So I realised today I haven’t said much about my placement at the International Herald Tribune. I’m not sure if this is “insiders” information, but I’m hardly going to say anything which could demean anyone I work with. At least, I will of course use pseudonyms so that you’re unable to facebook stalk them and they’re unable to sue me.
I’m basically working in the IHT News Room (not sure if that deserves caps but I’m going with it) in the western suburbs of Paris (but given the fact that it’s in the “banlieu” of Paris, it really isn’t that far to get to!) Paris is much, much smaller than London as I mentioned previously so I wouldn’t sweat too much about finding accommodation which is next-door to where you work/go to university because it’s unlikely that it’ll take you much more than 45 minutes to scoot around. Unless of course you’re super lazy and like to roll out of bed into an office/lecture. But part of the fun is hitting the metro every morning and getting a little taste of French people busying themselves with their day to day lives. People watching never got so interesting! You’ll soon learn to get over the sweaty crowdedness which hits you in the face every morning before you’ve even had your morning shot of espresso.
The IHT actually just moved offices so thankfully I missed out on carrying boxes, lifting heavy loads, living off stolen vending machine supplies and bearing the brunt of a few decades’ worth of clutter which any newspaper would amass in that space of time. Thankfully the archives were taken to another building (down under) so they could be stored in prime conditions. I’m sure that took a little off the burden, but I was warned by the interns that it was pretty stressful. They got a bottle of Champagne each and an IHT t-shirt though…pretty good compensation. Guiltily, I arrived the day after moving (perfect timing), but no-one actually knew where anything in the building was located which had its pros and cons. Pro: I was pretty much in the same boat as everyone else which meant “fitting in” would be a lot easier. Con: No-one was really able to “teach me the ropes” because they were just as confused as I was. The extra supplies of printer paper were not in their usual place; the sacred stack of elastic bands was no longer easily accessible (the interns did of course steal the whole stash of office goodies and occulted them under our rather large desk, but the issue has since been resurrected); the vending machine no longer functioned in the same way. The list goes on. I actually had someone coming up to me recently to ask where the printer was. This may sound like a fair question, if you weren’t sitting in my shoes. Firstly, there are about 10 printers on this floor. Secondly, there is a printer in the centre of the room right opposite my desk and it is an absolute beast, I mean absolute. And it was also mid-printing. Slight clue. Talk about asking where the Elephant in the room is!
The building itself is pretty luxurious. I haven’t been to the old offices so I obviously can’t compare but apparently this is a huge upgrade. Only the best for little Miss Monty. I was even told the back story behind the new office chairs which are known simply as “Space Chairs”. I’m not sure if that’s a name the IHT have informally given them, or if it is indeed the official name, but they are pretty cool, and very comfy. Apparently 6 months ago in the old offices they had a day of chair sampling where everyone got to test out a couple chairs and then voted on which one they preferred. The Space Chair apparently won which is why, on this very day, I shall be seating myself on the famous Space Chair as go about my daily routine in the office. We even had experts in the field giving one-on-one tutorials in the first week. I can’t think of anything more exciting!
Watch this space.