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Go ahead and blow a gasket...I don't really care

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by flexmaster33, May 12, 2010.

  1. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Staff cutbacks and a sick writer left it a one-man shop today and I set a new record for covering the bases...8 a.m. to midnight...nonstop. Two district tennis tournaments, our district golf championships and a big city-wide track meet (boys and girls). Five major events in one day.

    Five years ago, we would have spread the load between three writers and had a photographer involved. Today it was all on me, and yes, I made sure overtime was approved before I walked out the door.

    Still, the only way to make it happen is to catch tidbits here and there along with a constant flow of phone calls...5 holes of golf, one tennis match, three track races. Crazy.

    To top it all off, I get an e-mail from the office this morning basically demanding that I turn a road-run announcement into a major feature for that day's paper. 1) The subject in question didn't merit that treatment and 2) I have zero time for something of this magnitude to be dropped in my lap.

    The subject line marked my response just before I trekked off on my endless day of events.

    There is a limit to less staff, same (or more) coverage.
  2. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    Flex, don't you have any stringers?
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Good for you.

    I always hated having your whole day planned already down to the minute because there was a ton of stuff going on and then someone from above would want some non-breaking news story that they could have told you about three days before written for the next day's paper based on their whim.

    I hope in the e-mail that you explained everything that you were doing that day, and pointed out that it used to take four people to do what you were doing. Just to CYA.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    Did you go to any or all of those events?
  5. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Tarheel: We used to have stringers, but at the start of the school year they were taken away.

    Baron: Yes, I explained how busy my day was (and it seems a superior that I've worked with a long time was able to get this guy off my back)

    Ace: I went to snippets of all the events, running from stadium to stadium around town. I got lucky and hit some key points quickly at a few events, so I felt the coverage was solid despite such a hectic runaround.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's a rough day, dude. Good for you.

    So who was busting your balls on the road race?
  7. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    You know, you hate to tell them no, but they just have to be aware of what's going on in your department and know better than to ask for more on days like this. Not saying this is your fault, but you might could have staved off that one bit of stress by firing off an email at the beginning of the day fleshing out your story budget. On top of that, a little advance planning would have allowed the feature to be done in advance, even with you being a staff of one.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Agree on the first part. Communication is important, and could keep management at bay. However, when you're busy every day, priorities have to be set. Someone above Flex thought that the road race should have been a priority, when the guy who is handling the stuff every day didn't think so. They're paying him to make those decisions.

    Plus, you get managers who, after you explain what you are doing, want to change your plans around for their own little reasons.
  9. Probably some schmuck of a sales rep who was trying to grease an advertising account.
  10. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to my Tuesday.
    Seriously Flex, good for you. That's a shitton of work to do. And tell management to go fuck themselves.
  11. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Well, I didn't make this clear, but when I reference advanced planning, I was talking about those above our friend here. Although planning on his part wouldn't have hurt, either.
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    At my shop, they wouldn't care what you had going on.
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