The cable company that brings hundreds of digital cable channels and high-speed Internet to neighborhoods across Queens and Brooklyn has tapped their own, locally grown workforce as models for a smoldering 2009 pin-up calendar.
An open call made by regional Time Warner leaders was answered with hundreds of photographs of employees. The competition was widely discussed among employees, but, ultimately, only a few lookers were chosen to represent the work force in the company’s first New York City employee calendar.
The photos range from relatively wholesome scenes of kite-flying and fruit-picking to sexier cheese- and beef-cake shots of particularly fit Time Warner employees. Cars are washed, shirts are unbuttoned, and house calls are made, and more sensitive cable customers might have to lie down after seeing some of the more suggestive photographs.
“We wanted to showcase our employees as the hardworking, talented, and dedicated workers that they are, but we also wanted to uncover their inner model,” said a Time Warner Cable representative.
Employees interested in posing for the calendar were asked to submit photos, and nearly all of them were excited about the opportunity to appear in the calendar.
“One of the technicians I work with asked me if I was going to do it,” said Shibvon Melendez, a technician from Williamsburg and the calendar’s Miss March. “Everybody was talking about it. I was so excited when I heard back from them.”
Melendez said that the photo shoot gave her an opportunity to socialize with other Time Warner Cable employees that she has worked with but never met.
Melendez, who makes house calls, was excited about the prospect of walking into a customer’s home and seeing her photo on the wall, but said, “they would have to recognize me. I probably wouldn’t say anything.”
Other employees were excited to show off their sunny faces and chiseled bodies. “It was the first time I’ve ever worn makeup,” said John Varriale, a communications and training director from Flushing. Varriale can be seen as a telephone-answering pirate on the October page. “It was almost a Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean style. Customers will get this calendar, and see us in a whole different light.”
When asked what his family and friends thought about his move to modeling, Varriale said, “I come from a pretty traditional Italian-American family, and they’ll probably be cracking jokes about this.” He admitted that he quite liked the experience of modeling for a calendar, and said that he was considering pursuing it as a secondary career. “I’m thinking about putting together a portfolio.”
The 2009 calendar was unveiled on Monday at the Time Warner Cable Store on 23rd Street in Manhattan, and it was the first time that any of the models had seen their shots. “I think they look great,” said Melendez.
The Cable Calendar will be available to Time Warner Cable customers by logging on here. Supplies are limited, but the company indicated that they may be putting together a similar calendar for 2010.