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No desk, help me

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by North61, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. North61

    North61 Member


    I need some advice on how to tackle this one:

    I've been at this smaller paper for almost a year now and I do not have a desk. :mad: I am full-time, a beat writer for a team with a 9 month season (and plenty of off season coverage) and I write prep sports as well.

    The ME knows of the situation, but is a yes man for the publisher who, like most pubs, don't really care about sports. So, here I am, hovering from desk to desk every day with the endless cycle never ending. Sometimes I have to work in the ad department. It's f'n sad.

    Is it common for a full-timer not to have a desk? How the hell do I approach this when the answer has repeatedly been 'well we just don't have room right now, you have to wait and be patient.'

    Finding a new job is an option, but not until at the earliest, next spring.

    Oh, and we don't have company cars- so it's never above 30 cents a mile when I have to travel. Weak.

  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If I were you, I would work from home. I would not come in the office but maybe once a week to get mail.

    If the editor complains, say you have a desk at home but not at the office so you can get more work done there.
  3. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    buy a cheap desk and expense it to the company.

    better yet, go down to the local lumberyard and pick up a long board and a couple sawhorses and set up your makeshift desk in the middle of the newsroom. that'll send a message.
  4. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Cinderblocks. Not sawhorses. Much more effective. Heavy as shit though.
  5. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    heavy, but worth it--you'll get a nice workout (cardio and muscle building) if you keep the cinderblocks and board in your car and make multiple trips up to the newsroom to set up and break down the desk each day.
  6. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    Why do you need a desk? Would your copy improve if you had a desk? Would it make you a better writer? Would it make you a better journalist?

    If you're unhappy with pay, fine. If you're unhappy with your beat, fine. If you're unhappy with your current boss, fine. It's a desk. Is it lame that you don't have a desk, sure. But if you're considering leaving this newspaper just because you don't have a desk, that would be pretty stupid.
  7. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    SCEditor, I'm surprised you're not an ME at some CNHI paper. Are you?

    You don't think people need desks, but you do think they should obsess about design.

    How you're not an ME, cowering in your office only to emerge once a day with critiques, is beyond me.
  8. OTD

    OTD Active Member


    "This represents where the walls would be, if I had walls."

    I once worked the desk at a paper where the desk guys didn't have desks. You grabbed what you could from whatever reporter wasn't in the office that day. You make do.
  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I'm a full-timer with more than a year experience at this daily and, although I work desk, I actually have none. I just use whatever sports computer happens to be open when I'm there, and if the owner of said desk happens to come in while I'm there (which is rare), I get up and use a different computer. Never really been a problem, although now that I think about it, it is a bit odd.
  10. North61

    North61 Member

    I seriously might do this.

    Seriously. If you are a beat writer for a team that requires year round coverage - how the hell do you keep organized without a file cabinet or a desk drawer? The reason why I'm leaving this newspaper is because I am being paid shitty, the SE is no talent fuckstick (trust me), it's a small town and I have to move up sometime. I can't spend even 3 years at the podunk press. The beat is great, but life has to move on sometime. I've got bigger dreams.

    I shouldn't say I don't have a desk- I share one with the SE. How would you SE's like it out there if you had to share one with your reporters?

    I guess I don't really need a desk, but to me it is more of an equality issue. I'm the only one in the company (multiple locations) that does not have a desk. At the place I work, the news clerk has a desk despite only being there for two weeks. In fact, I'm the No. 3 senior writer there (says alot about turnover) and I'm the only one in the newsroom without one. Hell, the part-timer who works in classifieds has a desk.
  11. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member


    The reasons you listed are all great reasons to leave a newspaper. I wasn't trying to be prick. I was under the impression from your original post that everything was good except the fact that you didn't have a desk. If there are other problems, sure I'd leave. But the lack of a desk isn't one of them. Nothing personal about that.


    Seriously dude, you gonna follow me around from thread to thread? I love this guy. I'm a writer. I'm an editor. I'm a designer. I'm also a manager. But if I had to list what I do most, it's probably writing. But you've got me pegged for a guy who designs all the time, because I can offer coherent thoughts on something other than writing. Dyepack, you actually remind me of a guy I worked with once before. He was a jealous, no-talent hack, too.
  12. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    The work from home suggestion really has merit. What's more important to them -- that you be in the office or that your work be in the paper?
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