Saturday, January 28, 2006

From the office of Alex Vermitsky: Staff Intern

Dear Managing Editors,

And I use the term managing editors because I am, admittedly, a lowly intern whose one and only attempt to inquire about the identities of the powers that be here at TFM resulted in my exile to an empty white room where I was forced to endure a work day’s worth of Reel Big Fish’s new album played on what seemed like infinite repeat. So seeing as that I still have a long way to go to make up for past transgressions I was "commissioned" (or better put: reminded of the extensive Offspring back catalogue) into composing this letter on behalf of the rest of the TFM staff.

First let me say that working here at TFM is a blast! Sure I don’t get paid any money, and the recently implemented "cover charge" I’ve had to cough up at the front door can be frustrating, but how many people can say they’ve been granted the opportunity to carry box after box of Pitcperfect's nearly endless out of print record collection? Not many, I’d have to guess. So, yeah I suppose the guys here get a little rowdy and have fun at my expense sometimes (especially funny example: One of the staff members here told me my father was dead in a car accident, and when I made the frantic phone call to his place of work and found out that he wasn’t dead but simply "out to lunch" the other staff members laughed, and told me it was all in good fun and that it was my mother who was dead not my father. Those guys!)

But I’m sure you have better things to do with your time than listen to me go on about the great folks here at TFM. My real reason for writing is to the express my beloved co-worker's concern about our newest staff writer. When I questioned the guys decision to leave such an important communiqué up to a lowly intern such as my self, I was told that I was the least likely to be "taken care of" since no one knew who I was anyway, and the fabled Tuningfork "problem solver" had only three bullets left and two were already reserved for Har-Mar Superstar on the off chance anyone allows him to record another LP. When I inquired as to why two bullets were necessary I was told that most here at Tuningfork were pacifists by nature, and there was a high probability the first shot would miss a vital organ.

No matter, there are more important things at hand than my own personal safety and I take this task upon my self with the utmost pride and dedication for my work.Please note: the intent of this letter is not to give you an overview of the day to day operations here at TFM nor is it to demonstrate the valuable input us interns ultimately contribute to the process. Like I said, the staff is generally concerned about our new colleague, and even though most of us have warmed up to the silly idiosyncrasies of Mr. Jon Bon Jovi, many of us simply cannot get past his effect on the overall atmosphere of our humble workplace. Now I understand that Mr. Bon Jovi or J-Rock (as he has asked us to call him for short) is a close relation to one of the unnamed higher-ups of our prestigious organization, so any negative comments attributed to his character have less to do with J-Rock’s personality (we have grown accustomed to his "Keep the Faith" pick me ups during deadline time and his "I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead" work ethic) and more to do with his overall influence on some of our writers here at "Team Tuningfork". A good example would be staff writer Thelonius Q Twittlebottom's piece entitled Adventures in Indie Rock: Issue 2 which reads, "The Frenchman looked back and forth at them as if he had encountered a rabid bear. Syd saw his confusion and held out his hand in a friendly gesture. "I am Syd," he said still holding his hand out. "And this is Timothy." The Frenchman took his hand hesitantly and they shook."

The first draft we received was slightly different in that it expressed Mr. Twittlebottom's desire to: "Lay you (The Frenchman) down on a bed of roses, and to be just as close as the Holy Ghost is," when said "laying down" commences. Now, like I said, we are a tolerant, caring, group of co-workers but even our trust has its limits, And when one considers the kind of talent and grace Mr. Twittlebottom has brought to his work thus far, it doesn't seem like a stretch to believe that Mr. Bon Jovi has, in one way or another, charmed the secretaries here into "lending" him a passcode or two. When we approached J-Rock about these troubling developments he implored us to "Stick to Our Guns" and "Blame it on the Love of Rock and Roll". Not really knowing what to make of any of this, we retired to our cubicles and decided it was time for Plan B.

"Plan B" as it turns out, was for me to compose this letter airing our grievances and stating, in no uncertain terms, that these are the concerns of each and every employee here, unless of course Mr Bon Jovi is the close relative of anyone who ultimately holds the power to hire and more importantly fire fellow staff members. If this is the case I am instructed to inform you that this whole "ridiculous" laundry list of complaints was solely my idea, and that I often drink at work, and that no one will be the wiser if I suddenly do not show up at my desk tomorrow.

So, essentially the ball is in your court. We do like Mr. Bon Jovi as a person, and we find his reminder to "Have a Nice Day" at the end of a long shift to be both inspiring and insightful. That said, workplace solidarity must be a top priority. We hope you agree


Alex Vermitsky (Intern)