In 2011, veteran Chicago reporter Rex Huppke launched a workplace column in the Chicago Tribune called “I Just Work Here.” He had one simple goal: Please his bosses, because it would be highly embarrassing if the I Just Work Here columnist got fired.
He has thus far achieved that goal. His column – a witty but carefully reported weekly discussion of workplace issues – now runs in newspapers across the country, including The Baltimore Sun, The Newark Star-Ledger, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
A few months after the column began, Rex jokingly declared himself “America’s most-beloved workplace advice columnist.” No one ever disputed that title, so Rex sensibly concluded it must be true, making him, if nothing else, an expert on personal branding.
His columns have touched on subjects ranging from love among co-workers to the neuroscience behind innovation, from workplace violence to unemployment and the minimum wage. He makes weekly appearances on the Tribune-owned television station CLTV and has appeared on WGN-TV, Al Jazeera America and on radio stations across the country. An affable guest, Rex backs his opinions on workplace issues up with knowledge gained from years of reporting. He can speak nimbly on a wide array of topics.
In his spare time, Rex writes a nationally syndicated humor column that delves into politics, celebrity, quirky science trends and anything else that strikes his fancy, with a specific focus on making fun of Donald Trump whenever possible.
In 2012, Rex wrote a satirical obituary for facts: “Facts died Wednesday, April 18, after a long battle for relevancy with the 24-hour news cycle, blogs and the Internet.” That column was named one of Time Magazine’s Top 10 opinion pieces of the year.
He launched his career working for the Associated Press in Indiana and was one of ten media witnesses to the 2001 execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. In 2003, he joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune, writing about everything from gang violence and inner-city poverty to the glory of competitive arm wrestling and a southern Illinois town famous for its albino squirrels. He spent more than five years covering Chicago’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the state’s eventually successful push to legalize same-sex marriage.
His writing has always homed in on the humanity of his subjects, feeding a passion for social justice and a relentless desire to speak for those whose voices often go unheard.