Friday, April 25, 2008

Did someone say... Hipp. Oh. Crit?

Everyone has a price and I learned something today:
I. Can. Be. Bought.
Unexpected pre-emptive strike by the editor this morning. Disarmed me, asked me if the rumours of my departure were true, asked me why. I explained I wanted more money and some work/life balance.
He offered me a pay rise on the spot. And answered some concerns about my workload in a nicely reassuring way.
He filled the whole bizarre experience with platitudes about my ability and potential.
It was flattering. Surprising. Welcome.
It was lovely to feel valued. A rare experience.
So I'm going to stay and see how it goes. There's only a year or so til Thom finishes uni and we can wander off into the world for a bit of an adventure. In the meantime I'll work more effectively and efficiently at the paper, covering my local government stuff. Which is an area I really like.
Sorry for dragging everyone through the wringer this last few weeks. At very least I'm happier now... and that can only be good.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take a close look in the Mika

Excuse the bad pun, but I have a new theory.
When you die, if you were important enough, you get 30 seconds on the TV news bulletins. It will contain how old you were, the one thing people know you from, what you died from and who you are "survived by". (I have always hated that expression). It will contain whatever two of your former colleagues or close friends thought, possibly a quick quote from the PM or premier if it was a quiet news day and the journos were bored at the doorstop.
Does that really honour your life? Is it representative? I don't think it is. It's a very skewed version of the reality that was your life, usually seen through the prism the public can most identify with. All so some bored housewife with a long memory can pause before shoveling another forkful of potato nuggets into her mouth to say "oh, that's a shame".
Nup. That is not success. I reckon the definition of success is whether a montage of three to five second grabs of footage from your life would look good played under this Mika song, called Lollipop.

Surely that is something we could all aim for?

(Okay, so perhaps that particular song isn't for everyone... so I welcome other suggestions).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's time to make a change

Just relax, take it easy.
Some of you will know I occasionally suffer from incredible stomach pains. I've had them since I was 13 and the doctors have done lots of tests over the years but have never found a solution.
Sometimes coffees seems to set it off. Sometimes extreme stress.
Whatever the reason, tonight my stomach is in knots.
Tonight I think I know what the reason is though. I'm being sent a contract for a new job. I have to sign it tomorrow and send it back. I might sit down with the bosses at work and ask them what they'll offer me to stay before I go... but I really have to go.
My stomach is in pain too often these days. For all the reasons outlined in my previous post.
The job is fantastic. Awesome pay, flexible hours, city location, overtime, on call allowance, good leave and super arrangements... the usual Government stuff. And its actually a journalist's position within Government... which doesn't come up too often. And it's with a department which does stuff I really believe in. On the front foot rather than the back foot. I like that.
So the idea is I can restore some work/life balance (the cliche of the new millennium).
I'll have time for the gym and the money to pick up some PT.
I'll have time for Russian study and tutelage.
I'll have time to see all my friends and won't have to work my weekends.
Etc etc.
Just a little scared to actually leave news and the industry. I'm sure I'll cope... but it does make me nervous.
*deep sigh*

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A thankless task

Someone just sent me an email in which she said "I don't know why anyone would want to become a journalist - such a thankless task".
Nail. Head.
Journalism is a vocational thing. It's like becoming a priest. You have to love it.
Well I've stopped loving it.
I'm sick of avoiding telling people where I work because of their reactions.
I'm sick of defending my work place to opinionated know-it-alls.
I'm sick of know-it-alls ringing or emailing to complain about my stories.
I'm sick of idiots ringing me to complain about the editorials in the paper - I don't even fucking write them.
I'm sick of i'm sick of making stories out of crack pot ideas.
I'm sick of writing angles that are unfair or not quite true.
I'm sick of being made to feel inefficient, ineffectual and incompetent.
I'm sick of taking a big sigh before I answer the phone.
I'm sick of avoiding returning calls from members of the public who want to pick on something I've written.
I'm sick of being asked to cover stupid fucking non-events.
I'm sick of watching legitimate news stories go uncovered while flights of fancy are pursued at a remarkable level of resourcing.
I'm sick of getting paid peanuts for all of this.
I'm sick of not being respected.
I'm sick to fucking death of it all.
I don't love it. I hate it.
I hate waking up in the morning with a feeling of dread about what the day might hold.
I hate sighing with relief if I'm not asked to do something I'm uncomfortable with.
I hate the fact that I no longer smile and laugh. I don't see my friends any more. I'm rude. I'm aggressive. Angry. Where did I go? What happened to me?
I know this is self indulgent, but it's my fucking blog and I'll cry if I want to.
I hate my life at the moment. I hate it.
This shall pass, but right now I just wanted to explain to you all why I may not be around, may not be happy, may not be myself.
I'm trying desperately hard not to string myself up in the shed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Really not into this

There is a story in today's paper. My name is on it, but I didn't write it. I bears no resemblance to the story I wrote. Seriously. And it pisses me off.
I accept there is an editorial process but when my story is completely re-written to make it more sensational, less balanced and at the expense of accuracy, and to include information to back up the discredited and sensationalist view... then I think I'd prefer my name taken off the piece. I'm really hacked off.

Friday, April 04, 2008