Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Work Load

I was thrown off my stride the instant I got to my desk this morning. The editor leaves us reporters notes on our keyboards if there is something that happened overnight we need to cover. As an afternoon paper, our deadline is about 10 a.m., so we sometimes get information from other news sources to cover.

This morning there was a picture from one of the larger local dailies. There had been a car accident. Two local high school students were dead, another hanging on in critical condition. My morning job was to confirm all the information and get as much more as I could. Names if they'd been released. I spent the morning working the phone while trying to get my other assignments done.

By mid-morning I had a massive headache from the tension and empathy. I had an appointment at 1 p.m., so I pulled myself together as much as possible and tried to just ride it out. At lunch I popped some painkiller and cuddled the cat as much as he would let me, but I still hurt pretty bad while doing the interview.

When I got back to the office I felt like I was underneath an avalanche. Couldn't breathe, couldn't concentrate. It took a good half hour to dig myself a breathing hole, then another hour or so to start working through my regular assignments and pulling myself up to solid ground. Once I got a couple of stories under my belt I felt a lot better, but I still didn't finish tomorrow's work.

I got the names of the two deceased students. One of the names matches a student athlete that I wrote about last year. I think it's the same kid, but I'm not yet sure. Both of them were only 16. Life is so precious. If you've got a child, hug 'em tonight. For me.


David Oakes said...

3 hugs, for you.