The editors love the Photo Issue. By “editors,” I’m referring to writers, fact checkers, and copy cleaners–word people. It’s the one month of the year they find themselves with “free time,” a concept normally reserved for the sales staff.

During this glorious month, the editors drop the 8:00 a.m.-’til-exhaustion grind and adopt a more “relaxed” daily schedule. Here’s how it’s gone this month:

10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Arrive at work. (The entire edit staff arrives promptly around 10:00-ish to check voice mail and browse the Internet. Popular sites: www.hotwheels.com, www.playersonly.com, www.footballunlimited.co.uk.)

11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Discussion time. (The main topic is typically what everyone did the night before. For example, someone might say, “I watched a documentary about the space shuttle last night.” Then everyone would talk about their personal experiences with the space shuttle, and NASA, and the Shuttle Challenger disaster. Once I gave a short dissertation on the interior of the space shuttle. I called it “sketchy.” Everyone seemed interested.) Our staff is quite knowledgeable, and we discuss a variety of topics.

11:45 a.m.

Lunch preparation. (The question, “Where are we going for lunch?” spurs a debate about suitable dining in North San Diego County. Certain factions of the staff are keen to the dangers of Oceanside coffee shops and might filibuster a motion to eat anywhere near the Oceanside pier.)

Noon to 2:00 p.m.

Lunch.

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Miscellaneous errands and duties. (Examples of activities in the two-o’clock hour might be: court appearances, video-rental returns, Internet gambling, planning evening activities, making personal long-distance phone calls, or watching skate videos. Note: watching skate vids is sometimes frowned on by other editors as “work-related.”)

3:00 p.m. to 3:35 p.m.

Afternoon tryptophan-induced nap. (Rested editors make proficient ones.)

3:35 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Work.

5:00 p.m. on the dot

Depart for home. (With a full day under their belts, the editors depart for the evening. Note: on the evenings of important televised collegiate basketball games, indoor soccer matches, or happy hour, work might end at 4:45.)

Welcome to the editors’ favorite issue. Welcome to the Photo Issue.