Meet Intern No. 5: Jimmy Newman

This is Jimmy.

Jimmy is six feet tall, weighs one hundred and eighty pounds, and has blonde hair, blue eyes, and a smile that makes women melt.

He was homecoming king all four years of high school, star quarterback, and voted most likely to become the president of the United States.

For all the ladies wondering, he’s single. He hasn’t had a girlfriend since his last one broke up with him and moved to Canada to be with her tattoo-artist girlfriend. They don’t stay in touch.

Because he values the ethics of great men like J.D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, instead of joining his father’s small business straight out of high school, he decided to pursue the American dream of rugged individualism. He went to college, got a degree in Business and Marketing before starting law school, and began interning at the law firm Public, Howes, and Caner.

He makes copies.

He likes his job. He thinks it gives him a sense of accomplishment and hopes that he will be promoted soon from Copy Intern No. 5.

One day, his bosses decided that they needed to cut back on spending, and they decided that the best way to do so would be to replace all the current copying machines with new machines that lacked the option to cancel a job if one of the interns were to make a mistake. They hoped that by doing this, they would encourage all current and future interns to be more careful about what they copy, rather than teach them how to make copies.

After all, they only had so much paper.

Jimmy, determined to show his bosses that, yes! he could be the intern who would not make a mistake, took to the new machines immediately–not that he had a choice.

The next job he received was a particularly large job. One of the lawyers required eighteen copies of a transcript of a recent court case that she would be distributing among the court as evidence, one page per letter page, double-sided. Although this was a rather odd and unique way of doing things, Jimmy did not question her methods and chose instead to accept the job.

However, before he could begin, a paralegal requested that he make twenty-one copies of a court transcript from a racism case, collated, four pages per letter page, hole-punched, single-sided. He also requested six coffees–two tall black, one with sugar; an Americano; a venti non-fat, no foam, soy chai latte with extra nutmeg; and two decaffeinated grande espressos.

Feeling elated that he was needed, Jimmy rushed to fill their orders, starting one job before hurrying off to the nearby Starbucks to order the coffee. After he’d delivered the coffee to the paralegal, he checked on his copying machine, only to be horrified to find that he’d filled the wrong order!

Instead of printing the racism case, he’d printed twenty-one copies of the recent case, four pages per letter page, hole-punched, single-sided, and he’d forgotten to collate. 

He searched frantically for the cancel option, only to remember that two weeks ago, his bosses had switched out all the old machines for new ones.

And so it happened. He watched with a sinking heart as the copying machine spit out copy after copy of the wrong court case for the wrong person.

There was no way he could send those copies up, since it fulfilled neither the lawyer’s nor the paralegal’s conditions, but he couldn’t in good conscience throw all those papers away. What if there was someone who actually wanted that particular order? He couldn’t print on the back-side of the paper, either, since it would look unprofessional and, while significantly thrifty, could possibly reveal information that would make it inadmissible to the court.

Jimmy wanted to cry, but realized that he shouldn’t. He was a man after all; it was only natural that he be strong and manly.

Twenty-one copies and four thousand fifty-three pages later, Jimmy was the proud possessor of a lot of wasted paper. He could make paper ornaments for all the employees at Public, Howes, and Caner, but he struck this idea down as silly notions of a desperate man. He can’t fold origami to save his life!

Now, meet Sarah.

Sarah Fishburne is Copying Intern No. 4. She is five feet, seven inches tall and wears a size seven shoe.

In high school, she was valedictorian and cheer captain in her senior year.

For all the gentlemen out there, she’s not interested.

Sarah was also in a predicament similar to Jimmy. Her job was to print fifteen copies of an old hate crimes case, collated, double-sided, in color. Unfortunately, what printed was neither collated nor in color.

Jimmy and Sarah are now the proud owners of two unwanted copy jobs.

They’re not alone, though. All around Public, Howes, and Caner are unfortunate interns who have no idea how to use the copy machine and consequently end up with thousands of pages of paper that no one (currently) wants. Those unwanted pages wind up in the copying center, piling up into towering paper skyscrapers, building paper bridges, and making little paper people. No one has any idea what to do with all the wasted paper, and they can’t very well fire all the interns, since it is much more work hiring new ones every single time an intern makes a mistake.

Introducing Nancy.

Nancy is the newest intern. She is sweet, shy, and a little naive.

On the first day of the job, Nancy needs to make 15 copies of a homicide case. No problem, right?

They’re out of paper.

(An allegory.)


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