We’ve launched a new series called “Random Staff Interrogation” in which you’ll get the low-down on who’s who in our offices. Stay tuned every Tuesday and Thursday for a new introduction, and some surprising answers!
Today I’d like to introduce you to Sean Tai, who is a Senior Typesetter. Here’s how he handled my interrogation:
1. In one sentence, how would you describe your job?
Tens of thousands of unruly electric words arrive on my desk and then I line them up and force them to march into neat evenly spaced straight lines so people can read them in a printed book.
2. How long have you worked at Random House, and how did you get into publishing?
Four years, but 14 including my ten years at McClelland and Stewart. I got into publishing after taking the Ryerson publishing program after university.
3. What does your typical workday look like?
See 1., but including lunch breaks.
4. What do you like best about your job?
I quietly accomplish a lot but no one notices me or knows what I do.
5. What was your very first job?
My very first job was working as a human scarecrow to keep birds out of the fields at the Agriculture Canada Experimental Farm in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Hours 4 to 8 a.m. Thanks Dad!
6. If you could do any other job (in or out of publishing) what would it be?
Interesting question. I would love to work as an archeologist on ancient digs in any part of the world.
7. Which genre do you read the most?
Lately I read mostly history and some historical fiction.
8. What was your favourite childhood book or author?
So many! What age? My favourite childhood book at (random choice) age eleven was Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.
9. What are you reading right now?
Too many! Though I am slowly working on Suite Francaise by Irene Neimrovsky.
10. Which author would cause you to jump up and down with excitement upon finally getting to meet them?
Great question. Does that count authors we have already met? I try to contain the jumping when I see Naomi Klein, which would be really embarrassing. As for the unmet , Elizabeth Smart, which would be very exciting if only as decisive proof of the existence of the afterlife. And the still living and unmet, hmm, let’s see. Margaret Atwood, I met her. Michael Ondaatje, in the men’s washroom at M&S, no less. Who else is jumpworthy? Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Is he still alive?
Want to be introduced to other great employees? Be sure to check out these additional Random Staff Interrogations