Mitzie Kerfuffle was blowing up Blake
Schnellenberg's iPhone with more nonsense.
She was a tornado of trouble.
A monkey's claw that had worked her way
into Blake's life.
An erstwhile confidante, co-worker and
subordinate at Sharkpool Weekly, a financial newsletter and quarterly.
Mitzie had no sense of boundaries and
propriety. She simply extruded her way into areas that were not in her purview.
If Blake didn't know better he would think Mitzie was intentionally mimicking
his own responsibilities at Sharkpool, while ignoring her own lesser
responsibilities, in an attempt to undermine or replace him as the Chief.
Mitzie had no facility with numbers, no education in the area, she couldn't
write or sell or do much of anything really (the owner hired her because she
was nice to him one night as the hostess of a fancy restaurant he had
frequented and she mentioned to him that she always wanted to be a writer), yet
she was always complaining about another co-worker named Montgomery.
Apparently, she and Montgomery had a short thing and it ended quite
badly. Mitzie was heartbroken. Montgomery handled the social media for
"Blake, Montgomery, I hate to even say
his name, is ruining Sharkpool's good name. Did you see his last post? It makes
no sense. He wrote GNP... what the fuck is that Blake? He should be fired
immediately from Sharkpool, he is killing our brand, can we please set up a
conference call to go over the problems with social media with the
" Mitzie, GNP means Gross National
Product. It's an accepted economic term."
"Blake our audience doesn't know from
"Actually, they do Mitzie. Listen, I'm
about to step into a sales meeting. Talk later."
"Ok God bless."
The sales meetings, in general, usually
went alright but advertisers always wanted to know about "actual" magazine
distribution which had been practically abandoned over a year ago due to high
printing and fulfillment expenses. These days, Sharkpool was focusing
more and more on the digital space. Impressions, amplification, true reach. The
major task was trying to get wealthy advertisers to pay an exorbitant fee for
being featured on the cover.
[text: Blake- did you see what what's
his name did now? There is a typo in his last FB post it reads "ROI" Obviously,
a typo--does this kid even know how to type?]
[text: Mitzie, please, I'm still
in a meeting and I think by ROI, he probably meant "Return on
[ text: Oh I'm so sorry Blake, God bless
you! Just trying to do the best I can for Sharkpool- I hardly get paid any
money and I work my ass off, my little precious boo boo kitty isn't doing well
and Bob the owner doesn't even respond to my emails anymore]
[ text: Mitzie- please stop contacting
the owner directly, if you have an issue please bring it to me and I will
handle it that's my job as the Chief of Sharkpool. Okay?]
[text: Got. it. Have a blessed
[text: just letting you know that this
asshole is ruining everything we are all working so hard on he is a total
[text: ok, I'll call you after my
[text: Thank god for you...I mean
The "sales" meeting that Schnellenberg
was referring to was actually a face to face meeting with the owner of
Sharkpool Bob Beauregarde, who quietly slid into the conference room,
while Blake was absorbed with his Iphone.
[text: Successful Payment of T-Mobile
Bill: $70... 0987]
[text: Chase Bank: Low Balance
Alert (...$36 : ending in 0987]
[text: I need to work late tomorrow so
you need to pick up Betty Sue after school and make sure she does her chemistry
[text: ok will do]
[text: Blake, can we set up a conference
call with the owner later today? This kid is destroying Sharkpool with his bad
grammar- maybe I could take over social media for him I couldn't do much
[text: ok you will pick up Betty Sue or
ok you will oversee the chemistry homework or both?]
[text: she got a c+ on her last test you
need to help her with covalents and moles]
[text: I don't know anything about
[text: stop being lazy. Google it or
look at the study guide-you need to start doing your part]
[text: ok will do]
[text: you say that but meanwhile her
last homework assignment while she was with you got an incomplete]
[text: I'm in a sales meeting right now
but I will check the study-guide]
[text: whatever, I'm tired of having to
stay on you about this- it should be a priority]
"(Cough, cough) Blake, do you need to
step outside for a minute to deal with whoever you are texting?"
"Oh, no sir Mr. Beauregarde, Sir, I
apologize...didn't know you were in the room."
"That's ok young man, who do we have
lined up as Sharkpool's cover star for the next quarter. I hope it is someone
good and someone with deep pockets."
"Yes sir-I've been in talks with Morty
McMint of Trask Publishing and Sidney Schindlebergstein of Rolf Real
"Will they pay for the
"Not sure yet Mr. Beauregarde, I just
sent them the recent newsletter and rate card with a request to set up a
"Have you looked at the date on the
"We need to lock one of them in for a
cover pronto or I'm going to start having to make some changes around
"Yes sir, I understand
[text: Blake, I was thinking that maybe
I could write a profile piece on Sidney Schindlebergstein, I went to a party at
Hudson Yards and met the bartender at Vessel who said Sidney sometimes comes to
his bar--good idea? I was thinking of emailing Mr. Schindlebergstein today- you
are always telling me to focus on sales...good idea? ]
When Beauregarde, started leafing
through the latest issue of Sharkpool magazine that was on the table,
Schnellenberg quickly and discreetly texted Mitzie back.
[text: Mitzie, can't talk, plz hold
Beauregarde was unhappy about something,
his eyebrows furrowed.
