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Track parent

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, May 21, 2010.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    For the last month, a track parent has been giving me a hard time on a weekly basis.
    For whatever reason, the stringer who has been writing copy for the weekly that covers that school (it's one of five that I have) did not get track results for the first few weeks of the season. I contacted the coach and asked her to send me meet results and I tried to take matters into my own hands, putting together stories from the meet scoresheets the coach faxed to me each week. One small problem, the coach usually faxed me the sheets on deadline day and there was one small problem: There were no first names on the sheets. Rather than guess at the names, I e-mailed the coach, asking for first names. I didn't get a reply until after deadline, so I coudn't get a story in the paper. I put the story on our Web site once I received the information.
    Still, the parent continued to ride me about this.
    The next week, I obtained a roster with everyone's names from the coach and on deadline day, I received another fax of a tri-meet, both boys and girls, four meets total. I spent the better part of an hour, on deadline, sorting through the results and compiling a story.
    This week, I received no results from the coach, therefore, no story in the paper.
    Today, the parent e-mailed me to complain about this. She poined out how many stories were on each team this season, how many had quotes and how I wasn't doing my job.
    At this point, what can I tell her that doesn't sound like a lame excuse?
    I'm also tempted to just direct her to my supervisor and tell her that if she can convince her I'm not doing my job, either I'll change things or they'll find someone else.
  2. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    Isn't track season over?
    This might be an unconventional approach, but why not ask the parent to organize and submit results. People are quick to complain, but never quick to offer a solution. Tell the parent you've asked the coach to provide information and it hasn't worked out. Perhaps she can put together something you can use. Let her know what you expect, first and last names, times, events, etc. See if she can provide the information in a timely manner. If not, she'll at least know how hard it is to put together track results for next-day publication.
  3. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    I assume you've gone through the scenario you detailed for us with her? If she can't grasp that situation then politely get her off the phone. You're putting too much thought and worry into this.
  4. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Funniest thing, the one time I talked to her on the phone, she offered to put together articles.
    I haven't seen one yet.
  5. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    You seem to have a lot of issues with parents. Not to be a dick, but pick something and stick to it. Be firm. Be aggressive. Tell them that if your policies don't work for them, but work for nearly anyone else, they're the ones in the wrong. You're doing what you can.
  6. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    So just find a nice way to say get off my ass?
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I could set my watch by smallpotatoes "I'm getting picked on by parents" threads on the J-topics board. It makes me feel like everything's still moving along.
  8. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    What IJAG said. Oh, and S-P? Stop being a pussy.
  9. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    What can I say, I suck at my job.
    And Ijag, stop reading these threads if it bothers you so much.
  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Like I said, they make me realize the earth is still rotating.

    It's the same answer every time: Do your job as well as you can, tell them the rules, then stick to it. The end. No matter the sport, no matter the parent.
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's still going on in some states. As for track results, don't beat yourself up over it. It's the coaches' and schools' jobs to get you the results if they want it in the paper. If that's too difficult to do, too bad. I'm sure your city and the paper will survive if a track roundup isn't in the paper.
  12. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    You can always tell them what my coworker tells me in regards to track.

    "We cover sports, not competitive exercise."
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