Making an Impression

I think I've topped the time that I fell down in the middle of a crowded newsroom during my first week of work ... On Wednesday I tried to walk out of a meeting in the fishbowl-style conference room (glass walls and doors) without opening the door first.

Alien Abduction? Nope, Not a Miracle

I think that people use the term "miracle" way too lightly. Although it's great news that they found that little boy in Utah, it was a ton of media attention and the work of thousands of paid and volunteer searchers that brought him home to his parents. A missing boy found? It's not a miracle, it's a lucky break. Jesus Christ on a potato chip? It's not a miracle, it's a coincidence. Miracle drugs? That's not a miracle either--it's science.

A 12-year-old Etheopian girl, abducted and beaten by seven men who wanted to force her into marriage, who was saved by wild lions that guarded her until help arrived? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's a freakin' miracle.

By the way, here are the answers to the top questions from yesterday's post.
1. Teriyaki steak, chicken, keilbasa and potatoes. About a pound.
2. Possibly a torn ligament in my knee. I have no idea--maybe the result of an alien abduction.

Things I Worry About

Yesterday the dog ate a whole plate of meat that my dad put on the coffee table. My dad doesn't like dogs. Now you know why. Happy Father's Day!

Also, I'm going to have an MRI. You know what makes me nervous about that? That they asked me 18 times if I had any metal in my body. What if I do and I just don't know about it? Will sparks fly out of my butt?

They Just Weren't Talking About Them in English

I've been at my new job for more than a month now but when my colleagues are talking business I still feel pretty much lost about 50% of the time. There's a lot of jargon, a lot of acronyms, and a lot of fast-talk from people who know exactly what they are talking about. Today I tried to participate in a meeting. "Did someone mention surveys?" I asked. And got these funny looks.

Later, someone explained to me that they had been talking about surveys for the past 10 minutes.

Work Smart? Or Work Busy?

A while back I took the dog to the vet and while I was waiting for my turn, the two women at the reception desk were handling a call from a woman who had found a stray dog. The first woman -- let's call her Mrs. Busy -- wasn't completely sure how to look up tag numbers on the computer system so the second woman -- let's call her Ms. Smart -- showed her how to do it. They came up with three possibilities, but the stray dog did not match any of the descriptions.

"It's brown and white? A terrier? Are you sure it's not a bichon frise?" Mrs. Busy asked the woman on the other end of the phone.

Ms. Smart went back to work but Ms. Busy wasn't quite ready to let it go. She c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y re-entered the tag number into the computer, s-l-o-w-l-y repeated each description to the woman on the phone and then p-a-i-n-s-t-a-k-i-n-g-l-y gave the woman on the phone the names and addresses of the owners of each of the non-matching dogs, including the bichon frise.

Meanwhile, the Ms. Smart answered three phone calls, greeted two customers, asked me a few questions, got the dog's heartworm and flea and tick medications ready for me, and then brought me into the exam room. We were in there for about 15 minutes and when we came out I swear to God Mrs. Busy was still on the phone with the stray dog lady, saying "and you said it definitely wasn't a bichon frise?"

Ms. Smart was looking a little frustrated.

Life is so unfair, isn't it? Mrs. Busy took 25 minutes to do something that should have taken five minutes. Meanwhile, Ms. Smart was stuck doing everything else while her co-worker was on the phone wasting time. I think Ms. Smart should be rewarded for being more efficient. I think she should have grabbed the phone away from Mrs. Busy, suggested some other places for the woman to call, hung up and then taken a 20-minute break.

But she wouldn't do that, because if she did it would look like she was the one slacking off. No, I suspect that the Ms. Smarts of the world aren't rewarded for their efficiency with anything other than more work.

Turdy Little Secrets

According to their site, PostSecret is an "ongoing community art project" where people mail in their secrets on a homemade postcard. The postcards on this highly addictive site are all excellent--creative, unexpected and at times a little spooky. Many of them are pretty similar in tone and execution, though. My prediction is that the final postcard will read, "My secret is that I only pretended that anonymous people sent me these postcards when actually I made them all myself."

And I don’t care what you think … I didn’t send this one.

Also, thanks to Slate copy editor Rachael Larimore for mentioning me in Today's Blogs (I was in this post on Deep Throat (scroll waaaaaay down to the bottom). My secret is that I get a thrill whenever I see my name in print.

Google Unto Others

Sometimes I wish this blog was a little more anonymous. If only my name wasn't plastered atop the page. If only my name was "Mary" or "Jane" and couldn't be Googled with quite so much ease. Oh, I would tell you some stories if only I could.

Well, it's too late for me to manage and protect my on-line identity, but it may not be too late for you. Read this article in the New York Times to find out how.

And remember to Google unto others as you would have them Google unto you.

So How Much Do You Make?

Mediabistro's first-ever salary survey report is out. More than 15,000 freelance and full-time staffers in industries such as advertising, public relations, print and broadcast media responded to the survey questions. Thinking of taking a new job but not sure how much money you should ask for? Wondering how much more you would make if you lived in the Northeast as compared to the South? Curious if a job in, say, trade newsletter publishing would pay better than a full-time reporting job in a major market? This is a great place to go for answers. But you better go there now, because after June 11 the data will only be available to premium AvantGuild members.

More DT Must Reads

For inside baseball fans ...

Start with the New York Times' In the Prelude to Publication, Intrigue Worthy of Deep Throat (follow the money, indeed) for context. Then check out How Mark Felt Became 'Deep Throat' by Bob Woodward in today's Washington Post.

You're #@&#;$% Fired!

That #@&#;$% sucks.

So what do you think? Did the reporter who used the F-word on air deserve to be fired?

[via mediabistro]