Tuesday, August 30, 2016

First Person: Time Passages

As my time in the business accumulates, a thing that gives me increasing joy is watching green kids, newbies, walk through the door, and become fine broadcasters and journalists.

It hurts when they leave for bigger cities, but that's understandable.  It's another story for another time.

A friend of a friend is starting her sophomore year at my alma mater, Marywood.  I was approached about a tour of the station.  No problem.  I was glad to do it.  Those who wear the Marywood green and white stick together.

The sophomore was a very nice young woman.  Smart.  She watched part of our Sunday morning broadcast from the control room, and the rest, with me, in the studio.

Before I walked her through the operation, she got the speech.  I'll give you the short version.  Much of it deals with time.  I told her that she should make sure this is something she really wants to do.  You'll be here on birthdays and holidays, days and nights and overnights.  When your friends get the day off because of snow, you'll be coming to work.  This is not a 9 to 5, forty hour work week job.

I heard I scared her.

Uhhh...  Sorry?!?!

She's not the first, and she won't be the last.  I am continually amazed that no one at colleges and universities point that out.  When you get in to the news business, your sleep schedule is shot.

I'm not complaining.  I often quote those in organized crime:  "This is the life we have chosen."

I should point out that the station has never cheaped out on getting hotel rooms for staffers during snow storms.  We are also well fed when big stories keep us at the office for long hours.

I don't know how many times I've stood, microphone in hand, in front of a live camera thinking "I'm one of the first to know something, and I get to tell thousands of people about it."  Believe me, it's a rush.  It's also a joy to do a lighter story, introduce you to someone, like the Marywood move in story last week.

The news business can break your heart, but it's also fantastic fun and extremely rewarding.

Kids, study hard.  Keep up on current events.  And, get a good alarm clock.