John Koblin over at the Observer has what I consider to be a great and quite amusing piece on the ever-changing corporate culture over at 4 Times Square. Graydon's now eating in the cafeteria! It's hard to find a seat in our in-house spot designed by a world-renowned architect! There's no more shrimp at the salad bar or Orangina in the fridge! I know, it's mind-blowing the things people are having to deal with over there. But such is life in a shitty economy. The manner to which they have become accustomed makes every shift feel so much more massive. And of course, there will surely be many more substantive changes when the McKinsey consultants have turned in their final analysis. As one source in the story said, “That whole feeling of working here and it being cushy and other people loving it and being jealous? That’s kind of gone now."
And honestly, while it's definitely time for Condé Nast to catch up to the reality most of us have been living in for some time and start to tighten the budgets, it makes me a little bummed out too. It's always stood glamorously apart from the rest of the publishing world. And for a while back in 2001, I got to enjoy its bounty. This was a time when you could send someone in a town car to Connecticut for Powerball tickets for the edit staff. Ridiculous? Certainly. But kind of badass too. Because really even when you're ridiculing some of its more glaring absurdities, there's always an underlying jealousy that all of us can certainly cop to. Do you think Condé will ever return to its true Condé-ness again?