Walking past Kati Parrish’s desk, I am often reminded of a field near my house. In the middle of that field, there is a tree root poking up out of the earth, dozens of yards away from its trunk, and I am often struck by the thought, as I come across this natural wonder, at how far that root extends from the tree and yet still provides it essential support. Kati Parrish is that root in our company. Except way more active.

CM: OK, you got 10, 15 minutes?
KP: Gimme 3… gimme 30 seconds!

KP: I swear, no more than 30 seconds (leaving the room).

KP: (1 minute later) Was it 30 seconds? Less?
CM: No, it was more like a minute.

KP: Nuh uh! Come on, man!
CM: It was a minute, what do you want?

KP: All right. It’s Facebook.
CM: Umm…

KP: Isn’t that the first question?
CM: Yeah…

(We are interrupted by Traffic, discussing things I don’t understand or care about)
Traffic: blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah?
KP: Blah, blah blah blah t-shirts blah blah blah.

KP: Sorry.
CM: OK, what’s your favorite website?
KP: Facebook. It just recently changed. I used to be on MySpace, but I only checked it, like, once a week. I used it to keep in touch with family, cousins, things like that. I got on Facebook two weeks ago because of Danielle, and I. Love. It!

CM: Why?
KP: Oh, because it has lots of fun apps, things I can play at lunch or at home. Funny apps. It has Superheroes, and I don’t understand it, but I have lots of manna. I’ve fought everybody here in the office. I will take on any comers! (laughs)

CM: What’s manna?
KP: No idea. (cackles).

CM: Has anybody find you yet?
KP: You know, I’ve had four friends from high school track me down so far on Faceboook. I’ve connected to former clients and vendors.

CM: Had any propositions?
KP: Not so far, but I did on MySpace. All. The. Time! (Laughs)

CM: Do you want to….
KP: No.

KP: The other thing I like about it is that it keeps a history of contacts, and it’s all right there on the home page, I don’t have to go looking for it! It’s a lot more user friendly.

(The phone rings)

KP: (Having a conversation I don’t understand or care about) Blah. Blah blah. (long pause) Blah blah IRS,

(Hangs up)

KP: Sorry.
CM: OK, bottom right or left? Where do you prefer your dock?
KP: Bottom. I used to have it on the left for a long time. But I think the bottom is more user-friendly. It’s easier to get to, easier to manipulate. I’m a bottom docker.

CM: Which icon do you click on the most, in your dock?
KP: (Distracted by phone) Huh? Sorry, say that again?

CM: Which icon do you click on the most, in your dock?
KP: Weelllll, I click on Firefox the most. I have to reboot it at least once a day. (laughs)

CM: What’s the problem?
KP: Well, whenever I click on a form, my cursor disappears! I can click on links, I can go backwards, but I can’t fill in forms. It’s like it doesn’t recognize my keyboard. And it started, I hate to say it, when I installed Leopard.

CM: Really.
KP: Yeeeeeah….

CM: OK, do you have a MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo?
KP. Yes. All of the above! (laughs)

CM: I think we covered which one you like best.
KP: Yeah, we covered that. Prior to Facebook? Probably MySpace, but I’ve never been a big MySpace fan. I ‘ve been on LinkedIn for, like, forever. At least 4 or 5 years. My sister, the one in Chicago, hooked me up a looong time ago. All the others? In the last 12 months.

(Interrupted by Designer with a conversation I don’t understand or care about)

Designer: Blah blah blah.
KP: Blah?

Designer: Blah blah blah blah.
KP: Blah blah German life.

Designer: OK.


KP: Sorry. OK, what’s next?
CM: Uhhhh… What’s your problem?

KP: Hmm. Professionally? My computer. I don’t know what it is. I’m running out of hard drive space? Or RAM? I don’t know. Things are cracking up on me (laughs). Personally? It’s sickness. Everybody keeps getting the flu! First Jeff gets over it, then Tyler gets it, then she gets over it, then Megan gets it. On and on and on! I’m hoping it’s done, (looks up) please please please! I’m ready for some sleep! (laughs and looks at her computer) $35,000? Dang it!

And so I step away from her desk barely noticed, leaving her to her faulty computer and near constant interruptions, turn and make my way across the field towards home.


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