So I’ve been working for less than three weeks and boy is the daily news business different than the weekly news business.
My schedule is in a word weird. I come in at 1 p.m. and work until 9 or 10 p.m. and I’m off on Sundays and Mondays — I’m not complaining, I’m just adjusting.
Not only am I learning to deal with working a night shift, I’m also learning to do breaking news. With the weekly newspaper, there were no breaking stories. We came out once a week, what was the rush. We could call the next day, get the quotes, have them send us the picture.
Not always the best, but if the situation called for it we’d be good to go.
With the daily, I am constantly listening to the scanner, ready to dash at any moment. On most days I’m not even given a writing assignment, but I leave having always written something. Breaking news happens all the time, whether or not its a good thing is in the eye of the beholder.
Everyday, I have to call the local fire departments and police stations and on most days they have no recent incidents to report, and every time they say nothing happened they sound surprisingly disappointed.
Some have even joked that they wish a fire would happen or a shooter were on the loose.
One fire department reported that they had a new fan put into the bathroom and that the poor guy installing got shocked because his buddies turned the power back on. It must have been a really slow night since we chatted for about 10 minutes.
With the daily, I’m also getting use to having a photographer. Before, I was carrying a camera, recorder and on occasion video camera.
Now, I just tell them where to be and all I’ll worry about is talking to some folks and finding out the facts. I found that my reporting is better, more accurate and I can find out more than surface-level information.
In a word: I love it.
But the best part came on Wednesday — my first pay check. That’s right folks, I finally have money!
After being unemployed for months, I had almost forgotten what is was like to be paid. It came and it was beautiful.
I am making a great deal more money than I was at my past job and the check I handed into the bank showed it.
Plus, working the night shift means the possibility for overtime is a lot greater, which means time and half for the pay check.
I can’t wait to go shopping again, it’s been so long.