For some reason, sitting at the computer position makes my right shoulder ache. Just that one. It's like scapula tunnel syndrome. I'm going to need a deep tissue massage before I go back to school in August. The JFP may be fun, but it is not for the faint at heart. I still have blisters from when Stephanie and I walked around Fondren running Chick Ball errands, because, you know, I just had to wear heels that day. (Number 5 thing I've learned at the JFP: Always keep a spare set of flip-flops in your car.) I almost fainted once when I was waiting to go into a board meeting because I hadn't eaten. I was talking to a woman who worked in the building and I had to interrupt her to say, Um, can you show me to the bathroom before I collapse, please. I didn't actually say that, of course, I have, in fact, heard of tact, but I did sort of freak her out, which I felt bad about later. (Lesson 6: Always keep a granola bar in your purse, or large pockets, as the gender identification may be.)
This reporter business is no joke, no matter how many quips are thrown about the office. It's a jungle out there. Kill or be killed. Dog eat Dog! It also doesn't help when you are seriously directionally challenged. Not just in a car either. I was supposed to sit in on a meeting on Friday at a complex with more than one building. I assumed that the door to get in would be the closes one to the parking lot. Wrong. All locked. I walked around for about ten minutes when I finally called Maggie.
Me: Oh, my God. Have you ever been here? All the doors are locked. IS THERE SOME KIND OF HOSTAGE CRISIS?
Maggie: Go to the side of the building that faces the street, and there will be gigantic plastic double doors.
Me: NO, THERE IS - Oh, wait.
Everyone here is very patient with the interns. Thank goodness.
I survive on rules 5 & 6.
Check some alternatives to the standard mouse at:
There are many other sites.
Your body is telling you something; one day you'll wish you had listened. (Yes, I know, that phase was trite.) Consider learning to use two or more different kinds of mice and vary your use of them every day. Learning to work with several styles is infinitely easier than learning a foreign language and well within the ability of everyone.
I have the highest respect for the JFP and Donna Ladd. I'll bet she would consider buying a few alternative mice for her staffs' use. If she cannot do so, buy one or two yourself. Then study carpel tunnel injuries in the Mississippi food processing industries compared to Mississippi office workers generally.
You'll have a heart-rending story and remember me with gratitude for the rest of your working life.
P.S. Write back if you cannot secure another mouse. (No, I do not sell mice for a living.)
Crap. My job sounds like being an intern at the JFP!! :P
I keep flip flops in the backseat to chase after errant children and AT LEAST one apple, a granola bar, and some other form of "kid friendly" food in my mama-sized purse for moments when doctor's offices are taking too long...or just day to day craziness that inhibits actually stopping to eat. (The Rainbow deli cooler is good for these days).
As per the high heel incident, look into carrying a small first aid kit with bandaids and some kind of antibiotic cream. It's saved my life more than once. Have you ever noticed that people with these kinds of hectic non-office bound jobs always have HUGE purses? Invest in one. It will save your life. My boyfriend says we could survive in the desert for at least two weeks on stuff that is in my purse.
- Lori G
i appreciate the "gender identification may be" caveat.
as i carry a murse. with plenty of useful items, like tums and beef jerkey and a camera and lip gloss.
back to my cave...
Murse, indeed. ;-) Don't get me started about my tricks of the reporting trade.
I carry Luna bars in all my bags, for one. And often little airplane peanut bags.
Keep a jar of silver change under your seat for parking meters.
Take rubbing alcohol on all reporting trips and rub your body down at night to make sure you don't have chiggers after crawling around woods and cemetaries. (Learned that the VERY hard way during Dee-Moore reporting. Worth it, but sheer hell.)
Always have sneakers (preferably dark; I have a brown pair I call my Meltonians; bought for that first ride-along) in your car. You can't move fast in flip-flops, and they don't help with aforementioned chiggers.
Buy your own bulletproof vest if you do out on ride-alongs (had one on first Melton "raid"; didn't on second. Scarier! And I thought Kate Medley's mama would never talk to me again.)
Tuck Mace in lots of hidden places just in case.
Don't Mace other members of your reporting team. (Never did that, thankfully.)
Always travel with extra batteries and memory cards. Always. Always. Always.
Carry two tape recorders. Use both of them in vital interviews.
Type your notes the same day so you can read them.
Have a mini flashlight in your "murse" at all times.
Print online maps for everywhere you go just in case.
Go early to find places, or scope out where it is earlier.
Breath minds. Nuff said.
The airplane peanuts may be the most genius thing I've ever heard. We should go ahead and steal the airsickness bag, too. Because you never know.
I love your humor!!!! I also work like an intern. House shoes hidden in my desk :) No mace though.....
I like the murse/messenger bag combo. Messenger bag is great to get right what you need when you need it (pens/notebook/favorite book if you are waiting on someone to give your mind a moment to relax...), and then the purse/murse is great for the "extras" (YES ON BAND AIDS!). Don't forget the Tylenol and GermX.