Another day on Team Mike. Or should I say Team Mic? It’s like a reunion around here. Half of our reporters and literally the entire back office staff are aboard the good ship Bloomberg and we are living LARGE. Free pizza for lunch every day that we don’t have to beg for on GoFundMe. Booze flowing like water. Damn sushi. This morning when I got here (and yes, it was still technically morning) there was an omelet station. I literally haven’t had it so good since prep school. Williams was a dump compared to this.
Honestly, I’d have left journalism ages ago if I’d known how great life is when you’re making more than 60 grand a year on top of the old trust fund. I moved to Brooklyn. My commute doesn’t involve four trains and knife crime anymore. It’s the best. And honestly, nobody even gives a shit that I’m voting for Sanders. Half the people here are too. Hell, Mitch came in with a Feel the Bern shirt yesterday and nobody batted a damn eye. I joked that now we’re all used to getting free stuff, Mike’s turned us into socialists. I’m gonna wear a MAGA hat next week.
Ooooh, booze cart’s coming around. Back in a sec.
Where was I? Oh, right. Job security, perks, food/booze/drugs, a non-starvation wage, universal indolence. And all my laid-off friends from failed digital media ventures. Lots of good things to say about this gig. All I have to do is make one weird-ass Twitter post once a day and it’s golden. I’m not even expected to read the comments. So long as my posts get engagement, it’s considered a ‘win’ on the big board of performance stats that sits in the front of the room.
The big board rules. It just tracks traffic. That’s it. We used to have a sentiment tracker attached, but the feedback was so overwhelmingly negative, it started treating ‘die oligarch’ as a positive interaction. Shit, sometimes I dunk on my own posts using my personal alt account (@marxslut if you’re curious). I get to express some angst and it makes my data-obsessed bosses happy. Let’s hear it for vanity metrics.
Hang on. Grabbing another gimlet.
That’s so good. You know, I never really appreciated the varieties of gin before this job. Mmmm. Great stuff.
Oh. Management. That is one thing to complain about, namely that it’s exactly like journalism. People are constantly getting reassigned to jobs they’ve shown they’re incapable of doing. Nobody takes responsibility for anything. The official hierarchy is only nominal. And most of the senior staff is comprised of dead-eyed psychos, alcoholics, degenerates or some combination thereof. Plus there’s a weird sprinkling of random political people. John Delaney works here now, but nobody is sure doing what exactly (other than pull-ups — that dude is totally jacked).
I’m also like 80 percent sure my new boss ‘Gigi’ is actually Ghislaine Maxwell. She keeps saying weird stuff about how smooth my cheeks are and asking me to have dinner with her friends. It’s all a bit much in an open-plan office to be honest. But whatevs. So long as Mad Mike keeps paying the bills, I’m on board.
Oh, shit, that reminds me. There is ONE RULE here. You call him Mike. Not Michael. Not Mr Bloomberg. Not ‘sir’ or ‘mayor’ or any other honorific. I watched him melt the fuck down on a debate prep specialist who said ‘Michael’ and it was not pretty. He called her, well, I don’t even want to write it but let’s just say it was a Middle English term for her nether regions adorned with ‘stupid’ and ‘fat’.
So yeah, you learn that rule pretty quick. The debate preppers are masters at it. They just keep flattering him and going to their briefing books and it doesn’t make a dent. But they keep at it. Real pros, those folks. See, Mike does not listen. Period. Full stop. You could tell him he was on fire and he’d tell you to work 20 percent harder. And he wouldn’t notice when you told him he should screw himself 20 percent harder.
It’s kind of amazing actually. This guy built one of the world’s great fortunes seemingly through sheer indifference to the overwhelming natural hostility people feel towards him. When you think about it, it kind of owns. People are all like ‘we don’t like you’ or ‘you’re short’ or ‘you have lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes’, and Mike just says something vaguely misogynistic and keeps on trucking. And spending. You’ve gotta admire it on one level.
Ah. Gotta run. The drink cart’s coming around again and I’m supposed to go spray-paint ‘FUK BLUMBERG‘ on the front of the office once the sun sets. Later.
As told to Digby Dent.