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Meet Meerkat

EHS’ mascot sits down with Todd Boulis

During my time at Engaged Health Solutions, I have come across some incredible people; people with diverse talents, personalities and life experiences. I’ve even heard an employee (for the sake of anonymity, we will call this employee Jonathan Michael Birnberg) shamelessly proclaim a love for all things cardigans, short sleeve work shirts and Forever 21. He is 30 and married. He is my friend. But of all the eccentric people at EHS, none quite compare to the one we call Meerkat. It is a great honor to have this opportunity to share Meerkat’s story with the world. Simultaneously, sitting down to transcribe an interview with a plastic, inanimate object might very well one of my life’s creepiest and bizarre moments—so far.

Today, Meerkat is revered as a symbol of honor. But his tale is one of trial and tribulation, stardom and rock bottom and pain. What follows is the story of how a plastic doll came to represent an entire company’s culture and become a symbol of hard work and dedication.

Without further ado, I present The Origin of Meerkat, told through his eyes—which I believe were made in China.

TB: Here we are again, old friend. It has been too long. Where shall we begin?

Meerkat: The beginning seems like a logical starting point, wouldn’t you say?

TB: That it does. You are wise beyond your years, which I believe are two?

Meerkat: How quickly you forget Meerkat has no sense of math or human constructs of time. I am a Meerkat….

Abandoned by his former gang, Meerkat had to find a new crew. Luckily, David Myatt’s tea parties always have room for one more.

TB: Touché sir, touché. I apologize for the offense. Please begin.

Meerkat: My journey begins in the Kalahari Desert of Namibia. There, I achieved my MA in Dirt Digging with an emphasis on Ant Larvae and Kalahari Truffle Consumption. If you are wondering why (or how, for that matter) I chose to skip getting my Bachelor’s degree, I refer you to the previous thought in which I told you that I majored in digging dirt and eating ants. No pre-reqs on that front, you either have it or you don’t. And I had it, friend. I had the stuff legends are made of.

TB: I don’t doubt that you did. Tell me about your time in the Sub-Saharan, the people want to know. The people need to know.

Meerkat: As a former gang leader for the elite Suricata Suricatta Siricatta tribe, my talents were put to use digging the finest burrow systems the Kalahari has ever seen. I could get into the finite details of burrow-digging and truffle-hoarding, but I fear that the Suricata Suricatta Majoriae clan (the greatest threat to the Suricata Suricatta Siricatta clan, of course) could catch wind of such valuable information. Our clan rivalry was documented on the popular television series Meerkat Manor, in which my rise to fame (and unfortunate fall) was well documented.

TB: I hate to conjure up bad memories, but let’s talk about that infamous season two. What happened, what went wrong?

Meerkat: During season two I let fame get the better of me. I became accustomed to divulging in only the finest of Sub-Saharan larvae and dwelling in ornate burrow systems beyond my wildest dreams, all the while forbidding to share my luxuries with my fellow gang members. Inevitably ousted from my burrow and kicked off the show, I found myself in a dark place in a foreign land.

TB: Ah, depression?

Rock bottom can be a cruel place—especially when that place is a dumpster on Larabee.

Meerkat: Actually, Chicago. By a dumpster on Larabee between North and Division.

TB: That is a dark place. What happened next?

Meerkat: Meerkat can’t recall how long he was abandoned for…

TB: Let me just…. let me stop you right there. Third person? Really?

Meerkat: It’s hard to break bad habits, you know, from the television and the fame.

TB: Like digging through the office trash for ant larvae?

Meerkat: That was one time! ONE TIME! I hadn’t had fresh ant larvae in months!

TB: Okay, okay. We are getting off topic here. Take me back to the dumpster. You were abandoned, what happened next?

Meerkat rummaging for fresh ant larvae. Bad Meerkat! No!

