Saturday, August 9, 2008

"one great learning experience" --bs

Hello all,
Just a warning this one is filled with emotion and some swearing.. I apologise but it needed to be said the way I said it.

Yesterday (8.8.08) was by far the shittiest day of work in the two years I have lived in Salt Lake City!!! It started out pretty good.. a plane crash three people dead... I know that sounds really bad, but in the news business we thrive off of that shit. Anyway, within an hour we had pictures from a local paper reporter down in southern Utah 5.5 hours away, we had a crew and satellite truck on the road. We had a phonner for our eleven am show, pictures and maps! We even knew the identity of the dead. We knew where those people lived. What lives they had lived. What they were doing when they died. We had their phone numbers. Cells, home phones, e-mail address... (which is scary knowing all this information is on the Internet) anyway... so by noon I was having a great day! We had our afternoon editorial meeting, all was well.. we sent a crew to a press conf. about a local guy who owns sports franchises in town. The jazz, the bees, a motor sports park. locals know who this a**h**** d-*** is. He owns lots of stuff.

It was scheduled to start at 3. It was in our day book, we knew about it.. well three o'clock roles around and all of the other stations in town go live.. to non tv readers this is a major fuck up.. it gives the viewer reason to no tune to us.. "remember when everone else covered that one event and... did not." Needless to say this trickled down to me.. from my boss,the newsdirector to my bosses boss(general manager of the station) .. lets just say there were three meetings that were not fun to be a part of. Granted with the situation of not having a manager to report to,(do to budget cuts) the grunt falls directly on the runts in the organization. which means me... With one trainee, (becasue they cant seem to keep anyone) one idiot, and me working the desk I understand why they came down on the only competent one working at the time.

I felt like shit. I hold myself to a higher standard. I don't miss breaking news. I don't fuck up like this. Now everyone else in the market has an afternoon show(4pm show) we do not yet...(coming this fall) This could explain part of the fuck up. They all were planning on announcing this stuff anyway just an hour later. I.E. they would have to have their trucks already set up so they could just plug in and go. I know this sounds like an excuse.. and it totally is.. (sorry I know I'm better then blaming others for my own retardation.) we on the other hand would say the exact same thing only six hours later. Now how does this trickle down to me? well you see apparently they sent a press release over. I saw the slug, saw that we were putting a reporter on it and saw the time. I fucked up and did not read all of the information.. I figured it was already assigned out and did not worry about it. (oops, i admit ... my bad.)

As an assignment editor its kind of our job to read shit.. a lot of shit and make split second decisions about nesworthiness. We deal with between 10-20 local stories on a daily basis. Stories that we call we set up interviews, we collect information, we assign a photographer to get an interview and shoot video of. When I see that a reporter is scheduled to do a story, I (use to) believe its their responsibility to cover a story, meaning from start to finish. we at the desk wash our hands clean of this topic/story. Well it screwed me. The first and last time this will happen. Never again will I have ANY faith in the reporter. No matter who it is. I guess I was expecting them to speak up when they saw that there was a line at the end of the release that talked about live opportunities. But I cant blame them..If i had read it...

This whole sick and twisted mentality may seem like a bad thing... However, I'm looking at it as a good thing. After all, if we don't learn from our mistakes what will we learn from?? A text book... ha.. I think I've proved that one wrong already!

After this whole mess went down, I was asked if I could stay and extra 4 hours ( on my Friday night) to do my old job shooting a package.. Of course I said yes and it turned out to be a human intrest story that turned out kind of fun. It was a story on the date 8-8-08. We went to an 8 year old birthday party, and 88 year old birthday party, and a wedding in just under 3 hours! I wasn't anywhere close to being in a good mood but, it kind of made me feel better.. so did drinking a not so stiff (it is Utah after all) drink at dinner with two good friends! as you can see by the cell phone blog I sent from the bar! I love cell phone blogs!

anyway hope your lives are going well and your 8-8 08 was better then mine!
Love life and keep smiling.. your only on this planet for the short show!
Max

1 comment:

Nika Travis and Ayda said...

I am so sorry! As I read about your day I felt your pain!! Here's to learning, it can only get better!!