We recently sat down with Blue Panda and had a chance to ask him about his past, his work experience with NJI Media, and his thoughts about the future. The interview is published unedited and in its entirety.
BP: To be honest, it makes perfect sense when looking back…[takes long drag from a cigarette while looking into the bottom of his highball glass of bourbon]…it was the ’60s and there weren’t a lot of rules on travel.
JH: I’m sorry, how old are you?
BP: That’s the wrong question. [He shifts his weight to visually communicate the fading size and strength he commands.]
JH: What do you want to talk about?
BP: They shortened my name to Panda when I arrived. I was told that my name needed to be Americanized in order to assimilate, and that’s how it started.
JH: What exactly started at that point?
BP: That’s when I became an American. Registered for the draft, went to college and experimented. Always explaining to my friends and the Starbucks barista that it’s pronounced PAN-da. I’ve seen things. [Looks to the window as if it’s a view into his past.]
JH: I’m sorry. So what is it that you do for NJI Media?
BP: [Takes a drag from his cigarette.] I handle operations, and represent the firm at public functions. I suppose the softness of my fur covers my prickly disposition.
JH: Why NJI?
BP: They were the only agency not asking difficult questions. When my parole officer didn’t return their call, they didn’t follow up because I fixed their printer in the interview. I suppose that’s why I’ve stayed all these years.
JH: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career with NJI?
BP: I could say that I optimized the phone lines or strong-armed State Farm for a better 401k plan at NJI, but it would be wrong not to mention the time I saved our biggest client. You see, I had stayed late at the office drinking and passed out on the couch when the phone rang around 1AM. The client needed some documents because Congress was having a vote, and you have to remember this is before the cloud. Also, I’m a panda, so I can’t drive. So, I packed up the papers and swam the Potomac. Walked right up to the Capital building, walked right through security, and into the halls of Congress. Our client got their papers and couldn’t have been happier. That’s how I knew I made it. You see, looking back, it all makes sense.
JH: Where do you see yourself in five years?
BP: As my old friend Mitch would say, celebrating the five year anniversary of you asking me that question.
JH: Any tattoos?
BP: Not since 2009. Laser technology has really come a long way. Laser didn’t remove the memories though, it only took off what was skin deep.
JH: Is there a Mrs. Panda?
BP: This interview is over.