Bear with me, this one gets a little long. But If you’re married and you both work – especially if you deal with the public – it’s worth a read.
I work in radio as a news reporter. At times it’s been very rewarding. Other times…. well not so much.
I took a new job (with the same company) at the end of October. A friend and mentor of mine moved on to greener pastures and as luck would have it, I was next man up for his position. One of the cool things is that this radio station is an anomaly. People here love their radio station and their local radio news. I mean, they really love it. It’s to the point where the local newspaper could not even print and no one would miss it.
So naturally, when there was a change in the line up for the first time in 15 years, people felt it was their responsibility to tell me how big the shoes were I had to fill. In the little over a month that I’ve been here, I’ve probably gotten 15 calls or emails with comments on my performance. Not all of them have been negative. In fact, I’d call it a constructive mix of positive feedback, constructive criticism and stuff that you write down and look at when you need a good laugh.
My mornings are fairly busy here. From 5 a.m. to about 6:40, I don’t have a second to spare. If I run late it throws everything off, not just for me, but for everyone in the building at that time. Naturally, I prioritize: 5 a.m. Arrive and clock in, 5:05 or before, check email for press releases and write up what I can use. 5:15ish, gather stories from the news wire to fill out newscasts. By 5:30, I need to be recording news and sports that run on the AM station. 5:45 I’m importing those into the on air computer. Right after that, I post all the news and sports stories (among other things like obituaries, mugshots, etc) to our website. Those have to be on the web before my first live news cast at 6:30. The 6:30 news runs about 10-12 minutes. At 6:40ish, I can take a little breather.
Now, in the building I work in, we have two stations our FM station and an AM Talk Station. On the AM we run things like Doug Stephan, Coast To Coast, Dave Ramsey, RFD Illinois, Glenn Beck – you get the picture. The AM station is NOTORIOUS for going off the rails at unpredictable times. The computer might freeze and crash, something scheduled doesn’t play, one of the programs misses their cue – and it just gets off. It’s nothing we can help. The only thing I can do is hope either I or the on-air guy catches it as quickly as possible.
So at 6:45, I usually will log on to the station’s Facebook Page to see if we got any love (also to see if anyone posted anything newsworthy that I can follow up on.) This morning (11-25-14) I log on and we have a notification from a guy I spoke with last week who complained about a hiccup in the programming. I explained how the AM station works and he seemed to understand. Apparently, he’s a big fan.
So when I get on there this morning I found this comment:
“Here it is 6:25am and your news person is interrupting the good day live show.smh”
I toyed with the idea of telling him if he didn’t like frequent interruptions he could call our corporate office and talk to the engineer. I also toyed with the idea of telling him I’d trade places with him – He could do my job while I snarkily call him out for every mistake he makes. I didn’t. But I wanted to.
The truth of the matter is, this kind of behavior is to be expected when you work closely with the public. Especially in the media. Especially in News. Everything you say or do comes under scrutiny. You’re a trash organization for reporting the local arrests and putting mugshots from the local county sheriff on your website. But, by gum, don’t you forget to do it on a daily basis. Seriously, go take a look. No matter what’s in the news, that’s ALWAYS in the top five for views on our website.
Some people just want to complain. No matter what you’re doing for them. They just want to have a problem with something. I’m reminded of a quote from The Dark Knight “Some people Just want to watch the world burn.”
Now, I’ve said all that, to say this – this is the real point of this particular blog entry. Sometimes, people who deal with those type of people, tend to be tired of dealing with people when they get home.
Hear me out here. I deal with idiots like the guy above on a daily basis. I’m also for the most part, pretty introverted. So being in an industry that requires me to deal with people a lot just drains my batteries. It’s especially bad when people want to point out everything that I’ve done wrong. If I have a day where I deal with idiots, it’s best to leave me alone because I’m already on the defensive about it.
That’s dangerous territory in a marriage.
Speaking for myself and no one else, With people I don’t know, my guard is up. I can’t say the things I want to say to them because I have to be aware of protecting my company or reputation as a news person. With people I love – they see me at my most vulnerable. I’m not as guarded. I don’t have to protect a financial interest or something like that. They’re going to usually get me unfiltered.
So I need time to re-charge before I’m able to have a civil conversation. And that goes for a lot of situations. Any time I’m in a large group of people, any time I’m under a lot of stress. Basically anytime I’m out of my comfort zone. And re-charging is not something that happens quickly. It takes several hours for me to get to a point where I’m comfortable being around people again. Well, when you have a family, that’s not realistic.
Its something I struggle with and more than once, I’ve said things I regret to people I love – especially my wife. She’s been a trooper and I owe her so much more than what I can give.
But it’s taken me a long time to Identify this problem in myself; like literally just this week.
So, I just wanted to share this with anyone who may be interested enough to read, and hopefully it will help someone else.