a not-so-frightening first

Today I experienced my first General Assignment (GA) shift. I woke up shaking, I was so nervous. I left half an hour early just to make sure I got there at 8 a.m. sharp. I didn’t want to be late on my first day. I got there at 7:45 and was the first one in the newsroom.

As the other students filed in, I braced myself. I guess I expected my GA editor to swoop in and pound us with stories we had to finish in two seconds or die. Something like that. Actually, the exact opposite happened. Liz Brixey, my awesome GA editor, came in singing. She told us not to be nervous and in cases of desperation to remember WWQLD “What Would Queen Latifa Do?”

Turns out, I didn’t have to fret because today I never got a story. This was a disappointment. I’m one of those people where if I have to sit in a newsroom for 10 hours, I’d rather be spending my time wisely and working on something. I had two classes today I had to leave for, but I made sure after each one to double checked with my editor and ACE (assistant city editor) if there was something I could write, co-write or help with. After asking over three times, I decided to start researching pitches for my beat article next week. When I managed to find some good ideas, I volunteered to be the desk attendant – a job that I handled for three hours.

So here’s my dilemma. I’m disappointed because I don’t want to seem like I’m lazy, incapable of work or any other negative image. The fact is, I want to work. But after asking how many times, what else could I do? Next time I’m going to be even more assertive On the bright side, at least I didn’t have a to write an obituary or struggle through a terrible crazed day. Guess we’ll see how it goes next time!

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