Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Biz

There are days when my job seems like the most mundane thing in the world. I feel like I am just writing the same stories (economy, election), seeing the same people, making the same jokes, and trying to avoid the same mistakes day after day. On Friday I amazed an intern by telling her everything that was going to happen, before it happened. Who was going to walk in, what they were going to say, what they were going to do, and in some cases, what they would be wearing. And I'm not even all that observant. Sometimes I make Ryan wear a name tag. It's just that I have been sitting in the same place, doing the same thing, while others do their same things, for a long time. It's like Bill Murray said in "Groundhog Day": "Maybe God isn't omnipotent, maybe he's just been around for a really long time."

Of course, there are also days when I am reminded of just what a unique, and some would say disturbing, job I have. I've already had two of those this week. On Monday I came in to find the office papered with pictures of a strange looking man, with the warning that he is "stalking employees." Apparently he thinks that our news organization I biased, and is doing everything in his power to make sure we know it. That would be great, if he wasn't trying to follow people home. Luckily, if anyone were to recognize me as an employee of the station they would have to be telepathic, or really, really, pathetic. Still, it put me on edge a bit.

Then today the reporter for my show went to cover a story in a neighboring city, and went to the police station to get information. While she was there her photographer went into the bathroom, and was followed by a man who said he needed help. The photog went to get help, and when a cop went to the bathroom he found the man had shot himself in the head. Now, I'm not sure, but I think having to be involved in a police investigation isn't a normal part of a job. And yet, no one in the office thought the situation was all that strange. Sad, but not strange.

Yeah, I know, those stories aren't going to make anyone rush out and apply for a job at a television news station. But they remind me of something very important -- what I do matters. People see it and respond to it. Also, often we are the first ones to know about things -- so how we present them later on is important. It may sound like I am being high and mighty but in fact it makes me feel very humble. This job, that sometimes seems like nothing more than a job, means something to people. I shouldn't lose sight of that. Even when I am counting he seconds until my day is over and writing my fiftieth economy story while wondering if Jed is going to wear his orange tie because it's Wednesday. I can still bitch about it -- I just shouldn't forget.


calicobebop said...

It's hard not to become numb to the workplace. I hate to say it, but I'm very complacent. Or is it jaded? Maybe I'm jaded. I dunno, but I hear what your saying. Sometimes we need to step out of the box.

Does that mean I have to talk to people? ;)