News Columns & Blogs

Justin Timberlake makes Sullivan Higdon & Sink employee's weekend

WICHITA — Colleagues and clients from Sullivan Higdon & Sink may know Shannon Albert as an analytical and technology-minded digital producer or perhaps as a fun and outgoing mother of two.

But they got to see another side of her Friday.

Albert admits to an obsession with Justin Timberlake.

Thanks to Twitter, she had something of a weekend cyber fling with the singer. She calls it a "Twitterfair."

Thursday night, Albert posted this to Twitter:

"Might have to unfollow @jtimberlake because a 34-year-old mother of 2 should not squeeee every time he Tweets. Embarrassing. I love him."

To which Timberlake replied:

"What exactly is “squee-ing” @ShannonAlbert?"

A "squee," she explains, is "the sound you would hear at a Jonas Brothers concert . . . typically by teenagers, except I'm not one."

Instead of tweeting back to Timberlake, though, Albert says her "oh so eloquent response" wasn't even to him.

"Omgomgomg," she typed to friends. In between her "oh-my-god" exclamations, she told her Twitter followers about Timberlake's reply.

He then posted what's called a hashtag, or Twitter topic:"New Topic —#makesmesqueee. (In honor of @shannonalbert)."

Then, on Friday, came the ultimate for Albert. Timberlake started following her on Twitter. At that time, he had about 333,000 followers but was only following about 32 people.

A shocked — and trembling — Albert enjoyed the moment with coworkers, who followed her with cameras to catch her reaction.

"They were calling themselves the paparazzi," Albert says. "They were super excited about it but also cracking up because I was at work shaking and acting like an idiot, and I normally don't act that way."

At one point, Timberlake encouraged her to record and post her squee, but she didn't. Eventually, he deleted his post and, alas, by Sunday quit following her altogether.

The whole experience was great fun for Albert and even for her husband, Andy.

He was recently laid off from Cessna Aircraft, and Friday was his last day. His wife says he enjoyed the distraction Timberlake provided.

"It was sort of a fun thing for us on an otherwise sad day."