Meerkat: I was under the dumpster and, out of nowhere, Aaron Levy found me. Apparently you had drawn a creepy picture of a Lemur for your “Bottles and Brushes” team event in the fall. Aaron thought it would be humorous to give me to you. I found it rather insulting to be mistaken for an African Lemur, but I will let this disturbing case of animal classicism slide. He could have left me there, but he chose to bring me back to the office and give me to you.

TB: That was a great day for all of us. So you are at EHS, what becomes of you? Where does Meerkat’s life go from here? Please indulge the people.

Meerkat: After the grueling interview process, my role became clear to everyone. I was to be awarded to a different team member each month. I became a symbol; a symbol of honor for the person who worked the hardest, who went above and beyond expectations. I get to meet new people and become part of their journeys. I have been to various cubicles, homes and even US states. I once ran the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in your arms, proving I’m more important than the bizarre looks that a 23-year-old man deserves to get when running with a plastic doll in public. The greatest part is that after each employee passes me on, I get a present! I have received a hat, a bow tie, some luggage and you even brought back some old friends from my Suricata Suricatta Siricatta days. I am currently with Jason. Who knows what he will give me! Probably something a lot better than that awesome gift of nothing I got from Laura.

TB: How inconsiderate. Let’s switch the focus here, Meerkat. What is your favorite part about working at EHS? The people? The challenge posed by the day-to-day struggle of being inanimate?

Meerkat: Meerkat gets presents. Meerkat gets love. Meerkat gets fresh Ant Larvae.

TB: You are unbelievable. Well old friend, our time is winding down. I’d shake your hand but it looks as though your manufacturer seared it to your body using some sort of rubber or plastic super adhesive. Until next time?

Meerkat: Yes! I believe we are doing video interviews from here on out? A little live back-and-forth for the people? What do you say?

TB: Well….. to be continued.


Todd Boulis, Associate


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10 Responses to Meet Meerkat
  1. Every story has 2 sides. I want to remind Todd that Meerkat was passed to me with NO adornments. I will admit, it was a peaceful week, just me and the kat. But, without warning I inherited 3 babies! They are adorable, but with 4 mouths to feed I have been scrapping to give the guys something great. Something practical yet stylish. I have been working my fingers to the bone to create what will change the family forever! You will see…

  2. […] is more than a mascot. He is a symbol of all that’s great about EHS. Each month, Meerkat is awarded to an employee who goes above and beyond. This month, it’s Jason Bohner, senior […]

  3. […] EHS friends and fans know, each month, one of our employees is honored with the Meerkat Award. This unique form of recognition helps us celebrate our milestones and our terrific team. This […]

  4. […] of my favorite tasks as EHS co-president is that I get to announce the Meerkat Award winner. We pass Meerkat on every month or so, depending on what’s going on in the office. The […]

  5. […] Meerkat experienced a socially awkward moment this month. He asked Miss Manners and searched for protocols, but he couldn’t find a socially acceptable solution. […]

  6. […] Meerkat has left the building … well, he has left my desk and Elvis Mouse anyway. This month, the beloved Meerkat Award was presented to Jon Freeberg: San Diego native, golf-enthusiast and member of the Quad Pod (which he shares with Todd, Sara and Kara—arguably the area of the office responsible for the most hijinks per square foot). […]

  7. […] of you may have noticed that we’re a little behind in letting you know who won EHS’ coveted Meerkat Award this month. With all of her outstanding accomplishments, you may have assumed that Amaya was […]

  8. […] Anyway, there I was, filled with dread, imagining a situation where I wouldn’t know who I really was. This feeling was highlighted by the fact that you seemed to embody these fears by forgetting me […]

  9. […] and I was struck by a scene that I found to be a very fitting analogy in regards to this month’s Meerkat Award […]

  10. […] 2012 and our Meerkat is continuing his Spanish immersion! The highest EHS honor, the Meerkat Award, has been passed on from Carolina to Amaya Ortiz. Meerkat always sits on the desk of the […]


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