Tuesday, August 21, 2007

With Travel On My Mind (And News Gone AWOL)

It's that time of the month where stories come rushing through my head like a jolt of caffeine and I'm scribbling potential leads to 12 stories or so, trying to make travel just as relevant (even more so) as news, making science just as interesting as a story about lovers, while pushing hard to get a cover for my favorite section, art.

I have notes scribbled on six pieces of scratch paper, the first for sermons that need to be given, the remaining five filled with everything from ideas to names of writers on the staff who best can fulfill a story's potential.

I look at the org's e-group and the past week has seen messages posted primarily by myself, beginning with egging on, continuing to slight cynicism, then to praise to those who have taken initiative.

If nothing changes, the next few messages will come across like middle fingers to a frontliner more concerned now with books and candles, to those who aren't asked to be down in the frontlines, rather asked simply to answer a question, to inform us of something we might need to know.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm perfectly fine having the "suits" out of our asses, allowing us out in the trenches to do our thing, to tell our stories.

But the "suits" (from the 'syana) do have roles to fulfill, and I'm hoping they don't neglect that, as it sure would be nice for them to be on our side when kudos are given, making all the shit we put up with somewhat worth it.

There's an arrogance that comes with the support of those under you, resulting from the confidence you've earned from them and which you try to instill in them as well.

Some who come into the situation simply had it all along, allowing you the comfort of excellence coming from at least one-fourth of what you oversee, allowing the two of you to actually enjoy the private ranting about others over a bottle or two after work.

Some come in raw, improving little by little, for which you like to claim some credit, however irritating the guiding gets with deadlines looming.

Some you recruit yourself and build a team around, thus creating another section that generally gives you peace of mind -- and that makes half of a whole worth putting up against anybody.

And there are those that give you glimpses of brilliance and flashes of blah, indicative of their being that head-scratching mix of determination and immaturity, at times a steadfast focus and too many times a focus gone AWOL.

And there's a bit of irony in that after it all, the two you perhaps trust the most are those who do completely different things and aren't technically under you but are the ones you come to know the most in times of professional stress, the two that don't sleep as long as you're awake as well, whose purpose really is to draw attention to you and your staff, to make you all look good.

And it's those two plus you that are itching the most right now, raring to get things started all over again, for all over again brings forth a promise of the potential of being perfect.


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