THE LAST FIVE ...
Closing up shop
It may be time for a change
Entry in the air
Music of the moment
Or ... BE RANDOM!
Monday, May. 27, 2002 - 10:08 p.m.
May 23: The day many things changed
"I want to marry you," she said to her boyfriend as I overlistened on the Christopher Street PATH station platform late Thursday night, May 23.
"I want you to marry me," he answered, smiling, his arms around her waist and hers around his neck.
"I will," she replied, a drunken smile crossing both their faces as he lost his balance slightly and leaned into her, her back resting against one of the support pillars in the station.
And there in the neon light below Greenwich Village, they both seemed to know that everything would turn out OK.
In my life, there's been a lot happening that I won't want to remember a year from now, part of the reason I've been absent from D-Land lately. May 23 was the day things changed, the day I butted heads with my boss, my editor, because he tells me on Wednesday that he needs me in the office on Friday, Saturday and Sunday when I was expecting to be at the ballpark Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with my nights free -- as the schedule had said for two weeks. My editor doesn't make the schedule, the assistant editor does. So it's only when my editor gets around to looking at it that he will decide if there aren't enough people on the desk on a given night. So he looks at the schedule Tuesday and decides there aren't enough people for the weekend. I'm at the ballpark Tuesday, but he doesn't tell me until Wednesday. The schedule had been posted in the system for two weeks. The schools editor had been hounding him for two weeks for extra help this weekend, when the state sectional track meets were held. But he doesn't make a decision until two days before.
Friday night was no problem for me -- I'd planned on a night baseball game, instead I go into the office. But Saturday and Sunday, when I was planning on covering two 1 p.m. games -- the team is my beat, after all -- I had arranged for Casey and Kerry to come and stay with me at my parents' house, where I was staying to feed the cat and stuff while they were away for the weekend. There is no such thing as breaking sports. There is no reason why my editor should decide two days beforehand that more people are needed in the office. That was my problem. I'm not a doctor, I'm not a cop; I'm not on call as an editor.
I lost my cool a little. I sent him a message from the ballpark Thursday afternoon asking why he couldn't bring someone else in for Saturday ... or why he couldn't do it. That was a little too far, and I had a feeling at the time, but I needed to get his attention. This has happened before, and the fact that it was happening again made it clear that he didn't understand my previous objections. All I wanted from him was to say he made a mistake, that he should've looked at the schedule sooner. But he wouldn't. Instead, he tried to bring up a few other minor things I'd done wrong (and there have been very few), and make them sound like big deals. I know better.
So things changed that day. He said I'd no longer be baseball first, desk second. When in reality, I never was. If that was the case, he would've explored other options before demanding that I be in the office this weekend. There were others, because here's how it went: I worked in the office Friday. No big deal, not a big change to my schedule. Saturday, when I would've been willing to compromise with covering the game and going into the office until 8 p.m., he told me I was doing nothing -- no game, no office; he'd gotten another editor who is normally off Saturdays to come in. I found out later that the Saturday night editor had gotten that for me. Sunday I had to go in for three hours to take care of one page and that was it. I was wrought with guilt through much of the weekend, though, knowing that because of my stand those who were working that night were saddled with more work under deadline. But my boss didn't handle it well. All I wanted was for him to admit it, but he wouldn't.
So that's over now, and hopefully I can move on from here, starting tomorrow. Also starting tomorrow is my all-out, diligent search for a new job which must -- absolutely must -- produce an offer by September, when baseball ends and I'll be forced back to the desk full time, and I just can't take that. I'll die.
Because everything else is going well. Casey and I are great, enjoying our time together and working through our miserable jobs and a less-than-ideal living situation we'll face in a few weeks when her lease is up and she moves in with me and my roommates. One will be leaving in August, which will make things a little easier, but then I'll feel bad for the other, who will be something of a third wheel. But our schedules do vary, and it will only be a few months until my lease is up in November and Casey and I can find a place of our own. I'll need a new job by then anyway so that we'll have more options on where to move.
But wouldn't it be great if we both found great jobs in Chicago or Boston? That would really make things so much easier, having some decisions made for us -- and having cheaper options.
Next page: So people do really track down old friends
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