After what went down at the Washington Post this week, it prompted many aliased bloggers to wonder how bosses at their places of employment — be it a newspaper, law firm, or porn store — would respond if they caught wind of their sassy sports site. Not me, though. I have no alias. But I do have a job at a nice corporate-y company with a cubicle and business cards and thumbtacks. And that's when I got a memo this week...
...from Gawker Media.
Will Leitch and Nick Denton wanted to schedule a meeting with me to discuss "matters pertinent to the company." They sent out the company zeppelin to Michigan, just for me, to meet with them early Friday morning.
When I arrived in New York City, on the 1435th floor of the Tower of Bab-el, I realized I was completely in the wrong place. This was the Pajamas Media headquarters. Awk-ward.
At last, I found the right building and floor. The secretary had a long brunette ponytail and was wearing a purple blouse. I identified myself, and who I was here to see. She looked up with her hazel eyes shining through the lens of her red glasses. "They're waiting for you," she said, all business-like. "Conference room on your right."
As I entered, there sat Leitch and Denton, a manila folder, and a box of assorted donuts. There was one left — for me. Plain.
"You're late," Denton bellowed. "Have a seat."
They always give you the seat closest to the door. I never understood this. Normally when you have something confronting to say, you want to give them the chair as far away from the door as possible, or at the very least, the one furthest away from the box of donuts. But here we are. Sitting across from both Mr. Deadspin and Mr. Gawker Media.
"First off," Denton began," we'd like to say that we really appreciate the work you do for us."
"Well, thanks, I appreciate it," I said, cautious to let it get to my head. They don't zeppelin in bloggers to say things like that. There are more efficient ways to handle compliments. For one, he could have spelled out "YOU RULE" in sprinkles on the plain donut, then e-mailed me a photo of the donut.
He nodded in response, then added, "But we're also concerned of what you've been doing outside the realm of Deadspin," He motioned to Leitch, who opened the manila folder and casually flipped its contents onto the table.
Those were the expense reports from my Monday-Friday job.
"It appears you've been living a double life," Denton sternly remarked to me. "Some days, you're Matt Sussman, mild-mannered weekend sports blogger. And some other days ..." he waved the back of his hand across the expense reports, like a magician who just made something disappear, "You're someone called 'Matthew Sussman,' a mysterious cog in the corporate ladder for ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓, a company dealing in ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ which are used to ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓. The fact that you work for them and us ... this is rather disturbing news. It's certainly not the kind of image that bodes well for us at Gawker Media."
Then Leitch chimed in. "Yeahandwritingfordeadspinisaverybigcommitment andweneedsomeonewhowecancalluponwhenwewanttoliveblogsomething, sowhichjobwouldyouratherhave?" he said in 1.7 seconds.
There it was. The choice I had been dreading to make since I took this gig. I've thought about it in the back of my mind for quite some time, and I never really knew how to answer, because then I'd start thinking about parrots shooting rainbows at samurais, then go heat up a frozen pizza. So I just decided to answer honestly.
"Well, I want both. I love my job at ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓, but I also love Deadspin. And I know I juggle both around my schedule. Really, I can! It's like there are two of me."
Denton sighed in a disappointing fashion. "But there's only one of you."
"Well, what if there were two of me?" I joked. Like many in the past, it wasn't exactly a good one. But in this case, it's because it turned out not be a joke.
So Gawker Media made two of me. Unbeknown to me, they had an experimental cloning machine, built for this very purpose. One Matt Sussman will go onto work in the real world, and the second Suss will continue Deadspin endeavors. The cloning was virtually impeccable — the only bug is that the cloned Sussman now hates taffy.
I'm not sure which one I am, nor will I spend the remaining years of my life worrying about it. Because more pressing is the ethical bylaw Gawker Media put in place to prevent cloning from getting out of hand. In 10 years, I will have to meet up with the other Matt Sussman and fight him to the death.