"What's a matter sir, is there something
in the new issue you don't approve of?"
"I just don't like it when a writer
throws in an abbreviation like ROI...just seems lazy to me...just write Return
on Investment...I hate lazy writing."
"Yes sir, we'll correct that before we
get it to the printers."
"I know you will, Blake." Beauregarde
continued to flip through the dummy of the book. The physical manifestation of
a magazine is called "the book" for some reason. Beauregarde, who owned 20
other small publications, looked like he was chewing on a lemon.
[text: another idea I had was Morty
McMint of Trask Publishing... I heard you mention his name on the phone the
other day...I think he would make a great person for me to write a profile
piece about because I'm an aspiring reporter and he's done so much in
Schnellenberg snuck a peek at the owner
who was reading through the book shaking his head and circling parts of the
magazine with a big red sharpie. Not good.]
[ text: Mitzie, again, plz hold off.
call u later-B]
[text: Is everything ok Blake? Any
update about a meeting with Bob about firing that asshole Montgomery? Madone! I
hate him so fucking much- and not because of what he did to me but what he is
doing to all of us. I can't take it anymore. I think of his smirk it drives me
[text: can't talk]
Beauregarde slid the dummy with his
corrections back to Blake. "Ok let me know when you've locked in the next cover
and tell the art director that I want to see more graphs and charts. I don't
know how many times I have to say that."
"Yes sir. On it sir."
"Alright, good job" and with that
Beauregarde nodded toward Blake and made his way toward the door. By the way
how's that waitress Minnie doing in her internship?
"Great sir. Breath of fresh
"Please explain to Minnie that I'm very
busy and if I get one more crazy text from her I'm going to fire
the whole lot of you. Understand?"
"Yes, sir. Perfectly."
"Good." Beauregarde left the conference
[text: Blake, are you still in your
meeting I have a problem and it can't wait.]
[text: five minutes, Mitzie,
[text: fuckhead just a posted a story on
social media and he used another term nobody ever uses "NASDAQ" ...he needs to
GO! He is driving me crazy and he keeps making up terms and abbreviations that
are just wrong.
[text: NASDAQ is a known term for the
National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations]
[text: then why doesn't he just write it
out like that - so everybody knows what the fuck he is posting about... this
kid is a total asshole Blake I fucking hate him and he needs to be
[text: 5 minutes please]
[text: kk ]
Blake reached into his pocket and
frantically fished out his small bottle of Zantac. No water around so he
coughed up some phlegm and forced the little pale, red, diamond shaped
pill down his throat. Then he dialed Mitzie's number.
"Heyyyyyy...how's it going
"Just had a meeting with Mr.
"Your sales meeting was with
"Yes, the meeting was with Mr.
"Why isn't Bob responding to my emails
about improving our social media?"
"Well, Mitzie - Bob did mention to me
that he has been getting your emails."
"Actually, not so good. Bob does not
want you emailing him directly anymore."
"I'm not sure Mitzie. Maybe because he
is responsible for 20 different magazines, maybe because he's very busy and
maybe because it is not proper protocol for writers for a magazine to be
texting the owner."
"That's strange-I'm just trying to
"I'm sure Mr. Beauregarde realizes that
Mitzie but it's my job to deal with any problems with Sharkpool. That's why I'm
the Editor in Chief."
"I mean I don't even get paid enough to
be working here. It's a joke Blake. My little precious boo boo kitty has a
serious infection that's going to cost a thousand dollars because my insurance
doesn't cover it...and then that asshole just posts whatever he wants and
doesn't even know what the fuck he is writing about. Clearly Bob is completely
clueless and doesn't give a fuck about Sharkpool."
"You are going to get all of us fired
Mitzie - if you don't stop texting my boss. He said as much today."
"Bob said that?"
"Yes, Mr. Beauregarde said exactly that.
Mitzie I appreciate your enthusiasm and passion and good ideas but please stay
in your lane. "
"Madone! Blake on my little precious boo
boo kitty's life - I didn't mean to get us in trouble with Bob."
"Mitzie, please. Just no more texts to
Bob. Ok?...promise me."
"You got it Blake. God bless you. I
can't believe how amazing you are. I am so blessed...what did you think about
my ideas with Morty McMint and Sidney Schindlebergstein. "
"I don't know if you have good instincts
or you overheard my phone conversations but I have been targeting both of them
to pony up major bucks to appear on the cover."
"If we land them can I interview them
and write the cover article?"
"You can definitely help me with
"You are such an amazing person Blake I
love you so much I am so blessed to know you. I thank God every day. If it
wasn't for that piece of shit rat in the social media department who needs to
be exterminated I would be ecstatic. I can't believe I'm a magazine writer.
It's a dream come true. I'm so appreciative."
"Ok, great. Have a good day. I got to
"ok bless you. God is great."
"Yup. Talk to you later."
Blake hung up. And waited.
[text: You are the best. Do you think
it's ok if I text Bob to thank him about my upcoming interviews with Morty
McMint and Sidney Schindlebergstein.]
[text: definitely not ok. Please do NOT
do that. Call you later to explain in full detail why that is not a good
[text: okay Blakie- you are the best.
God bless you.]