The Tough Stuff

Most days, after a giant cup of coffee and a hug from Eli, I get into the office at a ripe 7:45 a.m. I usually feel and look like this:

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This is a happy reporter, in a swag-tastic sweater.

A positive outlook on life, the prospect of gaining some great news coverage in the next 8-10 hours and the promise of a boyfriend back home. Charge on professional journalist! Dig the dirt!

Some days, sometimes before I get to work, or shortly after I get there, maybe in the middle of the day, sometimes long after I have returned to my cozy home, I’ll get an email, a facebook message or worse, a phone call, from an unhappy reader.

Unhappy Reader = unpleasnt situation.

No matter how hard journalists work, how far we travel or how late we stay up, there will be someone upset with how you project these experiences on paper.

One of the hardest lessons I have been trying to learn over the last few months is to let it roll. I have mastered, or I think I have, sending appropriate and diplomatic responses via phone or internet to my unhappy readers. And don’t think I respond to every comment or situation that comes around, but I do respond to things that are incorrect in my stories.

Negative comments are rare in the small communities I work in, but it happens, but I have no time for that. I also know I make mistakes, and I do face situations where I need to fess up and fix the problem. I have loads of time for that.

Yet, when calls or messages are received and percieved in obvious anger, yelling or meanness,  I have some inhibitions on letting that go. Situations become resolved, but anger lingers.

To journalists, interview subjects, neighbors, family members, CEOs, public servants, strangers, co-workers, children, people who work at Apple and Joe Buck, my message to you is to be nice. You never know how it may make someone else feel, even when you are right and mad and want to tell someone off.

My hope is that we all have someone we can talk through our frustrations with, so we don’t inadvertently alienate the rest of the people we interact with.

I know the problems, mistakes and yelling will not end becuase of one blog post, but it feels good to get it out.

Now, let’s gather our inner Leslie Knopes and Liz Lemons and be awesome, so we can look like this…

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Frizzy haired and stuffing our faces with delicous salty treats!

Have a good weekend and be nice,

Alyssa B.

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