Monday, August 08, 2005

The greatest job in the world

I hate Mondays.

What a pointless day. You aren't recovered from the weekend. You aren't prepared to start the new week. And yet, there it is. Mondays wait for no one.

Then when it rains it makes it worse. Rainy days and Mondays. What a terrible combination. Paul Williams and Hal David had it right. They sure do get you down.

Still, it is hard to be too glum when you've got the greatest job in the world. Which I do.

I get paid. To write. To scribble notes down on paper and then turn the whole hairy thing into a story.

And you know what the scary part is? PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ IT!!!

Sometimes they even comment on it. I usually turn my head to and fro. "Can't be talking to me," I say to myself. "Larry McMurtry must be standing beside me."

I never thought I would be working for the community paper. I used to have these crazy dreams.

I was going to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. Write the definitive work on Richard Nixon. Then Stephen Ambrose beat me to it.

I majored in history anyway. What most found boring, I relished. I memorized dates. Stood fascinated over troop movements and migration patterns.

The first day UT history professor Steve Ash opened his mouth, I knew that was what I wanted to do. He gets paid to teach the Civil War and Tennessee history. In his summers, he writes books. That people read.

I earned my bachelor's degree and decided to get a real job. After a couple of interviews, I decided a real job wasn't for me. So I got a job at the community newspaper.

Two years into that assignment, I again decided to get a real job. Put on a suit and tie. Be here by 8 a.m. "OK, I can deal with it," I said. "I'll be making more money."

I was back at the paper within six months.

I love my job. I truly do. I love my job, my community, my coworkers, even love the people I write about. Or most of them anyway.

I could make more money elsewhere. But how can you put a price tag on happiness???

Shelby Foote once said that a writer's place is at home writing. Writing the truth.

I hope I die in my office chair. Just after I've filed the last story on Friday afternoon deadline.

So, you see, it's hard for me to really have a bad day. Even on a Monday when it's raining.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about a post on 31 years ago.

8:57 PM  

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