If you aren't a complete philistine, you may also know about NAG's slightly smaller sister, SACM. I throw a few articles at the latter on a regular basis, but in all the years that I've worked for this employer, I've only visited the stomping grounds once. Yesterday, I decided to up that count and nagged my Bat Cave buddies to take me to the office in Johannesburg.
What I have been dying to do for a very, very long time is have a bit of face-to-face shop talk with some of the staff at Tide Media – you know, the typical, angst-ridden speech and related malarkey of, “Do you like my work now? What direction would you like it to take? Am I a good little journo? Can I lick your shoes?”
Unfortunately, as expressive as I like to think I am in most circumstances, I tend to falter horribly whenever I try broaching this particular subject. Thus, after arriving at the office and giving a timid little wave to some of the faces that I actually recognised, I realised that sitting around feeling tongue-tied wasn't nearly as cool as ogling at a Call of Duty multiplayer session and chatting with Geoff “GeometriX” Burrows while he played the Dawn of War II beta.
Actually, this is a pic of Geoff with Left 4 Dead. But he does have a winning smile.
Of course, what few people seem to understand is that it's not always fun and games in the Tide Media office. Yes, as with many journalistic pursuits, there are times when you'll be sitting around with nothing to do but play videogames and kid around. But this line of work is fickle. At any moment, an endless swarm of tasks could scramble out of the woodwork and latch onto your face like a troupe of demented headcrabs, devouring all traces of joy, spare time and sleep. I've seen it happen in many organisations. It can get messy.
No, Geoffy, noooooooooooo!
Fortunately, I caught the team on a quiet day and I ended up having quite an enjoyable visit to the office, shop talk be damned. Heck, I even snagged a free copy of SACM just because I could. Life is good.
Of course, that wasn't the only stuff I got up to that day. Take this tasty little postscript, for example. While wandering about Melville that evening with a Joburg friend, I caught sight of this rather interesting place:
If you weren't reading this post already, I bet you're paying attention now.
Yes, adult shops aren't all that uncommon, especially in the bigger urban areas (I think I actually saw three separate Adult Worlds while cruising about that evening), but the green sign above it was what caught my interest.
If you don't believe me, go visit Melville. It's real. And it's hilarious. Check out the full-size image if you want.