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 Ellen Nodwell, who is a Contracts Manager. Here’s how she handled my interrogation:
1. In one sentence, how would you describe your job?
Contracts Manager for McClelland & Stewart, Tundra Books and the new hockey imprint FENN/M&S.
2. How long have you worked at Random House, and how did you get into publishing?
I have worked full time for M&S since March 1, 2011 but was on contract several times before that. I started my publishing career working in magazines for sixteen years and then did an about face to trade publishing after my magazine went under.
3. What does your typical workday look like?
Mornings at home I have down to a fine science so I can sleep in as late as possible, alarm goes off to CBC, escort cat to food bowl (it’s a thing he likes me to do) and give him scritches, shower, make sure hoodlums are up, build lunches or find cash depending on the day, eat cereal and read a magazine or book at the same time, get dressed, fend cat off from escaping out of doors for the day, jump into car, drive sons to school, turn around and then head south to go down town, park in near to last spot in garage next door (hoping that George Brown students don’t have exams in which case there will be no spots), find spectacles, turn on computer, quickly look into Rights inbox and distribute emails from there, then try to quickly scan my own emails (not usually successful because with contracts, nothing is ever simple or fast to answer – one email can take all morning), water plant then get first mug of tea, dive into a project, emerge around 11:30am for second mug of tea, at 1pm – eat lunch ( I had to set a meeting reminder to remind me to eat lunch otherwise I will work through lunch hour), usually eat and work through lunch, dive into next project, emerge @ 4pm unless there is a meeting, emerge around 5:10pm realizing it’s time to go home and that really I could stay for a couple of more hours except I know my work will never be done and I have to go home and ensure the hoodlums get out to their evening activities and are fed.
4. What do you like best about your job?
I am never bored and it is always challenging and the people are lovely and sometimes I get to meet and speak with some pretty nice authors too. (Also, the Random House warehouse sale.)
5. What was your very first job?
My first real job was as a filing clerk for a brokerage firm when I was 17. My most unusual job was as a Passenger Porter on a Great Lakes freighter.