Monday, December 29, 2008

Day From Hell

Every once in a while, we all have days that make us so insane we want to fire a bazooka at traffic. If the Department of Homeland Security reads this blog, that was a joke.
It's just that I'm very pissed off today.
It wasn't any one major horrific thing that happened but a series of them, each rendering me senseless with their total crappiness.
First ,there's this issue of my apartment, I have a friend who wants to move in with me, and I sort of told her yes, but now I'm having second thoughts. It's not anything personal, but I have a bedroom I use as storage space. There are so many boxes in this room, stacked six feet high that it resembles the warehouse scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. So if she moves in, I'd have to relocate the boxes elsewhere, meaning I'd have to pay to put them in storage or I'd have to pile them in my study, two options I don't want to do.
Secondly, a buddy of mine wrote a letter to the editor criticizing a story I wrote, basically calling it worthless mind candy. Now I can take criticism from your average douchebag on the street. People hurl venom at me all the time and it just washes off. But this dude was my friend. Friends aren't supposed to criticize each other in public, and the letter was just bad form, so that bothered me.
But the third and final thing which became the cherry on my shit sundae was a phone call I got from a guy who sounded like he was drunk or on crack. The guy wanted to speak to the editor, who wasn't in the office. I tried telling Dopey McCokehead that the editor wasn't there, but he babbled on about some councilman and the editorial cartoon and something about wearing tinfoil hats so the Illuminati can't read our surface thoughts or some crap. I kept telling him, nicely, that I didn't know where the editor was. He became belligerent and called me an asshole and hung up.
I know, I know. Crack is such an unforgiving drug.
Thing is, I didn't feel anything. I just was so numb because of this cavalcade of bullshit that I simply shut down.
There are times when I question my career choice. My grandmother once told me as long as I'm happy doing what I'm doing in life, I made the right choice. I'm really not so happy these days. Work is starting to be a monotonous freak show instead of something I'm happy doing.
Some insist I take my job too seriously and that I should lighten up and relax. These are the same idiots who go to Jimmy Buffet concerts and have mixed drinks with fruit in them. When they're not bopping to "Cheeseburger in Paradise," they're watching "American Idol" or some jejune reality show featuring a slice of the Midwest blended with everything that's vile and rotten from the East Coast.
My high school English teacher and mentor, Mr. LaVoie, once said that I don't suffer fools gladly. He was right about that. Yet with this job, that's all you do - suffer fools gladly. You have to be prepared to take abuse from anyone, from mayors to councilmen to guys on crack who sound like they're juggling ball bearings in their mouths.
There's little reward with a profession like this. You go into the office, transcribe your notes, make phone calls and spend time writing your stories. You try getting all the words and facts right, try making it halfway interesting, try to do better than you did the previous week.
I'm beginning to understand why journalists drink. It's not because drinking makes you happy; it's that drinking makes you forget all the bad shit, like promising an apartment to someone, having a friend criticize your work or being called an asshole by someone who sounds like Fat Albert's friend Mushmouth.
Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day...

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