For those of you just joining us, I work in television -- television news production to be exact. This morning, one of the stories we were reporting on was a broken water main. Thousands of gallons of water had spilled into the parking lot of an office building, and the building had to shut down for the day. Everyone arriving at work were told to turn around and go home, because the building had no water, and they couldn't be there. The cars practically floated as they made U-turns -- the people inside were so happy. I could feel them planning their unexpected free days.
I have never been so jealous in my life. That will never, ever happen for me.
Power outages, massive snow storms, traffic jams the size of Kansas -- nothing stops the news. After all, without the news how would other people know about the disaster they need to avoid, and we have to overcome to get on the air? Actually, the worst the disaster, the more likely it is that I have to work. When something goes really wrong it is an "all hands on deck" situation. I could be on vacation, with a newborn, nursing a broken leg, on Christmas, and people will still question why I didn't come in for the "big story." Oh, and if that isn't sick enough, I would feel bad for not being there!
Yes, that's right, I love the madness! I love the rush of a big story, and making sure we get the most accurate information on the air, FIRST. I love the graphics, and the maps, and first pictures and comments. I love the trading of stories about handling big stories in the days, months, and years after they happened (ask me about Monica Lewinsky, sometime). I love how energized I feel in the moment, and the absolute exhaustion when it is all over.
If the big one ever comes, I am going to check on my family, and then find out if we have a camera set up and a transmission path to broadcast. I can't help myself. It's a sickness. "Television news employment" should be a category in the DSM.
Still, this morning, there was a moment when I really wanted to be one of the office workers, on my way home for a mid-morning nap, and a glance at the mid-morning news.
I sighed deeply, and went back to work. After all, I had to make sure there was something for them to watch.