The Next Generation Goes to the Office

Dear Michael,

You worked as an intern at Discover magazine for a few months some years back (http://discovermagazine.com/). You culled through the freelance manuscripts submitted, the so-called slush pile of unsolicited materials, among other chores. Quite a responsibility, that – passing judgment on what writers sent in.

You were – what? – all of 21 maybe.

Still, a cool job, better than working the aisles at Sam Goody, more stimulating, I would think. You also fact-checked articles, as I recall, researching, for example, the “20 Things” column. And you also contributed an item or two about a contributor or two.

I know you must have had other responsibilities at the magazine. You probably attended some editorial meetings. Somehow you must have picked up, in those three months or so, some sense of how a magazine is put together month after month. Either I forgot the details you shared with me about the job or you never told me very many; either could be equally true.

It makes no difference. What counts most, I think, is you told me you liked it there, liked your role, liked the people, and found yourself well-liked, too. Does anything else much matter? It seemed, all in all, a rewarding experience for you.

For me, too. I came down one day to see you there. I forget the exact circumstances, but I think we planned to go somewhere afterwards, maybe a movie premier. I was definitely coming down to pick you up to go somewhere. But I do remember approaching the receptionist that day and asking for you.

Obviously the receptionist recognized your name, and right away that made me feel so good. Here I was, in an office building on lower Fifth Avenue, where a major monthly magazine of no small repute was being put together, and there you were, too, my own son.

P.S. – Part 2 will appear tomorrow…

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