The Morgan Proctor Interview
I had an opportunity recently to interview our favorite bureaucrat Morgan Proctor, who isn’t the easiest person to nail down. She had a busy schedule that day, and was a bit reluctant to come in for an interview. Honestly, I think the only reason that she agreed was that I told her that we had numerous violations in the building, and that she could give it a once-over on the way out. I so expected that stereotypical iron lady, and was surprised to find much more once I started digging; I was determined to find a real-life human being underneath that tough veneer. So here, without further adieu, is my interview with Miss Proctor.
So, tell us a little bit about yourself…
Morgan: I’m a bureaucrat grade 19…that’s just about the lot of it, really…
That’s not a very lengthy description…usually people like to talk about themselves…
Morgan: Well, it’s not like I’m a tv star or anything. I’m a bureaucrat – I’m a civil servant that does a job and then moves on. I do my job, clock out, and then go home. Unless I’ve got work to take home – then I consider myself still on the clock until I go to bed.
Well, there must be an interesting part of your life…a hobby, an interesting experience…
Morgan: It’s really all about the job nowadays. I’m damn good at what I do, and pretty cock-proud of it. And if you’re under me, I’ll eat your lunch for you if you perform below par…
That's what I've heard…you have a bit of a reputation as a ‘Dragon Lady’…
Morgan: People are intimidated by me because of my performance level and my attention to detail…this scares them, makes them squirm a bit. If you're not a slacker, you have nothing to worry about from me.
Like in the case of Professor Hubert Farnsworth…tell us about him.
Morgan: You would bring that old coot up (chuckles). He runs an interstellar delivery service staffed by miscreants and misfits, and fancies himself a mad scientist when not running the business. He’s nearly blown me up several times with his so-called experiments. I really kind of like the old codger…I just love scaring the living daylights out of him every once in a while.
You see, there is a likeable side to you…and I’m going to pull that out if I can…
Morgan: Good luck (laughs). To most people I’m a real pain in the ass. And I like that – it keeps them on their toes…keeps them guessing.
Back to that interesting person inside…you must have had a childhood – surely you weren’t hatched out of an egg as an adult bureaucrat…
Morgan: That would be quite a trick, wouldn't it? I don’t talk much of my childhood.
Was it happy?
Morgan: Oh, there were happy memories. I would spend hours on end organizing my dolls and putting them in lines to collect their proper paperwork. I would turn my whole room into a bureaucratic center, and figure out what dolls I’d need to staff the whole thing. It drove my friends nuts.
You know that isn’t what I’m talking about.
Morgan: I know…you want the gritty details. I was born to wealthy parents in Syracuse, New York. My folks divorced when I was young. so my upbringing was split up between Syracuse and Mars. Mars…that dusty, awful place (covers mouth) – sorry for any Martian citizens reading this. I did have some fond memories there…during the winter months, I used to enjoy ice skating on the canals. It’s just how that nasty red dirt gets into your clothing and you can’t get it out (chuckles). Anyone from Mars knows what I’m talking about.
I also understand that you were quite a girl scout in your youth.
Morgan: Troop number 455 out of Syracuse, New York. I was put in charge of a group of girls there. I quickly became a pariah among my fellow scouts after I set up a system of demerit points for bad behavior and slovenly uniform violations – the grown-ups didn’t appreciate this too much. I still don't know why...
I’ve heard that you were quite an athlete at New New York University.
Morgan: Oh, I was. No, really…I was a state champion fencer, and I was also on the dive team in those days.
Morgan: Mister, I can still fence with the best of them (gestures with her hand). Give me a foil, and I can show you right here.
Well, that’s an interesting thing. It sounds like you had fun in those endeavors.
Morgan: It kept me busy…I didn’t have to think about my screwed up home life.
Screwed up home life...share a little about that...
Morgan: Mom and Pops fought a lot, until they finally split up and Dad went to Mars. Some of those fights were doosies.
Did you ever find solace in religion? Do you go to church?
Morgan: I’m Roman Catholic, for anyone who would want to know. I don’t know why anyone would.
That is fascinating…how does that work in with your career?
Morgan: Very well, actually. I guess it fits in with my love of organization…I was always fascinated with the different elements of the mass, the way the different parts of it come together – like gears in a transmission. And, for the record, I can’t stand it when they do the mass in Martian – no offense, it's just a personal preference.
Do you still attend?
Morgan: I go to St. Claudette’s when I’m back on Mars. Sometimes I got to St. Patrick's here.
So, it’s about the organization…
Morgan: A lot of it…I wouldn’t know what to do in the Omniversalist church where they just go in and worship…I’d be lost. The mass makes me feel like I’m involved in an organization, a structure, much like my job. It’s comforting to me.
So God is like this big file organizer…
Morgan: Now you’re making fun of me…well, sort of…in a way…
Well, if heaven does exist, what do you want to be told when you get up there?
Morgan: (Thinks for a second). "We have a ton of files that need re-arranging; get to work."
I understand that you are not married. I also understand that you were almost married…
Morgan: I knew you were going to bring that up. Okay, for my adoring fans, if there are any, I was dumped at the altar.
Morgan: Must I? His name was Walter Abshire. He was a grade 17 bureaucrat that I met at a bureaucratic seminar in New Las Vegas. He was perfect. He was beautiful. He was an anal-retentive perfectionist. He even organized his socks according to the days of the week. And he dumped me at the altar. With a text message, no less. The louse. When he dumped me, I burned all of his damn love letters.
That would explain your interest in slovenly men.
Morgan: You got that from Philip Fry, didn’t you? (smiles). He’s a sweet boy.
It's been said that you called him a 'dirty boy.'
Morgan: (Gets a mock serious expression) I'll never tell.
