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Part-timer horror stories

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Clever username, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

    About six years ago on a prep football friday, stringer comes back into the office to write his story. He's at a desk far off in the corner, so no one is really paying any attention to him. My editor happens to walk by that area ... stringer has fallen asleep at his chair!

    Editor wakes him ... thankfully we had a late deadline so we weren't really rushing at the time. Stringer comes over about 20 minutes later and says he's done with his story ... it's four grafs long with one four-word quote.

    Yeah, he had to go sit down and start over.
  2. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    The hilarious part is, every time since then we've had a PT opening, he's told one of my writers he wants to come back to work. Yeah, that'll happen.

    Oh, and I left out this part _ in the days before I fired him for his insubordination and disappearing acts, he was arrested for beating his friend's dog in the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart.
  3. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    Had one guy who got all excited, because Publisher's Clearing House brought an envelope to his front door. "No, you don't understand. I'm gonna win! They hand delivered it to my house. That means I'm gonna win!" One smart-ass suggested that with that logic, Tyra Banks or Heidi Klum was gonna show up at his apartment soon, since a Victoria's Secret catalog was recently hand-delivered. This same stringer guy also managed to get himself interviewed by the Worldwide Leader during a pretty big event....
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Was his first name Heywood?
  5. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Many moons ago, when I was a part-timer, there was another part-timer on staff who, um, had a bit of a smoking problem, as in he took a 15-minute smoke break every 15 minutes, or more often if he was "stressed out." One prep football Friday, I took about 30 calls, while he took five, due to his frequent smoke breaks. Yet another part-timer and I brought in candy cigs the next day for our "smoke breaks." She and I, however, were unable to bring ourselves to take "smoke breaks" while the phone was ringing, basically negating the point we were trying to make.

    Same smoking part-timer was also sent out to cover a college softball game one afternoon, was told to write about 12-15 inches and to have the story in in time for an early page. He was incapable of doing this, turning in a 45-inch gamer at about 11 p.m. (there was an 11:30 deadline for first run). He was really pissed after the lead copy editor and I cut the story down to 8 inches and buried it on a wire page because it was so late.
  6. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    One PT guy I remember would always butcher the names of his fellow employees, including the sports editors. Also, when he'd call someone to do a story and leave a message, whenever the person called back, they'd always be asking for the name of this guy. The funny thing was that they always butchered his name because they couldn't understand the name of the person on the message who had called them!
  7. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    Another PTer wanted to go full-time so he could get benefits. I told him we couldn't do that, but I'd try to give him a few more hours each week.

    So he called in sick for two days (fortunately, basketball season was over). Then, when I was at the Big Ten Tournament, called the managing editor and left a voicemail saying he was quitting.

    The PTer we hired to replace him is currently on our staff with our other one we've had for a few years. Best two we've ever had.
  8. One of our latest editions to the PT staff was taking a baseball boxscore around spring tourney time. There are four or five taking calls with the prep editor in as well. The PT-er gets off the phone and screams, "What the hell does FB mean?" At this point, anything would get the prep guy rattled so he jumps out of the chair and runs over to the desk. I hear him say, that should be 1b for first base. I had to get up and walk away I had tears in my eyes.

    Another guy was great at telling stories. The best one: He was kissing Sheryl Crow at a Neil Young concert in Vegas. Dude actually said it was true.
  9. Oscar Madison

    Oscar Madison Member

    Even worse, I had a sports editor that did that on a regular basis.
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    double j - the reason editors become assholes is because of part timers.
  11. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

  12. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Why can't you find adequate part-timers?

    Well... maybe the fact that a lot of newspapers don't pay part-timers well might be a factor.

    Maybe the fact that newspapers place a limit on the number of hours so they don't have to provide benefits, and then try to get part-timers to work extra hours with no pay - that might be a factor.

    Maybe because at a lot of papers there is a partial or total unwritten ban about giving a part-timer a full-time job.

    Maybe because some desks and editors are really bad about giving any sort of guidance to part-time writers.

    Maybe because at some places, mileage is about half of the IRS rate.

    Maybe some editors don't do a very good job of training and retaining capable part-time workers.
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