Archives for posts with tag: newspaper

20170606_163147I am not ashamed to admit it…I love my job.

Sure it can get frustrating constantly dealing with deadlines, and clients who get their ad materials in an hour before press time. Sure it sucks when your sales rep gives you the bare minimum of information when designing an ad that you spend an hour on, only to have the client say “it’s not what they were looking for.

But when it comes down to the proverbial brass tacks, I love my job.

Take today…I am working from home. I already work from home every Wednesday, which is our slowest production day, but this Friday our sales team met their goal, and they have the day off. My publisher, the fair and reasonable gal that she is, told us we could work from home as well. So I sit here in my jammies, mug of tea by my side, writing this rather than driving into town to the office.

This happens frequently. On days where she can our newspaper and magazines are in good shape, she’ll send us home early. This is because she knows that when we are swamped with ad builds, we work weekends and after hours to get proofs out. She acknowledges that, and gives us time off when we are slow.

This is something my other bosses never quite got. Hell, at my last job if I needed to leave early because family was coming in or I had a doctor’s appointment you had to SHOW you made up the time. The fact that I came in 1/2 hour early every day, or sometimes never took a lunch break escaped their notice. They were slave masters when it came to hours.

I also love my job because I respect the product we put out. My newspaper is the heart of Charlottesville…the alternative to your basic newspaper, we cover topics that others won’t touch. This was the cover of our last issue of 2016…12_28_2016 CVILLEWEEKpg01It took BALLS to put this out there for all of Charlottesville to see….to boldly show that we do not agree with what is going on in Washington and around the country. We got a lot of flack for this cover. There are still a few advertisers that refuse to do business with us. But that is why I LOVE our product. They are not afraid to tell it like it is.

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 7.42.22 AMThis is another one of my favorite covers from a previous year. Colorful and fun, promoting equality and diversity…and with a drag queen front and center.

My paper sponsors a lot of awesome events in town as well. Not only the Pride Festival, which this cover was promoting, but the Tom Tom Founders Festival, our local baseball team, the Tom Sox, along with a plethora of other community events. They are very invested in our town, and I really dig that.

My company also shows a ton of appreciation for it’s employees. We are fed often…There are always snacks on the table – actually, I’m not sure if this is really a good thing…

My boss is taking my coworkers and I to lunch next week – this after she bought a whole bunch of us lunch just a few weeks back. We frequently have work time-outs where we play games, drink wine and snack for an hour or so at the end of the day. They plan outings for us as well. In a few weeks we will all meet at a TomSox baseball game for a barbecue and drinks.

Yes, there are perks a plenty! Gift cards, free concert tickets and tickets to lots of community events are handed out frequently. During the spring my family got to attend an outdoor barbecue that costs $75 per ticket. I got my daughters free tickets to a Parachute concert a few months back.

Ooops! It’s 9 am! time to log in from home and begin my day. You know what they say…when you love your job you don’t work a day in your life.

 

Yesterday my co-worker said that her husband started a paper route. At first, I have to admit, I giggled. Then she did too. We joked about her big, burly husband riding a bike with a basket flinging papers.

Nowadays most paper routes are mainly a gig for grown ups – a way to make some extra dough in the wee hours of the morning. But back when I was a wee lass a paper route was THE way for a kid to earn a dime.

When I was about 13 or 14 I delivered The Hudson Dispatch. There was another paper, The Bergen Record, you could work for as well, which oddly enough, my husband delivered. But the Dispatch, unlike the Record, required that you tend to your route in the early morning, and I preferred my afternoons off.

I can’t recall how in the world I obtained that route, but I remember meeting a girl on the corner in front of the Banner Deli in good old Palisades Park, NJ to be shown the ropes. After we walked the route once, she handed me the ring of collection cards and bid me a fare-thee-well.

For some reason I was petrified those first couple of days. I obsessed over whether or not I was skipping someone’s house by mistake, but within a week or two, I had my rhythm down and delivered my papers with confidence and ease.

It was a great route – very convenient to my house and an easy walk. My brother had had a route back when he was a teen, but his took him up and down steep hills, and he had to be driven or ride his bike – it was too far away for him to walk it and be home in time for school.

I had a lot of apartment buildings on my route. It’s amazing the smell an apartment building can acquire – almost like a finger print. Each building had it’s own unique aroma. Some buildings smelled like cooking; I can recall the smell of cabbage that wafted through the lobby of one brownstone.

Each Wednesday I would go collecting. This was when you actually met the residents of the dark and quiet homes you deposited a paper at each morning at 6 am. I remember one woman who was pregnant. She wore a shirt that said “baby” and had an arrow pointed to her belly. I’ve actually thought about her from time to time over the years, wondering if she had a boy or a girl. Whichever it was, the child is older than 30 now, and here I was a skinny little girl staring at it in it’s mom’s belly each Wednesday night. Weird.

There was also an old couple that lived on the 4th floor of an old apartment building. By the time I was rounding the stairs on the 3rd floor the smell would hit me. Perhaps their apartment didn’t have running water. Or maybe they didn’t have any soap. In any case I dreaded collecting from them because once the door opened a very acrid, pungent cloud would float out into the hallway and go clear up my nostrils.

The husband/man would always be in his undershirt and slacks. He was always smiling, and always paid. The wife/woman would be sitting at the kitchen table laughing. Ok, it was actually more like a cackle. The hallway was always dark and always deserted with the exception of these two. Really fix that scenerio in your head for a minute. Bad smells, cackling old woman and a dark, damp hallway on the 4th floor.

Creepy. I’m glad I hadn’t read any Stephen King books yet.

One fine Wednesday evening, I was treated to the experience that is the hallmark of paper boys/girls and mail carriers alike.

I was bit by a dog.

In the ass. Which made it humiliating as well as painful. It was just a nip. Nobody was home, and I guess the homeowners had left the dog in the yard. He was not happy that I had entered his fenced-in domain and snapped his teeth right through the seat of my Levi’s. I was mortified, but thankful that there didn’t seem to be anyone around to witness this dishonor to my dairy aire.

I had that route for less than a year. Once winter came those early morning treks up and down the blocks of Pal Park became more of a chore than my $20 a week was worth. Come to think of it, most of the jobs I had as a kid didn’t seem to be worth the crappy money you earned. But how else was I going to afford the latest issue of Tiger Beat?

Ah, a great segue into a new post…my first real job. Stay tuned!