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Clueless Management

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by schiezainc, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Just a quick question here. Anyone here ever have to deal with a publisher/manager who is just completely clueless as to what it takes to put together a paper?

    While I love the person I'm thinking of because he/she is really nice and encouraging and pretty much lets me do whatever I want, it is clear that he/she really has no idea what goes into putting out a paper editorially and has even said as much.

    Here's what brings me over the tipping point. He/she spends countless hours sitting and sifting through paper work and, on a regular basis, will send back freelance vouchers and/or mileage reports if they are not done to his/her 100 percent complete and utter satisfaction.

    Example-> About two months ago, he/she returned my mileage back unpaid because the form, which has a front listing just about every type of line item bureaucratic crap and category you can think of (There are categories for mileage, tolls, parking, food, hotels, airfare, e.t.c.) and a back listing in detail where you went, how far it was, how much of it was business related, e.t.c., was not correctly filled out.

    The problem? I didn't write the dates on the front AND the back.

    That was the big flub.

    He/she refused payment until I got it right.

    Meanwhile, our company's flagship paper routinely looks like a group of drunk sixth graders put it together, with layouts so bad the paginator would be fired from the worst college newspaper, and our entertainment section routinely covers events, on the front page, that have absolutely no bearing on our town and don't even occur in our state.

    I know it may seem like I'm venting and I probably am but I'm wondering if anyone else out there has had to deal with people that just do not get it, focus their efforts on things that don't matter or, worse, just have no clue.

    If so, stories?
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I got sick as a dog once on the road. As bad as I've ever felt. Managed to make it to my noon game and get through it. Went back to hotel at 6, spent two bucks on medicine, slept for 15 hours and drove six hours home. Total expense for the day I was sick (not counting hotel): 2 bucks.

    Submitted report and it got rejected. We don't cover medicine.

    My editor: Turn the 2 into a 20 and call it dinner.
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    We also had a strict 15 percent tip limit. I spent a week on the road in Florida one year, covering spring training camps. The year of the strike. Driving all over the place. Lots of quick meals. Average cost per meal for the trip was like 7.95. Had maybe three "sit down" meals the entire time and I think only one cost as much as 20 bucks.

    Form sent back. I overtipped by 20 cents. Yes, 20 cents.

    My editor wrote back: We'll add a zero to all these meals and then he'll have undertipped.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I'm guessing schiezainc is confident no one in management at his paper would ever stumble upon this website.
  5. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    If you otherwise get along with him/her, except for the feeling that he/she is focusing on trees instead of the forest, why don't you ask if you and he/she can get together for an informal, off-the-record lunch or cup of coffee and hash out the issues that are holding back your organization. He/she may appreciate the candor, and it may make him/her see you in a different light. You also have to approach him/her with a stated appreciation for his/her challenges, a spirit of thoughtful cooperation, and a genuine willingness to provide solutions rather than a list of grievances and complaints.

    If you look at this as a conversation, rather than as a gripe session, it won't hurt.

    Good luck.
  6. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    Our publisher never actually reads the paper, and once asked the editor if there was any point to entering contests. I wasn't there for it, but I'm told her exact words were, "Do you guys actually win anything?"
  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Well, the he/she business will throw everybody off track.
  8. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    I'd say the opposite. There can't be that many hermaphrodites running newspapers.
  9. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Speaking as someone in his coverage area, I'm not sure his company is aware of the computer's existence outside of the box that the sports guys sometimes use to do something. I'm sure the news section he runs is now competent, but the other ones are downright bad excluding the sports coverage. One of them lost the government listings and public notices to a rival paper last year, I believe.
  10. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    Let's just say I share those frustrations Schieza mentioned (including the mileage form minuet). Where's the leadership?
  11. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing Stitch is confident I haven't already factored that in.
  12. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    When I was working for the same parent company we had a bunch of teams qualify for the state tournament in several different spring sports. We got $35 for the day for meals, but I skipped breakfast and was too busy to leave the stadium for lunch, so I had a $2 hotdog at the stadium and paid out of pocket. I figure, hey I'll be done in a few hours, take my $35 and have a nice dinner.

    I spend $30 at a steakhouse and turn it in and it gets rejected. I'm told the $35 was suppossed to be $5 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner. I actually would have saved the company $5, but they said no because I wasn't suppossed to spend more than $20 on any one meal.
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