Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Never stand up a mayor


I feel terrible!

Last night before I left my desk for home, I realized I was not as satisfied with a story that was due the next morning.

I had to postpone or cancel a meeting I had scheduled for this morning with the mayor in the small Bay Area town I'm covering. Had I kept the meeting, I would have lost time to complete the story in a reasonable time.

So, what did I do?

I left a message on the mayor's voicemail and also sent an email.

She didn't get either and showed up to City Hall to meet me. (Her office is not at city hall.)

Twenty minutes past the time I'm supposed to have met with her, she calls the newsroom. I pick up the call and she's obviously annoyed. I try to explain to her why I couldn't keep the appointment and then also told her about my messages.

She seemed okay on the phone to schedule an over-the-phone interview for this afternoon. But she never called. Instead, her assistant called me about 15 minutes ago needing an address to snail-mail me some information from the mayor. She also highlighted that the mayor was sort-of upset that I "stood her up."


Totally not my intention. But I realize that in most cases intentions don't matter.

I'm going to call the mayor and apologize again, as I did when I spoke to her on the phone this morning.

But, Jesus. I hope I have not alienated a valuable source.

My editor says this type of thing can usually be smoothed over.

Let's pray he's right.

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Posted by Aaron Morrison at 5:59 PM | link

Read or Post a Comment

Your editor is right. This is not the end of the world.

Call her and ask to set up another time to meet with her -- even if it's not for a story. Just ask for like 30 minutes to talk about the issues in the town, and learn a little about her. Apologize for standing her up. And then keep it moving. If she holds a grudge, she'll melt when she realizes that it really only hurts her more than it hurts you.

Posted by Blogger T Dot @ 6:28 PM, June 10, 2008 #

send her flowers. trust me, it will do the trick.

Posted by Blogger Vandy @ 7:38 PM, June 10, 2008 #

P.S. - I'm really upset you started this post with "OMG" Is your beat the town of Laguna Beach?

Posted by Blogger Vandy @ 11:35 AM, June 11, 2008 #

LOL. No! But a similar town. Just without the beach.

Posted by Blogger Aaron Morrison @ 12:58 PM, June 11, 2008 #
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