Vulcan’s Peak

Archive for the 'nine to five' category

Four Weeks In: The New Job

November 17, 2007 2:45 pm

So what is it you do do?

(It’s so odd. Normally, I don’t like scatological humor, but that line never stops being funny. Er, anyway…)

I’m an editorial assistant, which means that I do various bits of the support work for the editors. For one, I’ve been doing a lot for the letters to the editor section of the Journal. When letters come in, I verify that they fit our guidelines, organize them, and distribute them to whichever editor handled the article that the letter-writer is writing the letter about. After the editors give their thumbs-up or thumbs-down, I take care of the rejects — mark them as such in the database and send out the rejection letters. (As a writer, that’s got to be bad karma. As an editor, well, it’s got to be done.)

I also handle the inbox that gets all the e-mail in which people write to say that they’ve written a piece on such-and-such or that they’re doing research into something and would we be interested in it? Most of this I forward straight on to the editor-in-chief, who either passes them on to the other editors or gives me a thumbs-up, -down, or -sideways. (Down says “Thanks, but no thanks.” Up says “We’re interested, submit the manuscript, but we can’t make you any promises.” Sideways says “Uh…maybe? Submit the thing and we’ll see.”) So then I send out those form letters. I also get to field the random questions that pop up and throw back the small fish who don’t have an abstract. (Usually they grow an abstract and swim right back.)

Show me more… »