Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No Snow Days

This morning, a flooded parking lot made me question my entire career path.

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.

18 comments:

Deidra said...

What about Monica Lewinski?

You should do a post about her...

Riot Kitty said...

I don't see the point of sending reporters out into blizzards, flooding, etc., on and on after it has been reported. I just feel sorry for them.

I don't miss journalism. But ask me about Dan Quayle sometime. (No, really.)

LL Cool Joe said...

I tend to agree with RK. When I watch the news and see reporters standing in blizzards etc. I do wonder why it's necessary for them to be standing amongst it all. Is it to prove it's really happening?

Rob said...

Brenda Starr got nuthin' on you.

Kelly said...

I always hope the weather will be bad enough that I can go home, but it never, ever is. We have closed twice in the eight years I've worked here. Not nearly enough...

Amanda said...

Hey, Mon Lew got you a computer & some furniture, if I recall...

BugginWord said...

That *almost* made me want to go back to work. Almost.

I love people that love their jobs, though.

wildology said...

I just take a sick day. Nothing, though, nothing beats loving your job!

Aunt Juicebox said...

I really hate stuff like that anyway. Everybody else is all lke "w00t, snow day!" I'm all like, effing snow, I hate you! I don't care if it gets me out of work/school, I hate any kind of change in my routine. I know, I can be a stick in the mud like that.

JenS said...

I wish I felt that way about my job, I really do. But, I'd be seriously happy about turning my car right around.

Oh... and tell me about Monica... ;)

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Despite the fact I'm always talking about news people having orgasms over big tragedies and pissing you off, it must be so tiring having to be on call all the time for something happening and not knowing how long it will last etc. Crazy. And uncomfortable. But exciting. :)

Do they make you wear orange tan make up like Shepherd Smith? Please say yes.

Jill VT said...

Sounds a lot more interesting than being a CPA! So glad to hear the job still keeps you interested/interesting...!

Granny Annie said...

You make it sound like they capture your work very well on fictional television shows....not so fictional huh? Okay, tell us about Monica please:)

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I love the madness too. Bring it on.

Ellie

You've Got to Be Kidding Me said...

I'm with Deidre. I want to hear about Monica!

*Waits*

Patty O. said...

I love how passionate you sound about your job! That is a trait to be envied!

Wombat Central said...

I worked in radio for years, and we were always like this deserted island when there was a storm. We'd dig out our cars from under four feet of snow and make our way to the station to avoid dead air or some poor sap working around the clock to fill the airwaves on his own. I don't even think the bosses showed up on those days.

Rassles said...

Someday, I will have a job that I love. I just need to figure out what I love first.