It was the worst best job I’ve ever had.
I’m one of those people who is absolutely miserable if they don’t get along with their coworkers. This job was like going back to junior high. As soon as someone left the newsroom, the trash-talking would begin.
Birthdays were celebrated, but mine was ignored. Someone who was slightly below me (for lack of a better term) was disrespectful and mouthed off to me all the time; I brought this to my boss’s attention, but they didn’t stick up for me. I used to cry almost every day when I got home.
And – possibly worst of all – I had to be there by 5 a.m.
It might have been because I was miserable, but I will be the first to admit I was not the best employee in the world. It took me a while to learn .xml. I was horrible about getting up super early, but stubbornly insisted on keeping the same hours.
I got fired, and with good reason. There was the whole late thing, and I called the disrespectful coworker a name that can’t be printed. (Use your imagination.)
I was young – I hadn’t graduated from college yet – and not ready for something of that job’s national scope. Which is true, but essentially I made immature, rookie choices that merited me losing my position.
I do remember some good stuff. I was congratulated when I was quoted in the National Corn Growers’ Association online newsletter alongside fellow Burress native Jeff Zeleny.
I loved sending articles to the newswire and telling those city folks in New York or Chicago or wherever to have a great weekend every Friday. I could tell they actually appreciated it. (Hey, sometimes it’s the little things.)
On what was probably the best day I had, there were rumblings that Japan was going to again let U.S. beef into its borders. I watched the wire like a hawk, and sure enough.
The newsroom exploded as we tried to get as much information as we could to pass it along to our subscribers – and before anyone else did. I got to work a bit after 5 a.m. and didn’t head home until 6 p.m. (at the earliest). I didn’t care.
Even though I bounced from job to job for a few years after that, I never completely gave up on journalism as a vocation; my desire to write was always somewhere in my life.
I eventually landed at the Friend Sentinel, under the tutelage of Lee DeBevoise. I didn’t get to write as much as I would have liked to, but boy did we have fun! It was a job that I looked forward to working every day, and reminded me how much I loved to write.
Years later, here I am – at the York News Times, sitting in front of my computer telling you about my memories and experiences. I love my career (as opposed to a “job” – please note the Chris Rock reference). And I love it that you take the time to read the stories and information my colleagues and I share with you.
Next month I’ll have been here a year; can you believe that? And in the 11 months since I started sharing people’s stories with you, I’ve only had one bad day (last Friday) and maybe two or three times said out loud, “Ugh. I wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow.”
Do I regret the choices I made at the worst best job over a decade ago? No, not really. I’ve changed a lot as a person over the course, and I’d say things have worked out pretty well.
Losing that first full-time, professional gig was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.