Thursday, July 04, 2013

Jaws of Life

Road Rash

Here's something I picked up on the side of the road: perspective. For years I didn't notice it, lying there among the bits of windshield and broken chrome. Too lost in youthful stupor, I never appreciated how the shadow I cast on that glittering asphalt had all its limbs attached. It just didn't seem important then. I'd bebop up to a jack-knifed semi, crack wise to anyone who would listen and grow impatient if the trooper didn't make a beeline to my microphone. But an unfunny thing happened on the way to jerkdom. I grew up, one ghastly accident at a time. The sound of a second grader wailing in pain will do that to a fella. So will watching a soccer mom take a helicopter ride moments after she made the last wrong turn of her life. All that chopper-wash won't just chip your lens. It'll ding your soul if you're not paying attention. Next thing you know, you're skulking through your shift with a pockmarked conscious, an unseemly beast who's happiest tapping his foot in the breakdown lane. Don't be that guy (or even that girl). Let the house-cats back in the newsroom high-five over the head-on collision. Your job is to gather the facts, harvest the verve and be a decent human being. Anything less is just bad customer service.   

And we need all the customers we can get.

1 comment:

Jim Dean said...

You know, this post should be required reading for anyone who ever wants to cover breaking news. AFTER they've had a chance to cover a couple, and can understand it.

Sadly, some people just thrive on this stuff. Myself, I cover it when I have to, then move on to a hopefully happier event.

Now if I could just make a groundbreaking interesting:-)

On an unrelated note, hang tough, and know that I'm glad you're back.