Through the magic of television, I have no idea what I’ll be doing tomorrow. That’s because I sling a lens for a living, a feature-laden fancycam that serves as both protector and weapon. Twist the right knob and see the felons flee, flip a filter wheel to make the secretaries blush. Leave the damn thing turned of and you can still incapacitate a gymnasium full of eighth-graders. I know, for I have dragged my glass through the shadow of Death, given this day our daily deadline and forgive us our press-passes. Still, I don’t wanna get all biblical. I just want to impart upon you the glory and the curse of working G.A. — General Assignment, that broad swath of story ideas that can send your average news shooter hurtling over the brink of sound judgement well before that box of newsroom donuts is reduced to glaze and rubble. Call it the Cameraman’s Creed, or better yet, don’t call it anything at all. In fact, lose my number until the first piece of morning meeting fodder is proven possible, would ya? And don’t even think of touching my lens. You know where it’s been! Some days I’ll schlep it to the edge of alleged deception. Other times I climb into a cockpit and hug it ’til I’m high. Once I turned its battery pack to an angry ocean. It went, swimmingly. Most times though I keep my power button dry, though I’m not above sweeping the debris field with it, stealing glances at a riot as we’re huddled by a dumpster or brazenly sticking it in some stranger’s face. Don’t get me wrong, I want to do work that matters, I want to use this wondrous instrument to teach, illuminate and yes, even inspire. But so help me Nielsen, I’ll shove this thing straight up Bigfoot’s ass if THAT’S what it takes to get me home at night. So before you come up with the way I’ll spend my day, before you decide which unwieldy notion you’d like to see televised, before you ask me how fast I can get to the nearest mountain top and back, know this:
Your in-house phone system baffles me.