TWELVE Tips to Help You Succeed in Life:Part Eleven
TIP ELEVEN: SCRAPPY'S THE GREATEST NEOPIAN EVER!
Like the title implies, Scrappy is, hands down, THE greatest Neopian in the history of Neopia’s…uh, Neopians. Not only is she not a stuck-up snob (like a certain Usul whose name will bring destruction and chaos if uttered), but she actually buys donuts for her employees! Actual donuts! "I like buying treats for my interns. It shows that I care for them," said the ever-so-wise Scrappy the Perfect.
Granted I was still juggling my gig at the Plushie Palace, but working for SCRAPPY was a huge honour I couldn’t refuse! I mean, she’s the sweetest NT editor ever and she always smelled like vanilla! She’s also not the most fashionable Neopian in the world: she typically wears hoodies, jeans and sneakers. I loved Scrappy’s look because, like me, she was a laid-back fashionista who—unlike Claudia—didn’t judge others by what they wear and how much they would have spent on their clothes. "That green hoodie you’re rocking is so cute!" Scrappy said on my first ever day at the NT.
"You’re so sweet," I gushed, still at awe with how perfectly perfect Scrappy was. I looked around Scrappy's office, surprised to see it was a lot cleaner than I expected. "Wow, there are so many less papers than I expected! You sure are organized."
Scrappy laughed. "I didn’t do anything in here! Jade did all the organizing—she’s such a sweetheart, you know. She’s always on top of the cleaning, the sorting and all that boring stuff."
I marvelled at Scrappy’s lack of interest in cleaning. It’s one thing we had in common, so of course I knew we were destined to be best friends. Scrappy then led me to the two green cubicles in another room, where Jade was already hunched over whatever she was reviewing. When I entered the room, she looked up quickly and then went back to…well, whatever she was doing. "Jade’s a little shy around others," Scrappy whispered. "But don’t worry. She’s great once you get to know her."
Became we were both wearing green hoodies, I knew Jade and I would be great friends too—though obviously I was going to be Scrappy’s bestie! After showing me around the NT building—including a visit to the Weewoos, who chirped happily from their cages—I settled down at my cubicle and was asked to review a pile of comics. "Just follow the regulations and you’ll be good to go," Scrappy said reassuringly. "Oh, and make sure the comics are actually drawn. Any cut-and-paste comics are an automatic no."
On the left wall of my cubicle was a poster listing all of the ‘dos and don’ts’ of NT submissions. I briefly read them and then began sorting through the stack of comics. Many of the comics were funny. Others dramatic, and others badly drawn and—sure enough—there were those consisting of pictures taped to sheets of paper with blurbs and dialogue drawn in with markers and pencils. I was especially ecstatic when it came to writing up all the acceptance and rejection letters.
My acceptance letters were laced with lots of kudos:
Dear The Beautiful Snaw,
Congratulations! Your entry (Everything about Kad Feeding is EVIL!) has been selected to appear in a future issue of the Neopian Times! I loved the part where you claimed that Kad feeding has astronomical effects on the Neopian economy. Is this true? And if so, where did you get such research from?
A tip I would suggest is to reread over your future submissions. This particular entry had a few annoying typos, so I suggest you consult a thesaurus or something for spelling purposes.
Anywho, congrats again!
Nadine, aka Scrappy’s #1 Best Friend
"Wow! That’s the nicest acceptance letter I’ve ever seen," Scrappy marvelled. "But maybe you should just stick to the prewritten response instead? You know the short, less enthusiastic one."
"That one’s so boring!" I moaned.
Scrappy smiled, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was melting. "What’s most important for any contributor is getting accepted." she insisted. "Oh, and getting a trophy."
I knew Scrappy wouldn’t have approved my new format of rejection letters either, so I kept my mouth shut. Still, I would love to post one of my favourite responses here for kicks:
Your entry (I Know Everything, You Know Nothing) has been rejected because it was too pretentious. I don’t know you personally, but the way you decided to use this article to brag about yourself was really shallow—and believe me, I know shallowness! Your pets are probably ashamed to know you by now, and honestly I don’t blame them for a second.
Next time, stop trying to waste my valuable time with such boring dribble. Either write something interesting or just stop writing altogether. If you must brag about yourself, go write a poem or enter the Random Contest, I don’t care.
Nadine, aka Scrappy’s #1 Best Friend
P.S. Say hello to all your friends for me!
