In an office dominated by 30/40/50-somethings, I occasionally feel like an outsider. I cannot relate to stories of the early 1980s – the pre-womb days – nor do I recall much of the latter part of the decade despite my 1985 birth. But some moments allow me to feel right at home, as if these coworkers are my North Carolina family, and the newsroom, my home away from home.
And in that family, I often feel like the tattle-tale daughter, always running to my editor when so-and-so doesn’t return my phone calls for a story I’m working on. Although my intentions are typically to explain that the article may run later than my 3 p.m. deadline, he dives to his computer, pulling up the applicable email address, reiterating the importance of so-and-so to swiftly return my message. More often than not, my phone rings within ten minutes and the information I spent hours trying to get was just laid out at my fingertips. Thanks “dad” Mr. Editor.
After talking to my parents following my recent run in with the law (see Policia! Policia! for further information), I called a fellow reporter and bawled on the phone, attempting to think about something other than losing my driving privileges. And it wasn’t the first time my tears prompted turning to her.
Around Thanksgiving – the day before my parents planned to travel 500 miles south and visit me in NC for the holiday – my step-father was electrocuted and broke his hip after someone tackled him to the ground, breaking his electrically charged grasp on the live wire (’tis true folks). I was at work when I got the news, thus the Crybaby broke free and took control. It was tough, especially knowing it would now be the first holiday away from my family, with step-father in the hospital, awaiting months of rehabilitation just to walk again.
And as I cried upon hearing the news – and receiving periodic updates as I took photos of the MoTown Christmas parade – that coworker was there to console me. It meant a lot, and it still does, knowing there are at least a few people here I can turn to despite not having known a single one of them just 15 months ago.
Since moving to North Carolina in May 2007 – a whole four days after my college graduation – I’ve come a long way. I’ve learned how capable I am standing on my own two feet. I’ve realized it’s possible to manage my money instead of splurging at every available opportunity. And I’ve figured out that the work place can be more than a job.
I got lucky and stumbled into a career I enjoy, as I’ve said before on numerous occasions. And what I’m slowly determining is that I found a newsroom where – regardless of an age difference that allows me to remember childhood television that surrounded Eureeka’s Castle and David the Gnome while my coworkers fondly recall shows I’ve only seen on Nick at Nite – I strangely fit … comfortably … and for that, I’m more than grateful.
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