Just past nine in the morning and I walked into the office, a fresh cup of coffee warming my hand. I was one of the first in the office, which was a bit unusual for me. I was alert and ready for anything, I felt that today was going to be a good day. I should have been wary from that moment.
Turning on my computer without much trouble I quickly opened my e-mails. A quick scanning of my inbox showed a message from the American Chemical Society. They had uploaded my paper onto ACS Nano. Yay! Now before you go and congratulate me, it was a literature review. Basically a overview of the state of the art. Very little of my own work, but it is useful. I now had basically the introductory chapter of my thesis written, to join the pile of documents that was visible on my desktop.
I clicked on the link that they had provided to me, it was a PDF of the full paper. I opened it and started to read through. It started out alright, my name and that of my Boss, Abstract and introduction going to the bottom of the page where there was the author bios. With loads about the boss, a little about me and two photos. Oh jaysus!
He used it! The photograph that I told my boss not to use after he took it, sticking the camera lense into my face after suddenly announcing that they wanted a photo.
He used it. I had not cut my hair in over six months. He used it. I had been punched by and ex’s brother the previous day. He used it! I had been out until 3AM that night. He used it! I was hungover. He used it!
It was a disaster, like all your worst childhood photos rolled into one. The only good thing was that the others hadn’t seen the paper yet. I had time.
But sniggers from behind me told me that something was going wrong. On impulse I checked my inbox again. There it was. The same message from the ACS forwarded by the boss to everyone in the group. Shit! The game was up.
I had to be careful from then on. The last guy to have a photo in a paper ended up having it photoshopped onto a “50 sporting legends” poster which was hung around the department for nearly a month. He overreacted a bit! Like a red rag to a bull things only got worse.
The sniggering was getting more pronounced “Nice picture Joe” said Damian, from the desk behind me. “How many times did they drag you through a hedge before they took it?”
That got a laugh from everybody. Let the games begin.
I had entered the office thinking that that day was going to be a good one. Thanks to the photo it was going to certainly be an interesting one.