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Part-timer horror stories

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

  1. nitrobreath

    nitrobreath Member

    One horror story, one hilarious anecdote, both in something of a similar vein.

    Dunno if a part-timer did this, but I wouldn't doubt it. The News and Observer, many years ago, ran the list of those elected to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Among them was a Charlie Jones, the first North Carolinian to play professional baseball back in the late 1800s ... and to accompany the thumbnail on the guy was a photo of - no lie - NBC TV announcer Charlie Jones.

    This one actually was by a part-timer by in the pre-digital days. One of the desk guys sent her to the library to fetch a photo of Orioles manager Johnny Oates. She retrieved a shot of John Oates - as in, Hall & Oates. (We also had a part-timer 8-10 years ago who spent his down time playing some sort of online video game. Son of a gun won a thousand bucks doing that one night.)
  2. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    We had a solid part-timer working for us a few years back, but he had an extreme lust for the ladies. He would always come back from a sporting event with at least one phone number...and not all of the girls were of age.

    The ultimate point in his tenure came late one summer night. I was finishing up agate and in walks a girl who I recognized from our telemarketing department (I believe she was 16). She walks over to his desk and says nothing. He says nothing. I'm thinking "What the fuck is this?" After I wrap and say so long for the evening, the two leave together.

    Part-timer, who was in his mid-20s and had an infant child from a college fling, came back the next day and said the girl offered herself to him. He said he declined and took the girl out to eat. He also told her to back off. He was clearly embarrassed because the girl just showed up without telling him she was going to. I'm not sure I believe it, but it certainly made for interesting gossip.
  3. Taylee

    Taylee Member

    Local team playing out-of-area team, game ends 3-0 in favor of the out-of-area team.
    Part-timer writes 15-inch story.
    The very last line ... no shit ... was:
    Joe Cooter Redneck kicked a 45-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the game to give SCHOOL the victory.
  4. ronalong

    ronalong Guest

    Once had a part-timer send in a gamer on prep football that didn't have a final score in it. Had to call the coach and get the score. The story listed several scores, but you really couldn't determine the final score from the story. SE had a talk with her, gave her several sample stories to learn from before the next week's game. Guess what, the next week, gamer sent in via e-mail with no final score. She was attending J school at one the state's largest university and didn't even know to include the final score in a game story. She hung around for a few more months before being let go. She was nice-looking and apparently the ME had a thing for her and keep her around to see if he could get in her pants. The SE was not pleased with her work.
    Funny thing, she was covering the high school she graduated from and didn't even realize the final score might be something people would who read the gamer would want to know.
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    The prep guy at one paper did his annual search for office help and one of the bodies was a 20-ish guy who was mildly autistic -- enough so you knew something wasn't quite right, but you weren't sure what.
    after a couple of group meetings with the prospective help, he decided that the kid wasn't going to work out. Didnt tell him, just didnt schedule him. Didn't share the info with the rest of the staff.
    First night of football, one of the long-time office staff shows up for work to see him waiting in the lobby. He's recognized from meetings, so the guy lets him in, sits him at a desk and he takes calls.
    Prep guy comes back from his game, and at the end of his night, after the part time guys leave, the guy says "What was he doing here? I didn't hire him."
    Two days later, the prep guy says "You know what? It looks like he took more calls than anyone else and he wasn't bad either."
    Kid finished out the season.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    We used a high school kid as an intern/part-timer for a while. His mom had worked at our paper for a long time as a features editor and his dad worked at the biggest paper in the state. Kid wasn't bad, for being in high school. He could crank out some gamers. One weekend, though, we sent him to cover a youth baseball tournament. August in the south gets pretty hot, and apparently his mom called up to fuss at the SE that her little boy shouldn't be out there for several hours in the afternoon because "he might perspire."
    Never mind that several hundred kids ages 5-15, scores of parents and several other sports writers were out there not just perspiring, but sweating our asses off.
  7. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    I did the part-time thing for four years. Prep hoops and football Friday nights were nights of meatball journalism. You did what you could as quickly as you could and moved on to the next game.

    Those were the days.

    Once, there was a well-meaning but handicapped guy, whose dream was to work for the paper. He had trouble typing and taking calls, but his heart was in it. Letting him go (not that I ever had -- or wanted -- that power) would have been like shooting Bambi.

    Anyway, it's the first round (district round) of the state basketball playoffs, and he gets a game involving one of the best teams in the state playing an also-ran. I overhear him taking the score, with him saying the also-ran won.

    I notify the desk and the editor and we decide that it's front-page worthy. So after he takes the box, I ask him to give me the phone. Turns out it's an assistant from the top-ranked team. As I'm interviewing him, he says of the other team: "They put up a great effort, and we were fortunate to survive."

    Excuse me? Turns out our guy got the score mixed up.
  8. luckyducky

    luckyducky Guest

    I just have to say that the above PT horror stories make me feel a lot better about how hard I bust my ass as a part-timer. Because, you know, I have those weeks where I only work the 20 hours I'm actually paid for...and I feel guilty about it.
  9. Beach_Bum

    Beach_Bum Member

    I knew of a preps stringer who wrote a letter-to-the-editor trashing the paper's coverage of his favorite college team. Needless to say, he immediately became an ex-stringer.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Anyone I know?
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The previous 14 inches of scoreless play-by-play must have been riveting.
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    We've got a stringer, kind of a young guy, who must have a little dark cloud over his head:

    First time we send him out, he gets sick and is heaving his guts out at halftime. We have to send another guy out to the site -- thankfully not too far away -- to finish up. Writing, not heaving.

    Second time, he comes back in the office and writes his gamer IN ALL CAPS. On deadline.

    We brought him in the office for a couple of weeks to take calls. Middlin' job on that, nothing special.

    Tonight, we needed him to cover for us ... he goes out, comes in, writes his story ... and it's nowhere to be found in the computer. Freaking 0.0 inches, and it's 25 minutes until deadline.

    Somehow, we made it on time.
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