So he’s the kind of a guy you’d like to meet someday…
Morgan: For now I don’t really have the time to socialize much, so don't expect to get a wedding invitation anytime soon. You’d actually make a very skillful surgeon, you know that? You’ve left me open and exposed.
That means I'm doing a good job as a reporter. Now...how about goals?
Morgan: Now, that’s a better question. My main goal has been for years to become Bureaucrat General. I believe I have what it takes to make a good one. I will be one...it's just a matter of time. That is, if I don't get blown up over at Planet Express in the meantime.
Mentioning 'adoring fans' once again, are you aware that there is a cartoonist that has spent years drawing you? How do you feel about that?
Morgan: Oh, I know of him...calls himself Gulliver or something. He’s little better than a pathetic, obsessed fan. I have actually chuckled at a few of his cartoons, but he still plays into this thing about me being a grump...which isn't true (chuckles). I still don't know how I became such a celebrity in his eyes...
Tell me about the Bureaucrat Betty doll…how did that get started?
Morgan: I’m quite proud of that, actually. A few years back Zippo Toys asked me to help design a line of bureaucrat action figures for them. I chose the dialogue for the dolls…things like, “Prepare for an audit,” and “What are you hiding back there?” – for several days I walked around recording these gems for them. My admin, the toy nerd, has the whole collection at her desk.
What do you do for entertainment?
Morgan: Oh, I knew that we were going to get to this. Boy, you're really determined. I will go to an occasional cocktail party, as long as it doesn't interfere with any work I bring home. And yes, I do bring work home. Did you expect me to tell you I had some kind of hobby? Like collecting bits of yarn? Collecting dinner plates from each of the planets? (chuckles).
I guess you aren’t much of a social butterfly…do you listen to music?
Morgan: I’m very fussy about my music. I’m very big on Beethoven and Bach, because they represent organization and structure arising from chaos. I can’t stand a lot of this modern stuff like Neptunian Rap and things…it’s just chaos to me. I simply love Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony. I’m also partial to some opera. And a little space opera, truth be known.
What was the last book you read?
Morgan: It was Accounting Principles for Dummies by Irving Pescoe. What - you’re giving me that look…
When is your birthday?
Morgan: July 25th; I won't tell you what year, so don't ask. My father used to call me his 'little stubborn Leo girl.'
Tell me a bit about your father - I've never heard anything about him.
Morgan: His name is Conrad. He's actually a good man, but he was clueless when it came to business deals; he got taken badly on a big patch of land on Mars. He also had a weakness for Martian mushroom brandy...and women. But what he lacked in success and good morals, he more than made up for in drive. He used to tell me, "Use your initiative, girl." He also attended many of my swim meets, which is more than I could say for Mother. I still visit him once and again.
Mother...tell me about her.
Morgan: She was Scottish...a proud member of the MacThomas clan. Stubborn...and tough. Their fights were the stuff of legend. Our fights were as well. But for as hard as we fought, I had a great deal of respect for my mother. I miss her.
Morgan: I have two younger siblings; Edgar, who is some sort of an art dealer or something on Mars, who's been in college since the beginning of time. My sister Isabelle is a medical practitioner in New New York. I enjoy playing with my sisters kids...and spoiling them.
You sound like you wish you had children running around...
Morgan: Oh, good God no...her daughters are the closest thing I'd ever want to having kids. I get to have a blast with them, and then send them home. I don't know if I'd have room in my life for kids of my own.
Okay, let's get back to your favorite delivery company. Tell me about your relationship with the Wong family.
Morgan: The girl, I don't have any bad feelings for. My dad tried to go head to head with the father over that land deal I talked about, which wasn't the wisest thing to do. It still sticks in my craw when I drive by that god-awful statue of Leo in Olympica City - I'd like to shoot orange paintballs at it. Have you seen it? With the cowboy hat? But I don't have anything against Amy herself...she's a bit ditzy, much too wealthy for her own good, but not a bad person.
Well, that covers most of the Planet Express employees...what about Turanga Leela?
Morgan: I know she probably doesn't care too much for me, especially after the Fry thing, but I actually have a great deal of respect for her. Hell of a star pilot. She's one of the few people that can scare the heeby-jeebies out of me, and I don’t scare easily. Something about the way she can drill you with that cyclops eye of hers – she looks into your left eye, and then into the right. (Covers mouth) Oh jeepers - did that come across as being insensitive? Honestly folks, I have nothing against mutants - I've supported their rights in the workplace for years.
What about Hermes Conrad?
Morgan: I really like him, if you can stand the fact that he's a bit neurotic. I give his wife LaBarbara a wide berth, though - she can be a tigress if she's pissed off.
You don't sound very gracious...
Morgan: Gracious? I play hardball - you know that. I kept my nose to the grindstone to get where I am. I'm set to be Bureaucrat General someday...Hermes doesn't have what it takes. I practically had to talk him down off of a roof once to keep him from jumping; I had to demote him for that. I'm tough, and I make no apologies, and Hermes would expect no less from me. By the way, what's that you're holding?
I wanted to ask you about this picture...
Morgan: Oh, good grief...this was shot on my first day as a bureaucrat...look at my hair...where in heaven's name did you get this? I was a 23 year old kid straight out of college when this was shot (smiles). That was me taking the Bureaucratic Oath.
The Oath...sort of like a military person being sworn in...
Morgan: I felt like my whole life was coming together nicely. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Have you ever considered what will be printed on your headstone?
Morgan: (chuckles, and then thinks for a moment). "Here lies Bureaucrat Morgan Proctor. Her desk has been cleaned off, and there's nothing in her in box" (smiles). Now, how about that inspection you promised me?
Step right this way, Miss Proctor...
Morgan: Just because you interviewed me doesn't mean I'm going to write you a blank check on any violations...