I don't buy it. Sure, a photog's job is worrisome, but number 4 on The 10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2011? Surely, there's a submarine commander or tightrope walker or bomb squad technician under more pressure than those of us hoisting Sonys over our heads. Hey, how about air traffic controllers? They have to stay awake for nearly an entire shift! Oh, wait...
Honestly, I don’t stress out on the job like I used to. Sure, I kicked the shit out of that trash can in the edit bay the other day, but it HAD been leering at me for the better part of an hour. No, compared to how I used to wig out, I’m a regular Hari Krishna (as opposed to an irregular Hari Krishna). Back in the early nineties, before I had turned (most) every kind of story there was, I’d crisscross the region in my news unit, sucking down Marlboro Light after Marlboro Light as I wondered aloud how in the hell I was gonna have that story done by the time the anchor introduced it. Oh what a difference a couple of decades make. Now, I turn three o clock kerfluffles into winking five o clock reports without ingesting a single cigarette. It’s not that I don’t earn a few new wrinkles in the process, but I rarely ever question wether or not I’ll be able to hit my deadline. Why? I don’t know, really. Twenty years into the same gig have refined my ability to shoot economically, write scripts in a loud newsroom (earbuds and Metallica help) and edit at the speed of fright. There are, however, a few things that still stress. me. out.
Mysterious New Live Truck Buttons
I’ve never hidden my disdain for live trucks, as I believe they’ve accelerated the downfall of a once noble profession. Mostly though, I’d rather shoot write and edit than play truck tech. Thus, I avoid them like genital warts. Sometimes, though I can’t properly dodge such assignments and I find myself scratching various body parts as I stare at control switches I don’t remember. Since flipping the wrong switch in a live truck can fry you from the insides, I always call the engineers, but not before kicking up a few dirt circles first.
Phantom Press Releases
Hey, here’s a thought: If you’re a Public Relations person with a juicy story to peddle, don’t fax me all the details and then leave the country. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve done back-flips over a fresh, fluffy press release only to have the PR wonk that sent it totally stonewall me. Okay, I can: 982, 061. I don’t know whether they don’t expect us to respond so quickly or are just trying to torment us because they themselves washed out of the business. Either way, it’s stupefying. One local entity is notorious for the phantom fax. I won’t tell you the name, but their initials are GTCC.
Lollipops of Doom
I love Macs. I’m making sweet love to one right now. But for the life of me, I can’t fathom why the Cupertino crowd made their pre-crash distress signal so effing cheery. There I am, minutes before airtime with much more to edit when that spinning beach-ball of death thingie appears on screen to let me know I’m about to be screwed. Why not a skull and crossbones or lumbering Bigfoot avatar? Then I wouldn’t feel so silly throwing a tantrum over a symbol that should evoke memories of sandcastles and bikinis. Not that I’ve ever let such a discrepancy stop me from a good tantrum.
Oh, as to why photojournalists and newscasters ranked so high on The 10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2011? Weaver has a theory I like. He posits that we in the media are no more stressed than any other profession. We’re just extra whiny about it. Reading back over this post, I’d have to agree.