Life of Me: Psychic Inabilities

by - July 14, 2011

Apparently part of my job description is psychic ability.

Obviously I do not possess this trait, otherwise I would have foreseen the disaster that was today.

For the second time in about a month, I have been humiliated in front of my coworkers, accused of falling down on my job and blamed for situations far out of the reach of my control.

Apparently I should be tuned into the scanner even when I'm not in the newsroom. I should just know when something newsworthy has happened and send someone out to cover it. I should waste my time calling countless police stations and sheriff's departments to talk to people who won't tell me anything at all, let alone anything of importance.

Apparently what I'm doing isn't working and too many stories are falling through the cracks.

All of that - yelled at me in front of my coworkers.

Never mind that this story that was missed came over the scanner while I was on my dinner break and three other people were in the newsroom. Never mind that five people, not including myself, got a text from the police department about the story and didn't bother to call the newsroom. No, despite all of that, it was still my fault.

The urge to forfeit my job has never been greater than it was today.

But I refuse to go out that way.

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  1. Well, again I really feel for you and can relate. When I moved south to take a producing job at a station in a much larger market I assumed that there would be more people involved in assembling the newscasts. I was wrong. There were actually fewer than at the smaller station back home. As it turned out I was expected to be practically a one man band. I had to put together the 11pm newscast with almost no help. There was no associate producer on the evening shift, no writers, no assignment editor to monitor the scanner, nobody else to interact with field reporters and shooters on assigned and breaking stories, nobody to answer the phone, to change paper rolls and ribbons on the wire service machines, to monitor net feeds and write news copy - nobody but me and an anchor who mostly watched TV and yakked on the phone with friends all evening. I got a baptism of fire my very first night on the job when I missed a big story. I was swamped and distracted. I simply didn't hear it going down. Unlike you I did not get reamed in front of my co-workers (which is just plain wrong) but I did get a lecture about it the next day. Like most other companies, TV stations large and small routinely add work and responsibility without increasing your compensation. They keep adding on and adding on for as long as they can get away with it. When you've finally had a belly full and quit they start playing the same game of low-ball with your replacement. All you can do is remain assertive and stand up for yourself. It's supposed to be a news TEAM. You are entitled to take a dinner break and when you're out of the building the others need to step up. If management refuses to see it that way I'd start shopping my resume.

  2. Considering my contract runs out at the end of the year, I've already started looking around. I don't necessarily want to leave, but situations like yesterday are becoming the norm and all too often I'm finding myself on the receiving end of undeserved criticism.

  3. Oh wow. I can relate, and I'm sorry. I actually just dropped my Journalism major...I'm thinking of going a different route.