Hey! So, you’re the new intern? Welcome to Texas Monthly. It’s nice to meet you. My name’s Deg. You want me to show you around? You do? Great. I promise this won’t get weird.

What’s that? How long have I been here? About five months. That’s like 67 in intern years. Most of the interns are still in college and are only here for a semester, which is about three and a half months. I graduated recently though, so I just kind of lingered around after the others left, hoping to make myself indispensable. It didn’t work. Oh, you graduated recently, too? I know, right? It’s like, what now? Where’s my Mrs. Robinson? Where’s my Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack, right? I mean I’d settle for Peter Gabriel in this economy.

Anyway, this is the new Texas Monthly building. We’re on the eighth floor—the top!  Also, do not go to level seven. You’ve been warned. It’s still under construction. Here—put on this hard hat and ignore that drilling and that hammering and that beeping and that screaming. Around here we call those the glorious sounds of building birth pangs. Well, I do. It didn’t really catch on with anyone else. Anyway, the inconveniences are worth it to be the first tenants of the first building on the block. Soon they’ll build other offices and retail spaces in the surrounding mud pit. We’ve really come to like the mud pit though. We call her Wanda. Well, I do.

Eighth floor. Here we are. Through these glass doors is Texas Monthly. Straight ahead is the meeting room. Adjacent to that is the kitchen. Label your food if you put it in the refrigerator. The intelligent, well-adjusted adults surrounding you will devolve into refrigerator trolls given the opportunity. Also, either rinse your dishes and coffee mugs or leave a tip. The receptionist is not your mom. Sorry, I’m projecting roommate issues. Now, to the left is the business side of things. They do advertising, promotions, and sales—money stuff. I’ve never been over there. Money makes my tongue go numb. To the right are the editorial and art departments. This is the editorial intern area where we will spend most of our time.

Oh, here’s John—he’s great. He’s what I imagine Santa Claus being like if Santa had to get a real job and deal with crap like everyone else. His cubicle is right next to ours. Like the old saying goes “Close to my cubicle, close to my heart.” Hey, John! Let me introduce you to…er, what’s your name again?…Right. John is like the face of the editorial department. He fields calls from writers looking to pitch their story ideas. OK, John. See you later. Nicest fellow. Hell of a right hook though. Seriously, the guy can scrap like a junkyard dog. I’ll tell you about that office Christmas party sometime.

Directly behind the intern area is the Ping-Pong table that editor Jake Silverstein got as a present for the staff. That’s the Texanist, David Courtney, practicing by himself. That guy’s intense. I mean, who wears head and wrist sweat bands to work? Despite what deputy editor Brian Sweany says, Ping-Pong is not a soothing Zen-like metronome. It’s more like Chinese water torture slowly dripping insanity one ping at a time. I suppose it’s an outlet for stress, but just look at the guys whose offices are located on the sides of the table.

Hey, there’s Eileen Smith, editor of texasmonthly.com. Hey, Eileen, let me introduce…er…one more time again. Yeah, sorry. Look—get used to that unless you want to where a nametag necklace. Anyway, if you ever have a story idea this is the woman you want to see. Eileen will actually publish your writing at texasmonthly.com. Cool, right?

Sorry I can’t introduce you to everyone right now, but here are a few helpful generalizations. Everyone is genuinely friendly. I thought I was going to be eschewed like a prole, but that is not the Texas Monthly attitude at all. They might not go out of their way to meet you but that’s only because they have work to do. They will, however, welcome you into their offices and have conversations with you, joke with you, and help you out however they can. But be yourself; don’t pretend to be their peer. I made that mistake at first. Also, as you might expect, everyone here is very funny and very smart. They have Mohammed Ali-type minds. They’re loose but powerful. Learn from that because these people create quality work. They have a sense of humor and a sense of hard work. Another thing, as you might have noticed, everyone here is attractive and sharply dressed.

And on that note, welcome to Texas Monthly.