Sex Sells The News

| Right | September 29, 2016

(I work at a local newspaper. A man comes in to discuss the online membership for the local news website I have built. He starts innocently enough by asking for the URL – some people are too scared to try a business name with a .com after it, so this is a common question.)

Me: “It’s WWW dot [City Name] news dot com.”

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “[City Name] news dot com.”

Customer: “One more time?”

Me: “[City Name].”

Customer: “I got that.”

Me: “…news. Dot com.”

Customer: “Are you saying…” *he leans in to whisper* “Nudes? Like an adult website?”

Me: *holding up that morning’s paper, and pointing to the URL near the top of the front page* “NEWS. Do you recall walking into the building for the NEWS paper. We are [City Name] NEWS, so we own the website of the same name.”

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Stop The Presses! For Five Months!

| Right | May 2, 2016

(I used to work in a small town newspaper. Most everyone would leave earlier in the afternoon and one person would be left to man the phones for an hour or so in the newsroom. This day, I’m the only staff member on hand, and there’s a guy using our microfilm for research. The phone rings.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Newspaper]. Can I help you?”

Lady: “Yes! I am very upset! I just read an article in your paper about the fire that destroyed our house and everything in it is wrong!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry about that… Can you tell me who wrote the article?”

Lady: “It’s [Name I’ve never heard].”

Me: “Uh… I’m not familiar with that name but…”

Lady: “No, wait, it’s [Reporter].”

Me: “Oh! Yes… he isn’t in the office today, but he should be in tomorrow about seven.”

Lady: “I want this taken care of now! You have no idea what we’ve been through! I just now got around to reading the article and I see all this wrong stuff and it’s like it happened all over again! I want him to rewrite the whole thing!”

Me: *thinking I’ll grab a copy of the paper and re-read the article* “Can you tell me when the article was written?”

Lady: “The fire happened in May!”

Me: “But it’s now October…”

Lady: “So?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but that happened five months ago. We’re not going to be able to redo the story.”

Lady: “BUT WHY NOT?! He got EVERYTHING wrong!”

Me: “I understand that, but so much time has passed and—”


Me: “It’s [Editor], but she’s going to tell you the same thing.”

(By now the guy at the microfilm machine is watching me with a “WTF?” expression.)

Lady: “I’m going to call her tomorrow! And you’re going to reprint this! You don’t know what I’ve been through!” *hangs up*

(I explain the conversation to the guy at the microfilm.)

Microfilm Guy: “If it was so important, why did she wait five months to read the article?”

Me: “I should have asked her that.”

(When I got to work the next morning my editor asked about the note I left her and then asked the same question. To our knowledge the woman never called back.)

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Not Very Tourism-Friendly

| Working | April 6, 2016

(I’m a reporter with the local community newspaper, and with it being tourist season, I decide to write an article about the benefits and downsides to tourism in the city. Naturally, I call the Chamber of Commerce, with whom the paper has interacted with on multiple occasions for many different stories. The paper is also an affiliated business with the Chamber.)

Me: “Hi. My name is [My Name], a reporter with [Local Community Newspaper]. I’m writing an article about tourism in the city.”

Chamber of Commerce Rep: “Oh, tourism? Have you been here?”

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Going Around In Triangular Circles

| Working | March 17, 2016

(On this day, my coworkers and I are meeting with another similar company in our city. We arrive separately. My boss had given me directions on where to park but I am unsure if I’m in the correct place so I call my coworker who had ridden with our boss.)

Me: “Hey. I just want to make sure I’m in the right place. Am I supposed to be in the triangle-shaped parking lot?”

Coworker: “[Boss] says it’s at the corner of [Street] and [Street].”

Me: “Okay, I understand that. But is it the triangle-shaped lot?”

Coworker: “Where are you?”

Me: “I’m near the [Restaurant]. Should I be in the triangle-shaped parking lot?”

Coworker: “We’ll be there in a minute.”

Me: “Okay. Thanks.”

(Yes, I needed to go to the triangle-shaped parking lot.)

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Your Pen(ding) Gifts

| Working | February 4, 2016

(I work for a team that provides news to several different newspapers all around the country. We use different online means to communicate daily, as we are all working in different cities, and video meetings is one way. The Greek debt crisis is in full swing when this happens.)

Boss: “…and so I have decided to send Coworker #1 to Greece tomorrow. I hope you know that this is nothing personal.”

Me: “Well, I think that we should do this the Greek way. She goes to Greece and I and [Coworker #2] get full mileage and daily benefits from the time that she is there. Otherwise we’ll go on strike.”

Boss: “I’ll send you a company pen. Will that be fine?”

Me: “As I have never ever received a letter addressed to me to work, that’ll be okay, but just this time.”

Coworker #2: “I want a company pen, too!”

Boss: “I’ll arrange that.”

(Two days later I get a letter that contains not one but two pens. There is no note attached.)

Me: “Oh, and thanks for the two pens, boss. I’m disappointed, however, that the company logo wasn’t included.”

Coworker #2: “Why did he get two? I want two too!”

Me: “My turn to arrange this. Just wait.”

Me: *emailing the posting department* ‘Hi! Could you send a pen with our logo to [Coworker #2]? The address is [address]. Thanks.”

(The following day Coworker #2 sent me a message thanking me for the pen.)

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