This one is a bit overdue.
A few weeks back I penned a piece on a community member I’ve long admired as she made her way out of her profession and into retirement. Following the piece going to print I was reminded of something I had forgotten. People like to see deserving people acknowledged.
That column received so much love, kindness and kudos for the individual that it quite honestly caught me a bit off guard – in a positive way. Anyone who reads my work knows, that’s the type of “stuff” I like to share. To see it received so well and the sentiments shared – true icing.
So last week as we sat in our weekly staff meeting and our Editor Marg Jackson shared her relief as we made it through the holiday deadlines, I could not help but feel grateful.
Like any business, career, job, there is much behind the scenes that the mass majority does not see. The newspaper business is no different. Today we are a lean staff of three plus an Editor in the Editorial department of The Oakdale Leader, Escalon Times and Riverbank News. We’re fortunate to also have a few contributing writers as well as a summer intern, but that’s it.
Oh, and our Editor just happens to pen the entire Escalon Times, so there’s also that. She’s a pretty well-known gal in the world of Cougar purple and gold and while she resides in Oakdale, she herself will tell you she bleeds purple.
Dedication, ha. Dedication would hardly be the appropriate adjective befitting our leader, but it, among many others would be accurate. What I know for sure, is anyone who has worked with, for or in conjunction with our leader has their own fair share of flattering adjectives.
But last week however, it wasn’t a list of flattering adjectives which filled my brain and inspired this piece. Last week, as she openly shared her relief of managing two tight weeks with holiday deadlines to boot, I thought how lucky I was to work for the best.
What readers don’t know is during that time ALL of her staff of three elected to take time off. She let us. Most wouldn’t and I know this. I’ve worked for those bosses and I’ve understood the reasoning. Yet, our leader has never seemed to make issue of it. Quite simply she just focuses in on what each of us needs to do before taking said getaway.
I have no doubt that this does not help her stress level, yet she allows us anyway.
Summer in small town news is a funny thing. For our Sports Reporter, it’s the ideal time to take as much vacation as possible. The school year keeps him busy, but we still have Sports pages to fill. In short, it’s a dance. To be led, however, by not just a stellar veteran but a master of said dance, is indeed good fortune.
She and I have worked together so long, that there are days I think I stress my ability to deliver more than she does. Often times after deadline having her share, “I never worry that you’ll pull through.”
How does she know this?
Simple. Because she’s the best.
She also happens to be the very person who hired me, many moons ago and as is often common, she’s just as much a friend as a boss.
Her friendship could easily hold a column space on its own; for today, however, it’s just simply about being grateful to work for a person of her caliber.
Early on in my professional career, I worked managing people. A mentor once shared to always remember to say “Thank You.” A “thank you can go a long way,” she said. So, while I may just be a staffer and not one of professional authority, I do happen to be one of opinion and gratitude.
So to my dear Boss Lady, who will have to read this before the readers and then hand it off to the press (insert sly wink here) … Thank you not just for all that you do, but for doing it in such a way that regardless of what our workload might bring we are always happy to do it. The days they may be hard and some just a bit too long, but in the end you make it worth it. Thank you.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.