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Dear dimwit on the phone

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Starman, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    Our ad reps are trying to sell sponsorships for our High School Athlete of the Year event and one guy got this email.

    Thank you for the information.

    Wouldn't it be amazing if incredible high school student/athletes who cannot compete for their high schools because their sports are not available to them through their schools were also honored. We currently have a Podunk High School sophomore who was Level 9 State Vault Champion, placed 3rd on Vault at Regionals and was the alternate to Western Championships this past season. She trains 20+ hours a week (far more than most high school athletes) and has a 5.0 GPA in Podunk's International Baccalaureate Program. It's a shame that only student/athletes in traditional high school sports are recognized both by their schools and our community newspapers.

    Good luck with your event next weekend!
    Katie Complainer, Owner
    Podunk Gymnastics Academy
  2. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    New one. And I still don't know what to think of it.

    Last week, State golf results. I listed a local player tied for 11th because the state's website made it look as though a tie-breaker had been played. Turned out, they played out a tie-breaker but still placed everyone in the tie ninth (so why did they even bother with the tie-breaker?).

    Two days later, I find that one of the players' parents called the office and visited earlier that morning. He wants me to correct the error that was made possible by the State. Well, sure, I'll correct it and so I called his number and left a message on his voice mail.

    His coming in to tell me how the tie-breaker went down, as it turned out, was just a cover so that he didn't have to tell anyone else that what he really wanted to do was rip me a new asshole. I had put in the ninth-place kid's score and how it was his best score of the year. And there was another kid who earned a medal and also had his best score of the year, so I put that in. His kid, while scoring well, it wasn't close to his best, so I just left it as he "shot (whatever it was) and finished in (wherever) place."

    So when he called me back, that parent said he took that "lack of information" as a personal attack on him. Not the kid....him.

    "Look (Apeman), I know you don't like me. And I don't like you but you don't have to take it out on my kid."

    I don't know why he thinks I don't like him (or even care about him for that matter). But I'm glad he thinks I'm so obsessed with him that what I was thinking on deadline was "Hey, that's Billy Bob Podunk's kid. Well, fuck that guy. I'll just write that he scored OK and placed in a state tournament. That will show him!"

    If parents are now going to start coming up with batshit insane stuff like this, I may be getting out of this business a lot sooner than I thought.
  3. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Hang in there. Just tell us your stories. We understand how parents can be. You did nothing wrong. You are da man.
  4. Old Time Hockey

    Old Time Hockey Active Member

    One of the best things about getting out of the business was getting away from the batshit crazy/paranoid folks. I remember having a teacher at a school — not even a parent, but someone that, being in charge of many young kids, you would hope would have at least a lick of common sense — send a long, ranting email about how my story showed my bias against his school. I wrote back, and pointed out that that his team (which had won the game) was mentioned more times than the other team, had more players cited for their performances — a bunch of empirical stuff. His response was something like "I'm glad my kids don't go to these kinds of lengths to cover their errors."

    Lesson, which I should have already known at this point: Never try to confuse a crazy person with facts. Thereafter, I was as brief and superficial as possible when responding to this sort of thing. And if they were personally insulting, I didn't bother responding at all.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Though of posting this in one of the Twitter threads, but seems more appropriate here. There's got to be a great backstory to this, though.
    sgreenwell and Baron Scicluna like this.
  6. Della9250

    Della9250 Well-Known Member

    I bet not. Just a moron parent who doesn't understand there is a coaches all-state team and a media one and the coaches one is the one that has come out yet and has the words Coaches Association in the name, yet felt the need to go after the guy who puts together the media one.
  7. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    I'm reminded of the time the large metro in our area named the softball coach at one of the schools we cover their coach of the year. For the next week, there was at least one call or email a day asking "why aren't you doing a story on Coach Jones being named coach of the year?" insisting the award was given by the regional sportswriters association (there is none), local coaches (there was an overline reading "Bigtown Banner All-Stars" on the top of their package), etc. It was the No. 1 impetus for us starting our own all-County teams the next season.
    flexmaster33 likes this.
  8. PaperDoll

    PaperDoll Well-Known Member

    Local coaches haven't noticed the newspaper's all-star teams died. Three years ago.

    They're still sending email to nominate their kids for Athlete of the Year.
  9. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    It's stories like this that make me glad our paper doesn't pick area teams for any sport.
  10. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    Dear dimwit boss,
    Don't call me at 11:45 pm when I'm on vacation.
    SFIND, sgreenwell and Flip Wilson like this.
  11. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    The complainer may have just given you a story idea. No, people don't deserve recognition just because they work hard. But gymnasts are athletes. Is anything that she accomplished notable in her sport in your state? Is she attached to any major programs? Does she have college aspirations? What's it like competing in a sport your school doesn't sponsor? Are there other kids in other sports who have to do that because their school doesn't have a swim team or track team or tennis team?

    So, yeah, maybe this girl isn't athlete of the year material and her coach is annoying, but maybe you get a story or two out of it.
  12. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

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