Saturday, January 19, 2008

Got them Saturday morning reporting blues

There are many reasons why I'm glad I'm no longer a reporter back in Newfoundland. First and foremost was that I was burnt out on the job. It took me awhile to realize that, but I was. And there are other factors why I'm glad I moved and moved into another field of work. Cathy's right in some way, I don't handle change, especially significant upheavals, all that well. If it wasn't for her I still might be slowly losing my mind somewhere in St. John's, trying to pump out copy.

But here's another reason that had me going, "there but for the grace of God..." this morning.

I found out one of my former colleagues is leaving his reporting job at the end of this month. One of the main reasons appears to be he was tired of the long hours and crap pay and wanted to move into something that paid better, that wasn't as stressful and where he could actually watch his kids grow-up without being off covering a meeting somewhere.

Did he go into PR or some kind of government work? Nope.

He's taking a job with a hardware store.

What the fuck does it say about newspapers in Newfoundland when they pay better at a hardware store? There's something deeply, deeply wrong with that.

So yeah, I got up, kissed my wife and thanked whoever is out there that I was smart enough to get out of that racket and go somewhere at least I'm appreciated.

Last Five
1. Jesusland - Ben Folds
2. Famous last words - My Chemical Romance
3. Rena - Blue Rodeo
4. Cool on your island (live) - Tori Amos
5. In the back seat - The Arcade Fire*


Kate Nova said...

I definitely made way more money as a waitress, with significantly less stress. :)

Peter L. Whittle said...


Know the feeling only to well. I do not think I realized how burned out I had become before taking a leap of faith. Nothing harder than leaving behind what you know especially when you loved doing it.

I met a guy who changed over my snow tires today and he said he ran his own shop for a long time, ran shops for other people. After 20 years of that he is back to working on the ramp. No managing people. Enjoying life. Less stress.

It is all about perspective and being with the people you love. Even if your up there freezing your ass off.


Jackie S said...

I love it.

The idea that someone could have gone to school for 4 years (or even worked their way the system the "old way") to make equal pay to a waitress/hardware store salesman?


That's why we don't go into journalism for the money, I guess!

towniebastard said...

Kate, Jackie....I'm not saying it's right, but there is a certain expectation when you're a young reporter that you're going to get paid crap because you're fresh out of journalism school and gaining experience.

But this guy is around my age, has been working with this paper - as a freelancer and staff - for nearly a decade. The editor wanted him to have a raise and a promotion, but the company wouldn't give it to him because they're cheap.

How do I know? They did the same thing to me about seven years ago.

Btw, and I'm just guessing, the raise he was looking for would have meant he was getting paid then in the mid-20k range. Up from the low-20s he was likely making.

I call it the Newfoundland Punishment Tax. If you want to stay in your home community and live and work, well, you'll take what we'll give you. If not, feel free to move to Alberta or somewhere. It pisses me off every time I see it in action.

Jackie S said...


i absolutely agree. And don't get me wrong, CBC is certainly not bad in the salary-world.

i remember back in the day of high school I somehow got my hands on this "what different professions make" book... and I remember reading journalist: 29,000

And they weren't talking entrance, I don't think. That was the career salary.

It's unfortunate companies like his won't bother to pay a fair wage. And as you say, a large reason why Fort Mac is like a suburb (population-wise, not geographically) of places like NFLD and PEI.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I'm with you. I trying the journo game for several years but quickly tired of making $24,000/yr. working 60-hour weeks. That was Ontario, too. I changed jobs to tackle my student loan debt and don't regret it. Maybe I'll do some freelance in the future but I'm happy where I am now. It's related to the news industry and I get paid for overtime.