Diary of the Intern: Dwight Schrute at TIR?

Sara Kosch

I love people. Even something as routine as sending out e-mails has the potential for a good chuckle thanks to the unexpectedness of people's quirks, humor, and good cheer. One of my projects this summer is to contact small presses about adding The Iowa Review to their review lists (so we can get copies of books to review) and see if they want to be a part of our "Small Press Announcement" page, which will be coming to our website this fall and will allow people to see the publication dates for upcoming titles. I've sent out oodles of e-mails to about ninety presses, and while most of the replies have been pretty standard, there have been a few that made my heart happy.

First off, I love when people sign-off their e-mails with "Cheers," "Thanks," is just bland in comparison. Perhaps I'm just biased by my love of Britain, which while I've never been (I will be next Spring for study abroad!!!), I had a co-worker at the Englert Theatre who had an internship in London. When she came back to the states, she couldn't stop saying "cheers" every time she handed someone a drink while we worked concessions. She thought it was weird and tried to stop, but I thought it was absolutely wonderful, and if I would have been a customer, I would have walked away feeling pretty darn good about my purchase. Cheers is just so comfortable and pleasant and instantly makes me feel like I could be best mates with whoever said it to me, even though in most cases we only know each other as names at the bottom of e-mails. Speaking of delightful closings on e-mails, there was one guy who used exclamation points after every sentence, put a : - ) at the end, and then signed off by writing "Rockets," and his name.

I felt an instant bond because I too tend to get unnecessarily excited about things and use a frightening amount of exclamation points, and of course, how could I not want feel kindly towards someone who says "Rockets," in place of "Best," or "Sincerely?" But the crowning moment of my e-mail correspondence came in the form of an Office reference. [For those poor souls who haven't seen the NBC show: well I'm sorry for your loss. Netflix all six seasons and then come back and finish reading this. For those of you who know what I'm talking about, proceed.] Months ago Lynne Nugent, the managing editor, Emily Liebowitz, the associate poetry editor, and I conferred about what my title should be when I'm contacting presses. Would intern be important enough to gain the attention of the presses, or would they brush me aside in the bustle of the publishing world because I wasn't worth their time? We decided better safe than sorry, and I was designated: Sarah Kosch, assistant to the managing editor. Well, a little bit ago someone made a connection that I'm embarrassed to admit I had failed to notice. The e-mail started out business-like enough, but at the end, the person wrote: "By the way, do you watch The Office? When I saw your title "Assistant to the Managing Editor," I immediately thought of Dwight. Assistant Regional Manager, or Assistant TO THE Regional Manager? ;)" I cant believe it. I am the Dwight Schrute of The Iowa Review. Cheers.

Click here for a sample of why Dwight rocks my socks off!