Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Why are you laughing? I'm serious.
I was top cop the other day in my newsroom. My boss was out sick and when she called in, I answered the phone.
"The barbershop quartet is the centerpiece," she said. "I need you to tell [my coworker] to hold off on that feature and instead write about the school committee. And make sure you add a few sentences to the budget for the crawl [a preview of news items that runs at the bottom of a local news station]."
Slowly, my coworkers trickled in. The boss was gone I told them. Don't forget to get on the budget.
They looked at me twice, yet complied.
Then, I got a call from the photo desk. The photo block we planned to use was too old - we might not be able to run it. So I started looking over other bureau budgets to see if I could steal any centerpieces or other stories. I called another office.
"Hey," I said. "Is that Mt. Everest story real, or did that fall through. My editor is out today so I'm filling in."
"Oh, yeah, that story fell through. I just forgot to take it off of the budget. So you're in charge, huh?"
I'd hear this phrase more than once. Because I've only been here a year and a half and am the youngest person in my bureau, I was apparently the talk of the newsroom.
"How'd you get in charge? Coup d'etat?"
"Oh, Lord, what were they thinking leaving you to be editor?"
"I heard you're in charge today - you should know things!"
Back up off me. While I can say it wasn't the most pleasant experience - running around trying to find a centerpiece in thin air is never comforting - it wasn't as hard or harrowing as I thought it would be.
My bureau budget made it in on time. Our centerpiece drama worked out so we weren't left with a hole on the page. And our page was actually filled with stories - which I was afraid it wouldn't be. The next day, my boss came back to the office and relayed the praise I got from the higher ups for being so efficient and producing a great section.
And on top of that, I get the higher class differential today for filling in for my boss. I need for her to be sick more often - I've got bills.
Labels: office politicscontinue...