And work glitches shouldn't interfere with enjoying them
Thank ghu for good days. Even though I had to work today, and even though I hadn't realized until Thursday that I was working a weekend shift, it's still a good day today.
First, because my work day is over, and I actually managed to write two stories. Second, because one of those stories was a fluffy feature about my town's holiday parade, which necessitated me going to see the parade this morning
We-e-e-ll, I say "necessitated" ... I should say I had the great good luck to have a parade to go to.
I love parades. I have ever since I was a wee little thing. I don't believe I'll ever get too old for them, and I don't really care if they're huge, long processions or little dinky community affairs, as this one was. There's just something about the positive vibes - yes, that's pretty woo-woo, I acknowledge - about seeing floats and marching bands, hearing bagpipes, all the bright colors, waving at the participants and having them wave back - even the clowns and the Shriner mini-cars, they all press my childhood buttons of wonder and special occasion and festival. And with the tiny parades, there's an added sense of shared community; everyone's smiling, kids are generally having at least a bit of fun, even the older ones, and people are willing to let their barriers down and talk to you.
So I got to wander around and ask people if they were having fun, and see loads of people I knew - even had someone come out of the parade and give me a hug. I've definitely been on my beat long enough to say "I know this town," at least a little bit.
Once I got home, and a little thawed out - it was 42 degrees Fahrenheit, which was better than it has been over the past week, but my fingers still got numb - I wrote up the story and sent it to the duty editor. And then it was on to an actual news story that I'd done the interviews for a couple of days ago. And then I was able to end my day.
Why does this fairly pedestrian activity relax me and even make me a tad joyful? Because for the first three days of the week, I was in an unpleasantly high state of tension, for a reason that hasn't happened to me in a while.
On Monday, my two immediate bosses told me I'd been assigned to cover a memorial service for murdered journalist James Foley at Northwestern University; he was a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of journalism. That, in and of itself, made me tense. I don't like doing memorials or funerals, and this one had a bit of a national tinge to it. I didn't look forward to talking to his mother, although I arranged to do it, and I was aware the story would land not only on my local chain's pages, but in the national paper's pages. So all of that was making me nervous as hell; yes, even after three decades in the business, I can get as nervous as a tyro.
The other source of tension was the fact I'd inadvertently stepped on a colleague's toes when I got the assignment. My boss and uber-boss (who was my old and quite liked immediate boss) told me "I was the right one to do it." That was admittedly flattering, but I try to mistrust flattery (I'm about as successful at that as you might imagine.) I didn't examine the assignment as I should have, but eventually decided my colleague must be unavailable.But no. They not only didn't offer the story to him, they initially told him he'd be covering it, and then took it away from him.
This was foolish, because he could do as good a job as I could do, or better. This was also unprofessional from all angles. And they didn't tell me. I should have asked, so there's blame to go around, but they should have told me. Normally my old/uber-boss would have told me, and I don't know why he didn't; that disappointed me.
I let a couple of people know I wasn't happy. I told my colleague I would bring it up with my uber-boss, because my colleague was obviously displeased. He said he didn't blame me, but his comments were of the "I know you always liked him, Kathy, but I've never bought into the worship" (Worship? Really?) and "Maybe you've had it easy with him" variety that I only realized after I got off the phone with him were clearly his way of saying that I was getting breaks because of my relationship with the UB.
It pissed me off - but you know, I have caught breaks in the past. I haven't asked for them, and I certainly didn't ask for this one, but it bothers me because it seems to be noticeable enough to upset colleagues. It also bothers me because I like my colleague and did not want to step on his toes.
I am going to write a private email to UB tomorrow, letting him know that I was unhappy with the way the deal went down; that I'd hope in future that he'd let me know everything about assignment protocols that I'm involved in. And then I'm going to tell my colleague I've done so. It won't change my colleague's attitude, but I'll have done what I can.
So ... lots of unusual tension from Monday to Thursday. I got through the thing, and then got the story completed in time for the evening deadline (another source of tension; writing fast. I hate writing fast.) Getting past the day (which also involved a whole fuck-ton of walking in high heels, don't ask) was so delightful - I'd rather take my usual union tension than this sort of thing.
Ahem; this seems to have turned into a long angsty post.
But I'm happy! I've been able to do a post, and I went to a parade! And I have a glass of wine next to me, and BB and I are about to watch a movie! And I made cookies, too many of which I've ingested! And tomorrow is a day off! And Thanksgiving is coming, which I love! So there are a lot of positives! And many, many exclamation points!!
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