Friday, January 23, 2009

Time to catch up

It's been a long time since I've posted anything to this blog, but I think it's about time I post something, even though I'm sure my readership is in the toilet right now.

I guess one of the reasons I haven't posted in some time is because I've not been working as a journalist for about 1 1/2 years, and I feel that the name of my blog is somehow an inappropriate description of me now. When you're out of the field for this long and longer, it is increasingly more difficult to get back into the field. I'm not sure if I will ever go back, or if I will ever be able to go back into journalism, and I'm not entirely sure it bothers me anymore.

One of the reasons is because I've been disgusted by some of the attitudes and behaviors I have encountered in other journalists. I am almost at the point where I'm just ready to say, "You know what? I did the best I could and got screwed by the people I came to depend on one too many times. I'm done." But there's a part of me that's wondering if I should keep trying to get back in for no other reason than the fact that I enjoyed the work and was relatively good at it.

My last job ended three weeks after I missed the announcement of a homicide on police scanners (probably because I was either in the bathroom or had just ended my shift and was walking out the door so the next guy could take over). I got a call on my cell phone while I was driving home from the guy who took over the newsroom after my shift ended, and he asked if I was aware that there was a homicide. I told him no, but that he had better call out the on-call reporter to go to the scene. I was surprised he called me instead of the on-call person! That wasted valuable time, and I guess the story got missed by our station because of it.

This same guy, I should mention, was a recent college graduate who had just been hired to fill the full-time position that I (an 8-year veteran of the journalism/reporting field at the time) had been denied. I am fully convinced that he was given the job for the following reasons: (1) He's a man, (2) He graduated from the same college that my boss did, and (3) He was a member of the same fraternity as my boss. Oh, and they attended the same church. Can't forget that little tidbit.

I had very strongly considered quitting after he was given that full-time position instead of me, because it was the second time I had been passed over for promotion. Also, I began looking into the past of the station under my boss's command, and realized that he had NEVER hired a woman for a full-time position in the news department in all of his 29 years as the news director. Yeah, I really didn't have a shot.

When I was called to my boss's office on that last day, I knew he was going to fire me. He had called me on the phone the Friday before and told me that he needed to visit with me in his office before my Monday shift, and that it was "very important" that I make it and be on time. He'd never talked like that before, and had a certain tone in his voice that told me it was all over. I had the weekend to think about what my reaction would be, and decided that because of all the frustrations I had been going through with him and the fact that I had considered quitting before, that I wasn't going to fight being fired. But I also wasn't going to confront him on it because I knew that since I had been a good employee, I could use his reference and good words in my job search. I didn't want to burn that bridge.

So, why am I talking about it now? Well, partly because I know that he has little chance of seeing or hearing about this blog or post, and partly because I really don't know if I'll ever go back to that life. Also, I've not dropped names of my former boss, any of my co-workers or the station that I worked for, so it's virtually unsearchable from this vantage point. You'd have to know an awful lot of information about me in order to find that out, and if you know the required information, chances are you know who I'm talking about anyway.

Also, I'm wondering if it's a good thing to try to go back to journalism anyway, because I'm a conservative Republican, and I always get eaten alive by the majority of journalists who are liberal Democrats. I'm not the kind of person to put up a huge fight with others, especially when fighting won't help me keep or improve my job, and, in fact, would cause me more career harm than good. I have my beliefs, and I won't waver from them, but I also don't do a very good job of explaining my points of view, which is one of the reasons I get eaten alive so often by co-workers and peers who disagree with my beliefs.

But I'm doing well, anyway. Next month, I will celebrate two years as a newborn photographer. In the last two years, I have become the right-hand lady to the only trainer in town, and have become so in-demand that my District Sales Manager insists I work five days a week, even though I'm part-time, to increase the possibility of meeting our daily sales goals. I'm still enjoying my job, too, which is more than I can say for a lot of people who get hired and then don't show up for the duration of their training. Who knew finding reliable help could be so difficult?

Anyway, that's been the last several months in my life in a nutshell. I'm going to try to do a better job of posting on this blog this year. Maybe I'll get my readership up again eventually. :)