go from under the Alico building to Bearmeat's satellite office in the Ferrell Center. We constructed a underground railroad decades before the Ferrell Center was created in order to facilitate our travels around Waco. This was during Pat's 40-year hiatus from the sun and the high point of my gambling debts. The train is simply a steam-powered locomotive and a mere eight coaches. We have the standard dining car, smoking car, 3 sleeping cars, gambling car, whiskey car, and saloon car. Due to the narrow passages and constant track repairs, trips from the Alico to the Ferrell Center can often take several days.

Some of our interns gaining invaluable journalism experience.

Which brings us to the second way we get to the Ferrell Center. When we are in a hurry (less than 48 hours notice), we take one of our Phaeton carriages. This allows us to make it to the games in a timely manner, but its limited size does not allow us to travel with our Game Day provisions. If you happen to be on the road on a Game Day, you will often see our supply caravan plodding down University Parks Drive.

The Editorial Board's whiskey caravan on the way to the Ferrell Center.

I hope the interns have found this enlightening. I must find Thorfinn and have my corn shucked.

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