Tuesday, September 15, 2009

At least I'm not covering high school sports

So my time-management skills were way off today. I put together a small package of content articles for a new client I just picked up yesterday. (I like calling these folks "clients," even if they are paying me the equivalent of minimum wage at times.) It took me about two hours to do this, even though for me to make a decent hourly wage on the project, I needed it to do be done in an hour.

Also today, a client (There's that word again) who owes me a whopping $20 won't be able to pay until early next week. He's waiting for his next paycheck. And I thought I was hard up on cash.

Anyway, it wasn't the best of days. Two people I was supposed to interview for print magazines blew me off. And I found out there's a parents' meeting tomorrow night at my son's school that I didn't know about.

But, it could be worse, right? There's always a worse job out there. And there's always a worse writing job out there, too. Our local community newspaper showed up at my doorstep this morning. I don't pay for this paper, it just shows up. Maybe it's a curse.

The paper had a full-color photo of a local high-school football player in action splashed across its cover. It reminded me of this important fact: At least I don't cover high school sports anymore.

That's how I started my career in journalism, as a reporter for my local community newspaper covering football games in the freezing cold of Chicago winters. Not a pleasant experience at all. I remember games where I couldn't feel my toes by halftime, even though I was wearing two pairs of socks and thick boots on each foot.

But there's something even worse about writing about high school sports. It's so damn meaningless, but the sportswriters who cover the basketball games, baseball games or wresting matches act like it's the most important thing in the world. I know they're paid to do this. But it's a bit sickening to watch grown men and women huddle around a high school sophomore who just made the winning free throw and treat her like she's the second coming of Michael Jordan.

In fact, I don't think newspapers should write about high school sports at all. I don't need a junior tailback thinking that he deserves his photo on the back page of the local paper just because he fell into the end zone on Friday night.

By the way, here's a scary number: I made a salary of $13,000 at that community newspaper so long ago.


  1. You should rename this blog "Gloomy Gus the Writer: Tales of Joy and Mirth."

  2. Ha! I guess I am a bit on the gloomy side when it comes to writing these days. I find that I enjoy life much more when I'm actually not working. I didn't think about how gloomy this would all read. But when you do read it all at once, it is a bit depressing.

    But I'm really not a groucy old man ... yet.