I’ve been lucky to work in many great newsrooms with fantastic co-workers. I’ve also had some jobs in journalism that were awful experiences. Whether I liked a past job or not, they have led me to what I’m doing now in Three Forks, and I am very thankful Melissa and I have the two local publications.
Whenever I’m having a challenging day, I will try to think back to a time and place when I was working for a newspaper that was not a lot of fun, and much like the 1990s TV slogan for “TOYS R US,” it turns my frown upside down.
One of the stories I looked back on did not happen too long ago.
I had read online that a southwest Montana paper had an editor opening, so I inquired about the position. We had just sold another paper, so I figured I could ask about possibly doing the job part-time to make up some of the income that was provided by the other publication.
The job had been filled by the time I reached out, but they asked if I would like to do a few stories a week, which I had no problem doing.
A few months later, the company contacted me about taking over the job. I told them my priority would be in Three Forks, but I could try and make things work.
They wanted me to work a few days at their office, which wasn’t too big of a deal. They mentioned there was a massive office for the editor, which was exciting. I do most of my work from home which I have grown to love, but at the time was excited about having the type of office you are led to believe on television that every reporter or editor has. TV and movies also lead people to think that freelance journalists can afford $2 million apartments near Central Park in New York City that have immaculate exposed brick, but I can assure you this is about as far from the truth as it could be.
As I age, I don’t often get too excited about much and hate change, but I was like a kid on the first day of school as I commuted to the new job. I was more than ready to set up in my office, put my feet up on the desk, and at some point, come screaming out of the office, yelling, “stop the press.”
I had just set up my laptop and was awkwardly sitting in silence when the publisher sent me an email saying the owner wanted to take over the office, and I had to work in the back.
I had been in the office for 15 minutes and was already kicked out.
Who does that to a new employee?
When I walked to the back, the temperature dropped about 15 degrees, and there was a huge draft. They explained that I had a computer, but it was so old I’m pretty sure someone had used it during the Clinton administration.
This was not the way I wanted to start a new job.
The next few months were awful, and I hated the days I had to go there. The management was clueless, and I nearly cried every day on the way to work.
I had just wanted to make a few extra dollars because I was scared we would not have enough money with just one publication.
Soon after, we could purchase another publication in Three Forks, and I did not have to worry about the job anymore.
I had no problems quitting. The money was nice, but the juice was not worth the squeeze.
I’m truly blessed to have what I have in Three Forks.