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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Monday, October 30, 2006

Former Gawker Editor Jessica Coen's First Day at Vanity Fair Online

9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Pep talk from Graydon Carter in his office. Carter’s blasé, chain-smoking ennui provides a warm comfort zone in which to recline and ease the tension in her shoulders; but his peculiar choice of Brooks Brothers Black Watch Plaid pants and blue blazer (gold buttons, double-vented) flummox her and diminish her conviction to try to fit in. Wonders quietly about his repeated use of the phrase “J-school,” and whether he means journalism school or if he is referencing Jews. Also, she must conceal her need to chortle with repeated coughing, which leaves her raspy-voiced throughout the day. Notes that his office view is ultimately, unimpressive.

10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Flurry of activity in the cubicles of VFONLINE as Jessica is introduced to her interns. Sensing the tremendous envy of her underlings, Jessica tries self-deprecating humor to loosen the tension and establish herself as “one of the cool people.” Interns nod and feign allegiance, all the while secretly hating her and trashing her on as-yet-to-be-revealed blogs. “She’s a total cunt!” writes one.

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Time spent getting acclimated to the new job and responsibilities of editing an online magazine. Weird guy from I.T. hovers around her incessantly and haughtily points out, “It’s not like Gawker over here.” Checks three times to see if she’s being trashed over there yet. Wonders why she ever cared what Paris Hilton did.

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Cafeteria. Made fun of it so much for two years that she bristles at the mere feeling of standing on line for, what she soon discovers, is pretty crappy food. Text-messages close friends to let them know that she hasn’t seen Anna Wintour. Picks at her salad and reminds herself that she pretty much went to school for this and now she’s scored the brass ring. Notes Andre Leon Talley gorging himself on fanciful, retro Jell-O dessert and swears up and down she will not e-mail Gawker about it. Busies herself counting Balenciaga bags and Marc Jacobs pointy shoes in the room.

2 p.m. – 2: 15 p.m.
Spies Jay McInerney and Christopher Hitchens sitting down a few tables across from her.
McInerney brings his own wine and Hitchens drinks out of a flask. Hears Hitch lament the end of civilization while McInerney extols the virtues of rosé and Chianti. Reminds herself that McInerney writes for fucking House & Garden and how gay that is. Questions her existence.

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Reads over endless e-mail congratulations and jokes about Anna Wintour. Tries to figure out latest Dominick Dunne didactic and e-mails her boyfriend that “this place is even crazier than I thought.” Has a breakthrough realization that Jay McInerney is the new Dominick Dunne and laments not being at Gawker anymore, as she can’t post as much. Creepy IT guy checks in to make sure her new e-mail account is working. Mentions that “all the guys in IT” are going to ESPN Zone for drinks after work. Says she will think about it. “Stephanie Klein is stopping by…” is mentioned and she quietly reconsiders.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Assigned Hilary Duff retrospective and considers ways to kill herself. Considers taking up smoking again and runs for elevators in a moment of panic. Still no Wintour sighting after cruising the elevators for forty minutes to kill the boredom. Wonders if the woman even exists and how that stupid chick with no writing ability could land such a huge book deal. Weird guys from Condé Nast Traveler stop by to say hello and fawn over her, making short-girl jokes. Is offered a press junket to Mali for some weird African music concert, but declines, citing taste.

5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Stays late to show determination and dedication to job, though has been craving a Tanqueray and tonic for hours. Checks Gawker … e-mails Elizabeth Spiers and laments her own personal fin de siècle. Spiers makes a joke about Andrew Krucoff which only die-hard Gawker fans would understand and she laughs out loud. Questions her existence again.

6:30 p.m.
Goes to ESPN Zone to drink prodigiously. What the fuck? Rides elevator with Anna Wintour, (finally!) and notes how short she is, feels better. Nods are exchanged and once off the elevator, Crackberries everyone that Anna Wintour is a shrimp in pointy-shoe heels. Also, notes that she looks way older without the sunglasses. Leaves Condé Nast feeling like Mary Tyler Moore and pretends to throw a hat in the air as she exits the building. Goes to stupid sports bar and tells boyfriend to meet her there. Stephanie Klein is a no-show and Jessica is relieved. Vows to upgrade to the Royalton the next day and e-mail her friends to join her. And fully intends to expense the drinks …

Mick Stingley is a freelance writer. He is single and lives alone in New York City. He and Céline Dion will both be 40 on March 30, 2008.