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Am I facing unfair treatment?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WestCoastWriter, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    West Coast Writer:

    If you want to do something else - and I'm guessing your a prep writer who wants to cover a major beat - you aren't going to be in any better a position if you are doing the same thing for two more years.

    It's not "giving up", it's finding another door. The paper you where you are currently working isn't the only newspaper in the world. If you have that mental approach, you aren't going to reach your goal or your dream. And the point I am making is that it is YOUR goal - it's not your SEs goal, it's not your MEs goal, it's not your publisher's goal.

    From reading what you have posted - read it again - this SE doesn't sound like a good person or a good manager at all. I'm basing that on what you posted.
  2. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    this golf theory is the same as the old days, when folks would whine that they didn't get a promotion 'cause the boss liked to hang with his drinking buds at the bar but the whiner didn't drink.

    the solution, as noted by many, is simple: go to lunch with the s.e. everybody eats. just ask him what you have to improve upon to get a pro beat. who knows? maybe he thinks you're happy where you are. maybe he thinks you aren't good enough yet. there's only one way to find out.
  3. WestCoastWriter

    WestCoastWriter New Member

    Just to clarify, I'm not a preps writer and I'm not looking for a pro beat. That would sound a tad ridiculous. While there are areas I would like more experience in, I also know that such things will ultimately take care of themselves if I show enough ability on my part. It's the chance to show that ability that's the problem here.

    It's really not about specific beats for me. It's more about my future here in a larger sense. What happens happens.
  4. Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide Member

    This is starting to sound like hero worship. Maybe you shouldn't look at your SE through rose-colored glasses, because if he keeps shafting you, he obviously doesn't want you to be tapping his knowlege. He wants you complacent. So either address this or start looking for another job. Just don't be passive and keep on taking it.
  5. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    I sort of get the feeling that even if you moved on to another paper, you would hit the same wall.

    Perhaps the lack of socializing with your co-workers, the "outsider" niche that you describe, has always held you back a little in ways that you can't know. Maybe now, when you've gone up a few notches in the pecking order and believe yourself on the verge of that "breakthrough", is when it's actually showing up to bite you in the ass.

    If I can guess, I'd say that there have been times where you have been invited to social-type things, not necessarily golf. I've certainly seen instances where a writer will get shoved to the perimeter a bit, even on a beat, when he doesn't partake. It's not an either-or situation, you know. You don't have to give up your "well-rounded" life to OCCASIONALLY shoot the shit. It can only help you.

    These are people businesses, you know. Whether it's spending some quality time with a coach you wouldn't give the time of day to because he's either your intellectual inferior, not very pleasant or you have nothing in common and wouldn't give him the time of day if it weren't you job, it's the type of people connections that get us all where we want to be.

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if your aloofness plays out amongst your colleagues as a "he thinks he's too good for us" thing. Even if that isn't actually the case, and it's more shyness or social awkwardness than anything. This is not good. Because it is those connections that tend to get us better jobs.

    All I'm saying is that it would probably behoove you to tackle the root of your issues on the job. And I'm tellin' ya, it isn't your boss or his love of golf. Sounds like a long-term project of building a few bridges that you'd best get right on, because it's a building block for your future.

    Hell, even I participated in the sports dept. golf tourney. It's not like I want to spend a precious day off with my colleagues, although some are a total laugh riot and we never get to see each other because none of us are in the office. And I'm the only woman. But I did it anyway (and more than held my own, even though I'm a tennis player, not a golfer ;-))
  6. CornFlakes

    CornFlakes Member

    Several of the posts earlier today say what I was going to e×press -- the lunch meeting outside of the office, keeping GOLF out of the discussion, being assertive to push your interests, etc.

    The other thing that jumps out at me is this (and I don't mean it to sound overly harsh): But reading your comments and getting a hint of your personality, your social manners and a glimpse into your thinking, I don't see the necessary traits of a good beat writer. Where's the assertiveness? You can't be a daisy on a beat.

    And if I can dissect possible shortcomings (emphasize possible, not to be taken as probable) and trait flaws through message-board postings, I'm sure your SE easily sees that during your daily exchanges with him. Frankly, if I'm SE and I have a wanna-be beat writer who is afraid to ask me, his boss, questions, then I have doubts he'll stand up to Jerk Boy Baseball GM or Anti-Media AD or Control Everything PR Dweeb, etc.

    So take a step back, analyze all the good advice your getting and schedule an away-from-the-office meeting with the SE. Keep golf out of the equation and ask ALL the tough questions you need answered. You might lot like all the answers and you might scratch the SE's skin a bit, but your respect level will rise in his eyes and I suspect you'll eventually feel great that you took this step.

    Good luck.
  7. Satchel Pooch

    Satchel Pooch Member

    Ballscribe raises a good point. What are your thoughts on office parties, get-togethers, golf outings, etc. on an off day?

    Do you really want to the see the people you work with for a seventh day out of seven rather than six or am I being a wet blanket about it?
  8. WestCoastWriter

    WestCoastWriter New Member

    I guess I should clarify...

    I DO socialize with my coworkers on some occasions. In fact, one of my coworkers doubles as one of my best friends. I will every now and then grab some lunch or dinner with these guys, or shoot the breeze about whatever.

    I'm talking more about stuff like office fantasy leagues, going to so-and-so's house on Sunday to watch NFL...usually, I just do my own thing.

    In fact, I have gone out of my way to appear affable and sociable in this job. I have had gigs in the past where the office social life WAS the social life for most of the department...and ballscribe hit the nail right on the head. During those instances, I was cast as aloof because I sometimes had my outside interests. And I can't argue with why that happened.

    And CornFlakes, I don't mind what you're saying at all. I guess I should just tell you to trust me...I'm pretty aggressive in the field, especially when I'm competing against others. My on-the-job personality, for some reason, seems diametrically opposed to my off-the-clock reserved nature. I can promise you that one thing I have never been accused of is having an unwillingness to ask the tough question or go against a blowhard. In fact, in my younger days, I very nearly came to blows with a college football coach.

    But I will freely admit that I feel off-kilter and not a little intimidated by my SE, and I think this feeling arises from not knowing him as well as the rest of the staff. And anyone who finds the above statement to be a serious red flag is well within their right. It's totally understandable. But I'm not going to let any timidity on my part keep me from being proactive on what, to me, is a serious issue. That will not happen.
  9. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    no wonder everyone hates you. (only kidding)

    Seriously, you are thinking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much about this.... and the SE probably doesn't even know it's an issue.

    Just sack up and go talk to the SE. Take the best of the previous offerings and get an answer..
  10. WestCoastWriter

    WestCoastWriter New Member

    That's a good way of putting it, Spaceman. And I am a bit anxious over this, but I am allowing for two factors: The SE has no clue this is an issue, and that I may just be plain not good enough. The point is to try and find out, I guess.

    And I'm sure there are other reasons for people to hate me. Just get to know me. ;D
  11. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    You keep worrying that you're not good enough ... is it possible you've established your value in what you're doing there and he's loathe to move you from a spot where you're doing a good job?

    I agree with the general consensus here on sitting down with him outside the office, keeping the focus on soliciting his advice for how you can improve, etc. And for Godsakes don't mention the golf.
  12. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    As an SE, I would want to know if you have any issues. He's not going to know unless you tell him.

    The one thing you shouldn't do is tell your issues to anyone else on the staff. It might get back to him, and then it could become a problem.
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