Sitting in the big chair

You may have noticed that some things were a little different in the newspaper over the past two weeks. Perhaps you even noticed a few mistakes. Iíd like to tell you that it was all part of an April Foolís joke or a new scavenger hunt, in which readers are invited to find the mistake of the day and then keep it to themselves and tell no one, but in fact, those little errors occurred because I was in charge of putting the paper together for those two weeks.

While managing editor Jeff Genung was on vacation, I held the reins and tried not to mess things up too badly. It was a humbling and sometimes painful experience. The cosmic energies that surround the newsroom were out of whack with a different person sitting in the big chair, and as a result, everything that could go wrong, went wrong. (Yeah, Iím going to blame the cosmos instead of placing all of the blame on my shoulders.)

For some eerie reason, problems that occur every year while Jeff is on vacation rarely come up during the rest of the year Ė at least not all within a condensed two week period of time. When Mike McGuire mentioned the same phenomenon last year while Jeff was away, I thought he was being a little dramatic. Little did I know that as soon as our longtime editor walks out the door, some unknown force begins working against you.

I donít know if it was a full moon or if Mercury was retrograde Ė a situation that astrologists will tell you messes everything up Ė or if perhaps The Evening Sun office actually sits directly on an ancient Indian burial ground, but something caused a lot of stress and aggravation over that two week period.

The computer system failed me more than once. The worst occasion when I had forgotten to save my work for at least half an hour, and just minutes before the deadline for completing the paper, the computer froze and had to be restarted. Nothing had been saved and I had to start almost entirely from scratch.

My co-workers looked on in horror, as my normally cheerful, smiling face began to take on an evil and menacing appearance. Perhaps thatís why when I suggested an earlier deadline for stories to be completed, no one argued or pressed the issue. You donít want to get on the wrong side of a stressed out, emotional, pregnant woman.

After two weeks of sitting at Jeffís desk and dealing with every call, e-mail and issue that may have come up, Iíve determined my comfy, corner cubicle is just right for me.

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