“Sorry, I’m late,” Archie said, as he entered the conference room, with his open laptop resting in crook of his arm. “And I can’t stay long. I’m meeting my friend.”
“No worries,” I said. “We’re pretty much done.”
“I have to go too,” Lainie said, as she rose from the table.
“Okay,” I said and looked up at her. “Thanks so much for your help on all of this.”
After the details of The Dating Intern situation had been settled, the Social Media Marketing Team had actually focused and given me some awesome ideas on how to build readership of the blog. I wasn’t sure I could implement them all before the party, but they could definitely be priorities for Year Two.
Archie was dressed in his uniform for the week, casual but fashionable shorts with an attractively fitted t-shirt. He was leaving us today – off to go to business school and his new job at a a different start-up. It sounded like a cool place and a good fit for him. It was a hotel reservation system that integrated your rewards memberships along with your social media stats and utilized that information in order to offer great discounts.
I’m probably not doing it justice, so here’s the link:
Anyway, he was off to his next adventure, so he didn’t give a goddamn fuck about the office dress code.
Archie is truly the unsung hero behind a lot of the success of this blog. He was the one, a while back, who when I’d been lamenting that the blog was doing poorly, rolled over the exercise ball to my desk to look at the stats. “Hmm,” he’d said. “It’s not that it’s the blog is doing poorly, per se. It’s just that it’s not doing well.”
“See?” He said and pointed at the screen. “You’re getting a lot of views, but not a lot of new visitors. ”
“What do you mean?” I’d asked.
“Well, it’s the same number of people coming week after week, it’s us here, your friends, your family. But not a lot of new readers.”
I looked at him. “What do I do about that?”
He took a sip of his smoothie. “Let me think on it.”
And then he went back to his desk.
Within forty-five minutes, he’d investigated which of my posts came through more prominently on Facebook feeds and which were more hidden. He deduced that it came down to the choice of pictures. So we then created general guidelines of certain types of photos I should use, and which I should stay away from.
At 2pm that day, he’d sauntered over and shooed me away from my desk. He sat at my computer and then set up a Facebook ad campaign that would target potential readers. After that, he created a Google Ads account and set about formalizing a campaign. Google Ads is actually really confusing but he figured it out, bidding on certain ad space and crafting appropriate search terms. My only job was to give him my credit card information.
Every morning he’d say, “What’s your CPC?” And since I didn’t know what that meant, he’d sigh laboriously and come over and adjust our ad so that it would be more cost-effective and more searchable.
We got a lot of new readers that way.
He opened the bag.
“Ugh! I so wish I would have had this in P-Town!” he exclaimed.
“I know,” I said, nodding. “Sorry I didn’t get it together.”
“That is going to look great on you!” Lux said. She was starting to come down a bit from her coffee-high. Thank goodness.
This gift for Archie was not a surprise. I’d told him I wanted to get him a NotQuiteACougar.com tank top before he left. He’d then gone to the online store to pick out which one he liked.
“Well, I’ll totally wear it to the gym and, of course, represent at Fire Island,” he said, as he unrolled the tank top.
I wish I could express how much this touched me.
“Do you want me to put it on?” he asked.
“Oh,” I said and waved my hand in front of my face. I could feel myself blushing. I really push the blog too much on everyone. It’s annoying. “You don’t have to. That’s okay.”
“No, I’m going to,” he said and set down the tank. He then peeled off his t-shirt.
“Well, this meeting is going in a different direction,” said Floyd, eyebrows raised.
Archie pulled the tank over his head.
It really did look quite good on him.
“Can I take a picture of you in it?” I asked. “Just for marketing purposes? I don’t have any pictures of guys in the shirts.” Then I said quickly, “I won’t show your face.”
“You can show my face,” he said, as he posed against the wall. “It will be fun to put a face to the name.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Let’s do it,” he said.
I took a few awkward shots and then Lux got annoyed. “For Pete’s sake, let me take them!” she said and leaped up from the table. She is a much better photographer than me, so that made sense.
“Okay, I took a ton,” she said a few minutes later, as she handed my phone back to me.
“Thank you,” I said.
“Alright, I have to go,” Archie said as he rolled up his original outfit and tucked it under his arm, along with his laptop.
“Okay,” I said, and I felt a tinge of sadness.
“See you guys at the party!” he called as he exited the conference room.
And as I watched him walking out of the office, confidently wearing our NQAC tank-top, I felt…
I don’t even know how to explain how I felt.
Happy? Yes. I was happy for him. And happy that I’d gotten a chance to know him.
Proud? Yes. I felt proud that we’d started this little blog right here in this office, and now he was wearing it out into his real life.
Weepy? A little. It felt the end of an era somehow.
But most of all, I felt grateful.
And I do not think I need to explain why.
Thank you for everything, Archie. We’ll miss you.