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Apologies To Hand Stamp Guy

Went to the 9:30 Club last night with other members of the DC media elite and the dude at the door in charge of checking IDs and giving people handstamps recognized my name from the driver's license and said he was going to be an intern at the Prospect this summer. "Great," says I. Then he stamps me with the under-21 stamp, apologizes for his error, and suggests I'd better wash it off and come back to get a new one. "You're not making a very good first impression," I remarked. In retrospect, that's a kind of mean thing to say. I forget, at times, that to those who don't know me it's not always clear that comments of that nature are jokes and I'm not, in fact, a huge asshole. If something like that had happened to me back in my nervous/ambitious intern days I'd spend an unfortunately large proportion of a lovely spring worrying. So if you're out there reading, sorry.

April 9, 2005 | Permalink


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One of Matthew Yglesias' commenters: Why would an intern be worried about what a 24-year-old junior employee thinks? This guy clearly doesn't understand Washington. Everything here is about the pecking order. It's almost like being in high school all o... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 11, 2005 11:30:10 PM


You could probably defuse the situation when he shows up at the Prospect office. Just get a rubber stamp made that reads "Doofus", and when you see him, approach him and ask him to stamp your hand with it.

Posted by: Jaquandor | Apr 9, 2005 10:57:15 AM

Great, now you're gonna send the poor kid crying into the arms of the NATIONAL REVIEW...

Posted by: Brad R. | Apr 9, 2005 11:11:19 AM

If the kid doesn't get such an obvious joke, he probably shouldn't be working at the Prospect anyway.

"Stamp ... Impression ... get it? Yuk, yuk."

Posted by: tcb or tcb3 | Apr 9, 2005 11:16:08 AM

Well apologized - but don't stop joking. The risk of telling jokes is that someone gets hurt or offended but the benefits are the total smiles, checkles, smirks and guffaws that result. Besides, it's better to be an amusing asshole than a humorless one.

I was talking with the director of my department, someone about three levels up the food chain as me, some years ago. I forget why we were all standing around but we were clogging up the corridors and we were all guys. At this point my supervisor, a woman, came through. She was picking her way clear when I noticed so I motioned for some of the guys to clear a path and announced, "Come on through, we call this the gauntlet." This happened right as Tail Hook was prominent in the newspapers and nobody has to remind me of the extreme bad taste I displayed. The director immediately moved away from me without saying anything, there were some horrified looks. I'm probably the only person that remembers the incedent but I still regret saying it - yet there's also apart of me that's proud of my quick waggishness.

Posted by: LowLife | Apr 9, 2005 11:16:23 AM

First the verbal brutality towards ace reporter Jeff Gannon, and now this!

Posted by: praktike | Apr 9, 2005 11:41:23 AM

"I forget, at times, that to those who don't know me it's not always clear that comments of that nature are jokes and I'm not, in fact, a huge asshole."

Don't worry. You're just exhibiting classic short guy behavior. Common manifestations include torturing underlings for sport and wearing bizarre neckties. Blame genes or poor nutrition as a youth instead of blaming yourself.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 9, 2005 11:52:06 AM

Despite near universal belief that Matt's short, he's actually quite tall. 6'2 or so I think

Posted by: Atrios | Apr 9, 2005 11:56:25 AM

Yeah, that hand stamp guy was me. No problem, I was going to say it but you preempted me. Just shows my wittiness factor - and my hand stamping skills - need to be increased. I've workd at The McLaughlin Group for the last four months, so someone telling me "great first impression" in an obviously joking manner is the least of my concerns. But anyways, apology accepted, and I hope you had a great time at the show.

Posted by: Jordan | Apr 9, 2005 12:14:59 PM

suckup. :)

Posted by: Asteele | Apr 9, 2005 12:32:31 PM

Since this is one of those unpaid interns that the Prospect exploits, no apologies required, and you might as well kick him while you're at it.

Posted by: ostap | Apr 9, 2005 12:43:21 PM

Now tell him you're weren't joking at all, he made a terrible first impression.

Posted by: Delicious Pundit | Apr 9, 2005 12:54:02 PM

If this was LA, he would have been a struggling actor. That's the difference between LA and DC, I guess..

(To make the analogy complete, I'd have to figure out which show most nearly corresponds to writing at the Prospect)..

Posted by: Dan Ryan | Apr 9, 2005 12:55:50 PM

"I'm Matthew Yglesias, bitch!"

/had to say it

Posted by: Jersey Exile | Apr 9, 2005 12:57:32 PM

Despite near universal belief that Matt's short, he's actually quite tall. 6'2 or so I think

Oh, come on, Atrios. Next you'll be telling us that he's actually straight too.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 9, 2005 2:35:43 PM

"Come on through, we call this the gauntlet."

I'd be horrified too, at your mispronunciation of gantlet.

Posted by: Pedant | Apr 9, 2005 2:39:50 PM

Are you going to bloig about the Furnaces show? I'm sure some of your readers would like to hear about something besides politics. I was very ambivalent about the Furnaces on record, and I'm wondering what they're like live.

Posted by: bigsteveno | Apr 9, 2005 4:12:31 PM

dude, do you think that new intern can scam us free tickets to shows this summer? work it, matt.

Posted by: ayelish | Apr 9, 2005 7:30:10 PM

Why would an intern be worried about what a 24-year-old junior employee thinks?

Posted by: next big thing | Apr 9, 2005 7:48:44 PM

6'2", eh?

The head shot on the outdated "about" page throws you off. It makes you seem short. And incredibly baby faced (I'm 40..so anyone under 30 looks fresh out of high school to me...LOL).

Update the photo. Stand next to someone really short when you take it.

Especially if you're trying to impress the ladies.

5 cents, please.

Posted by: Carla | Apr 9, 2005 8:39:16 PM

Also, get rid of the beard and grow sideburns. Like mine.

Posted by: Glaivester | Apr 10, 2005 12:06:59 AM

Yeah, I know. It's a caricature of me. So sue me.

Posted by: Glaivester | Apr 10, 2005 12:46:49 AM

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