Today is Weekend Editor Foster Kamer's last day. Transparency is paramount, and as such, his exit interview is being presented without edits on the site. Andrew Krucoff of Young Manhattanite acted as the interviewer and witness to the following.
1. What are your reasons for leaving the organization? Preferably without sounding like a whiny asshole.
The Golden Rule: Fuck you, pay me. Change is nice. Also, I get to work in the same building as the long-haired dope smokers at Foursquare, the short-haired dope smokers at that design thing that copies the blogs for everyone, and the guy who wrote The Book on Phish. Also, the squares at the Village Voice. Via my attorney: "The Voice has a great history with a talented staff of writers. I'm going to be a part of a growing company with a history committed to growing talent, who I'm excited to both work with and learn from." Was I supposed to put both of those there?
2. Can you describe your level of job satisfaction? Pick one. 1-Richard Morgan 2-Emily Gould 3-Choire Sicha 4-Richard Lawson 5-Jess Coen
3.7 Past Sheila, Almost to Alex Pareene. Enjoyed greatly. Have a lot of fun but sometimes wonder if my services wouldn't be better utilized as someone baking cookies with illegal substances or as a fourth-party candidate for New York City mayor.
Would stay if I were more mature and had time to develop ability to perceive in sight and sound employer and employer's legal council as funny-sounding proto-Jim Henson Workshop creations before they start causing emotional damage not covered by most health plans.
3. Besides a bonus based on self-references, what could the organization have done to encourage you to stay?
Rapper money? A NBA-like signing bonus? Wouldn't even have to be that much money, would just have to be legally organized like a signing bonus. Also, a breakfast meeting? I'd like to go to Balthazar for breakfast one morning and not pretend I was there for "a reason." Also, I'd like to order more than a saltshaker and a grapefruit.
4. Was the job what you expected? If not, why not?
Yes and no. Yes, in that I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would. Yes, in that it's not easy, and that I'd be fucking terrified every morning of doing it terribly. And yes, in that I often felt like I did a shit job, and even better, knew I did. No, in that it didn't totally destroy my job prospects. No, because I didn't expect it to send me to physical therapy. No, because I'd do it again. For some reason, I didn't think this would be the case.
5. What factors were important in choosing your new role?
B. Who I was working with, definitely. The Village Voice has great writers. I've got something to offer, but quite a bit to learn. I think it's going to be a pretty fair exchange, moneys changed aside.
C. Whose ass am I going to have to kiss? Answer: Tony Ortega and Bill Jensen. Jensen used to play hockey. Dude could beat the shit out of me—like, I'm talking pissing blood and everything—and is young enough to probably do so if so inclined. Ortega would encourage a bar fight because he likes his writers scrappy. When I talk about learning, I'm basically talking about "how to break a bottleneck off efficiently." And motivating factors are important. Seeing as how A.J. is this company's de facto "enforcer" there's really not much in that department, is there?
6. What advice would you give to a new employee who takes on your role?
Don't be a pussy. Enjoy yourself. Listen to the commenters. Most of the time they're wrong, but every now and then you'll pick up something substantial. Like a copy-edit. If you pretend you're not receiving Nick's emails, he knows you're doing so. The most important people to have on your side in the office, in
129. James Del.
Also, in this order:
6. Flu Vaccine
Finally, don't fuck with the newly dead. It's the only thing you'll ever regret writing about.
7. Did you ever use the office bathroom? Wash your hands after?
Yes. There? Always. But did you know the guys in the office always piss on the seat? True story. They had to put up a sign once. The people who are the best at pissing on things don't even work in editorial, either. Come on, that's impressive.