The (Real) Life of Pi

Intentional or not, Ang Lee and his certain-to-be-Oscar-nominated movie have infringed on our copyright.  Way before there was some weird kid in a turban floating around with a tiger, there was PORTENT, INC.  Pi.  And way, WAY before the weird turban tiger floating, we had a life.  And we still do.

So skip the multiplex this weekend and get the legit skinny on a day in the (Real) Life of Pi.

Portent, Inc.'s Life of Pi
Portent, Inc.'s Life of Pi

Graphic courtesy of Rebecca Bridge

6:45        Designer Anna is first in the office: “It’s dark because the lights aren’t on yet. And it’s quiet. And I can watch the sunrise at my desk.”

8:27        Associate Director of Content Jaelithe strolls in.  And this is what she was up to an hour before:

Jaelithe morning breakfast at train

If it looks like she woke up at 6 am to organize a train-side breakfast complete with waffles, china and a card table, well, that’s exactly what she did.

9:37        Senior Copywriter Katie arrives (late) via this elevator…

Interior of Smith Tower Elevator

…passes Office Manager Shauna…


Portent Office Manager Shauna

…and enters the kitchen to find there is NO ICE IN THE ICE MACHINE.  Fail.

9:43        New employee alert.  All-company email announces the arrival of a Customer Development Associate.  In the words of Director of Sales Steven, “We are excited to have him on board so please be kind to him for at least the first few days.”

10:30     Staff meeting kicks off with Associate Director of Accounts Aviva announcing some new clients.  We can’t tell you who they are, but they’re awesome.

Account Strategist Alexander pronounces SEO Team Lead Josh’s performance in a client’s video on tooth decay “Oscar-winning.”

Portent Staff meeting

Meeting concludes with CCO Tracy trash-talking fantasy football to PPC Specialist Michael.  These guys really just moonlight at Portent.  We know where their hearts are.

11:35     CEO Ian leads a new client kick-off meeting emphasizing overall site triage while dropping knowledge on grommets, cholera, Doctor Who, the assassination of Benjamin Harrison and a variety of strangely relevant, yet way obscure, topics.

11:55     Off-Site SEO Strategist Nick receives this amazingly excellent rejection to his request for a link:

Screencap of Portent Rejection

12:24     LUNCH. Thai, Indian, meatball sandwiches and one big bag of Doritos.  We’re obviously a multi-national.

12:37     Director of Search Marketing Elizabeth attempts to eat an entire Jimmy John’s Pickle.

12:41     She fails.

12:45     Social Media Team Lead Doug announces a new plan to increase Klout scores for individuals throughout the company. He explains how Klout scores aren’t actually that important, but since prospective clients always talk about Klout, our Klout scores should be very important to us.

12:59     Various factions draw eSwords over an upcoming webinar title.  No one is seriously hurt.

2:00        Portent U – Marianne tells all about iPhone and iPad app search and how it can be optimized for our clients’ proprietary applications.

Marianne lecturing at Portent U

She emphasizes creating a positive user experience with suggestions like “when you put the page on the site, you really want that page to articulate the benefits and features, because they may not get that when they go to the iTunes store.  You know if they’re like me, they’re just like install, install and let me get out of here.”

3:30        Portent President Steve sits down for a 1-on-1 with new Account Strategist Lisa to discuss the future of Portent, its philosophy and strategic goals.

3:36        This happens:

Isla and Katie Portent IM

3:38        After submitting her list of demands (yes to couches in the nap room but Red Hots are verboten), Copywriter Isla spends a few minutes staring out the window.  Writers are writing even when they aren’t actively typing, and watching the ceaseless traffic on northbound 99 inspires a kick-ass intro for a piece of link bait about fishing.

4:05        Time to check in with Grievance Board updates:

Portent's Issue of the Day board

4:23        Social media reporting gets interrupted when Doug asks those around him how they feel about the movie Caddyshack. Social Strategist Bryden replies, “It’s a classic.” Doug argues that it’s “wildly over-rated.” Somehow, the conversation transitions into Fletch and other old Chevy Chase movies… which somehow leads to video games from the 90s. The team goes back to work after agreeing that Oddjob is practically impossible to kill while playing multi-player in the Nintendo 64 version of GoldenEye.

5:00        Elizabeth finishes her gargantuan inventory of company efficiency and profitability.  She wishes she had the rest of that pickle.

6:37        SEO Developer Matthew heads home, closing down the office, concluding just another day in the (Real) Life of Pi.

Coffee is for Closers sign

 Additional reporting, eavesdropping, spying and the like by Doug Antkowiak and Isla McKetta.

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  1. Too funny. Why is my day about feeding miniature goats, baking birthday cake and writing about IFM for Hobby Farms magazine? (For you West Coast types IFM is Integrated Fly Management.) Eat your heart out — how many of you get plum assignments like this!

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