Thursday, July 30, 2009

Overworking and loving it

So the newspaper wears on you. In the past week, I have definitely worked more than the 8 hours per day I'm supposed to, mostly because I didn't take lunch when the President of the University of Oregon was speaking at a luncheon nearby, or when I needed a story (or two...and a photo) done first thing in the morning and I don't get done with interviews until about 4. It's a lot of work, and most people don't realize how difficult it is on the other side of the presses.

Most of the people in that newsroom are writing for crappy benefits (that will hopefully also be my crappy benefits...I'll nurture them with care), and working many more hours than they are paid. And it's not often we hear good news from the readers. If we don't hear a complaint, we take that as a good sign. It's not often a rewarding or satisfying job, because usually someone must complain.

There are only so many hands to type stories, take photos, copy down quotes and lay out pages. We can't be everywhere at once, which means we'll miss something once and a while. Or a lot. And we might forget about that event this weekend, because the fair has taken over our lives, or football season is about to start. Please don't yell at us -- we appreciate your polite reminders, though, because we really are there for the readers and the public, whether you believe we hate you or not. We try so hard to please everybody, and even though you know that's impossible, you still complain. 

But that means your reading. And that, folks, THAT, we truly appreciate.

I actually haven't had a complainer yet, although I got one polite reminder that the newspaper forgot about a huge garden show this weekend (which wasn't even my fault). But I have heard a few raves about the coverage at The World and how well they do supporting local businesses and events. It makes me proud to be working for them, with as much as I've heard from my story subjects. Fingers crossed that my employment continues upon our return from Canada.

Man, I'm tired, and I love it so much. Thanks for letting me be in the newspaper business.

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