(As you can see, I can be harsh and yet remain very fair)
Besides reviewing comics and sending out acceptance and rejection letters (My third duty was shredding all the comics that failed Scrappy’s NT standards. Don’t let the public know of this! It’s supposed to be a secret.) I also had to polish and mail the trophies, too. I was dismayed to learn all the NT trophies weren’t made of solid gold: instead, they were just hunks of plastic. "Why would anybody be happy to receive a plastic trophy over an actual gold one?" I asked Scrappy as I polished one of these frauds.
"It’s the thought that counts," said Scrappy. "Besides, the NT isn’t one of the most profitable businesses in the world."
"But why?" I asked.
Scrappy counted the reasons with her fingers. "Weewoo care, printing and distributing the NT, and then there’s the fact the NT is free for everyone, my salary, my interns’ salaries, TNT’s pay cuts...yep, that’s all of it."
Despite this depressing fact, working for the NT was pretty fun, and Scrappy was always a ball of energy. One day she took Jade and me to a café for something she made up: brunch. "This is the place in Neopia Central for brunch," Scrappy explained to us after we sat down.
"This place is superb," I agreed, looking around at the waitresses and admiring their pink dresses and white aprons. "Gosh Scrappy, you have such wonderful taste!" I gushed. "I mean the donuts you always bring into the office taste great; your fashion sense is effortless yet colorful; your job is hectic, yet you’re never frazzled; and I love that purple scrunchie in your hair! I haven’t worn a scrunchie since Neoschool!"
Scrappy smiled. "You’re such a sweetie-pie, Nadine!" She turned to Jade. "How’s the gaming coming along?"
"Alright," Jade said quietly.
"Jade’s a superb gamer," Scrappy informed me. "She’s been trying to get first place in Meerca Chase. I think last month, she got second!"
I nodded. "Sweet! I like gaming too, but I haven’t the time to play right now."
"Oh yeah, you said you had another job, right?" asked Scrappy. "Where is it again?"
Filling with pride, I burst out all of the wonderful things about working at the Plushie Palace: Cassie, the plushies, sweet elderly pets, daily baked treats etc. Scrappy seemed intrigued by my vivid descriptions, and even Jade muttered, "Wow, I’m so jealous."
"Why? You get to work side-by-side with Scrappy the Fabulous," I told Jade. "Yes being surrounded by adorable plushies is a huge pro of the job, but who wouldn’t wanna work with THE Scrappy the Great??"
Jade shrugged. "Scrappy’s cool. But I would love to work with plushies or any type of toys, really."
"Ooh, same here," said Scrappy.
"Wow! You like toys too, Scrappy?" By now the waitress came and took our ‘brunch’ orders, so when she left I continued to gush and fawn over Scrappy and her perfection. "You’re SOO talented with the NT! I can’t believe you’re the, like, millionth editor they’ve ever had! How’d you do it? And what were you wearing?"
Scrappy laughed. "I was just asked a bunch of questions, and then I was hired. That’s pretty much it." Then she gave me the kindest smile ever and said, "But enough about me. Tell me about you, Nadine. What are your hobbies? Your favorite fruits? Least favorite desserts?"
At first I was beyond flabbergasted that Scrappy was actually taking an interest in me. ME! OF ALL THINGS! So then I took a deep breath and began my biography with my love of Usukis, Neovision, Yes Boy Ice Cream, plushies, Usukis again (To make clear how much I love them, of course) and that I hated broccoli, jerk-faced goons (You-know-who?) and itchy sweaters. I actually surprised myself by talking about my Mom and her still-untreated illness, and then going on about how much extra work I took on to pay all of her hospital bills and Neohome-related expenses. By the time I was done, the waitress gave each of us our drinks, and I took a long sip of lemonade. "Yep, that’s pretty much it," I concluded, my voice coarse.
"Wowzers Nadine, you’ve had it rough," Scrappy marveled. She sniffled. "You’re such a dedicated daughter!"
"You rock, girl," said Jade.
I blushed. "Thanks."
"Working at that boring ol’ school supplies shop must have been a bore," said Scrappy. "Though one thing interests me: what’s your real dream, Nadine?"
"My what?" I gasped.
"You know, that thing in life you’ve always wanted to achieve," said Scrappy. "What is it? Or have you always wanted to be an NT editor?"
Now I was concerned—and confused, with a dash of starving. Yes I had accomplished a lot of things in this year alone, but what did I really want to do for the rest of my life? I didn’t have a super-straight line to any bigger goals. I couldn’t really imagine myself living away from Mom and all my things. And I had very little doubts I will ever garner a huge salary given my lack of college degrees. Thus begs this philosophical question: Now what? Should I try to pin-point a direct future goal…or remain a lost, uncertain nitwit for the rest of my life?
Stay tuned for the exciting finale! You don’t want to miss it!
To be continued….