It was two o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon and I was standing in the GNW offices, a glass of champagne in hand, having a conversation about carrot cake.
Less than an hour before I had been sitting in the writing room. A long blank kind of space, empty except for three dodgy wooden desks. And a bingo drum… and a heap of cabling…and two miniature remote control helicopters…and a USB adapter for a robotic arm. But otherwise fairly empty. Sitting in this room, was me and the other intern in residence that week, whose name, as it happened, was Mikey.
On this particular Wednesday afternoon we were writing Week Ahead jokes. At least we were supposed to be. But by two in the afternoon we were mostly staring mutely at blinking cursors while listening to the quiet murmur of the office. Well I was. And Mikey wasn’t exactly hammering away at his keyboard.
Ian stuck his head around the door-
“Apparently we’re having cake.”
There is often cake in the office. This time, for reasons unknown, the interns were invited to partake in said cake.
Soon I found myself standing slightly awkwardly beside Ian and Mikey, in a crowd of staff cluttered around the table. I had no idea who half these people were. Half of these people, it turned out, weren’t aware there were even interns present in the office.
“Where did you come from?”
“I thought that room was empty.”
Except for the helicopters. Obviously.
There was cake on the table and it became apparent it was someone’s birthday. Even after asking who’s birthday it was I still have to pause when the singing reached the “deeeeear-” section of Happy Birthday. I’ve always hated singing this oddly intimate song to a stranger.
Pam (one of the producers) handed me a glass of champagne. I had the very strong desire to go and fetch my ID. Being 18 is still something I’m getting used to it, despite the fact its something I’ve been for almost a year. Champagne is good. I am constantly disappointed about its stigma as a special occasion drink.
Special occasions, for example, like Wednesday afternoon.
And then it was over. Everyone dispersed. And I was oddly glad to retreat back to the safe haven of the writing room. From there I could listen to the office without having to participate in it. You learn more that way.
Paul proceeded to egg someone else on while they cleaned up.