Thursday, March 15, 2007

If You're Hungry, You May be Hated

If you don't know, the Ten95 fam does -- I know nothing about sports. Sure, I know the rules and I actually love playing them, and my dad (the reason I got into this business) is a veteran sportscaster. But when it comes to the goings on in the major, minor and college leagues, and the people who write about them, I have no. knowledge. whatsoever.

But an interview on The Big Lead with Sportsline's Mike Freeman managed to capture my attention, temporarily suspending the adult ADD I think I might have. And it's not because he's talking sports. (Well, he does eventually, but I kinda skimmed over that part. Kinda.)

Mike's thoughts on being a young, black and hungry journalist ring familiar to me. Mostly because those three words could be used to accurately describe me. And because the stories he shares are similiar to ones I've heard from peers in the same demographic. Stories about not-so-hungry colleagues spewing resentment because of a difference in work ethic:

Another example I remember is there was a football beat writer who during training camp used to disappear for hours in the middle of the day to go to softball games play golf and then some of the other writers would phone quotes and info to him. Eventually, he got yanked from the beat by his editors. He walked up to me one day and said: “You’re the reason why I’m getting taken off the beat. All that shit you write.” He blamed me for his own laziness. Then a group of other reporters stopped talking to me for a few weeks as some sort of weird punishment. It was like fourth grade.
Less confrontational versions of that scene have happened to me. Fellow interns who didn't pull their weight questioned why I landed plum assignments (well, for an intern, at least) -- and then proceeded to tell others, "Veronica doesn't do sh-t.")

Others, who've felt some sense of entitlement because of where they went to school, have whined about not getting a job, and questioned me as how I landed employment. And not in an advice-seeking manner. More so, they ask in an incredulous tone, "How did you get that?"

The short answer: I work hard. But I've found that not everyone carries that same philosophy when it comes to their job.

An old saying goes that there will always be someone hungrier than you. The flip side is that there will always be someone not nearly as hungry, and they'll try to trip you up for it. Whether it's overt (as in Mike's case) or not (in my case... so far), I've already learned that thriving in this business is not just about clocking in long hours or tracking down the right source. It's also about bracing yourself against people ready to pull you down -- and excelling so they have a reason to hate you even more.



Posted by Veronica Marché at 10:38 AM | link

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Man, I hope I never deal with that. I'm not very good at holding my tongue when it comes to stupidity like that.
My biggest problem in the beginning was asking for help. Everybody kept telling my how I was entering the most cut throat industry ever!!
I can't say I'm fully over it, cause I don't trust some of the people who are supposed to be the main ones helping me, but what's new, huh?

Posted by Blogger Vdizzle @ 1:56 PM, March 15, 2007 #
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