Today in My History
2000: Krispie Kremes
Crazy Horse and Custer
Books Read in 2013
"A Town Like Alice"
Most Recent on My Kiev
Istanbul Magpie Journal
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I am replacing my Funny the World logo for the rest of this month with a link to a site where you can donate to help in the disaster relief in the Philippines. I know there are a zillion organizations which are working to help the people. You may not want to donate to compassion, but I hope you choose the organization you prefer. Just donate. The need is so great...
FACE TO FACE
26 November 2013
Being someone who has learned to communicate via e-mail and text messaging (and actually have come to prefer it much of the time), I realize that there is still an advantage to actually meeting face to face.
There have been a couple of misunderstandings between myself and the entertainment editor to whom I submit my reviews lately. Nothing serious, but it just didn't seem that she was understanding what I was asking and she appeared frustrated that I wasn't understanding her either.
So I invited her to have lunch with me.
She's been in this position for a couple of years now, so we have worked together for what is now a long time, but we had never met face to face. I knew Derrick, the first entertainment editor I worked with, ever since he was a young man, performing on stages in Davis and running a game store (selling games in an era before video games) and have always considered him a friend. I would occasionally go to the newspaper office to do a couple of things, but mostly my job doesn't require me to ever go to the office and so once my friend was downsized, I just never had an excuse to go to the office. We had our disagreements from time to time but because we were friends, I never got angry with him and things smoothed over quickly.
The paper's chief editor was the first person to take over for Derrick and I had known her for a long time. Then the sports editor took over the job when she felt herself overwhelmed. He immediately invited me to lunch and we talked for a long time. He admitted he knew lots of sports but nothing about theater and wanted to pick my brain about how things worked. He didn't last long in the job and this new person, who had worked on the paper for a couple of years, took on the entertainment section too. She also came out of the sports section and theater is not her bailiwick either, but we seemed to get along all right until the last few months...and even then, it was only a couple of things that I got upset about.
What a difference it makes to actually know the person you are working with! I hope she feels the same way that I do this evening.
We didn't meet for lunch, but she suggested we meet at Starbucks, and the chief editor came along too. I don't know if they thought they needed the editor to be a referee, but I was not there to confront; I was there to get to know her.
I got there first and decided that since the last time I was in Starbucks was about five years ago, when we met our Mexican daughter downtown and she offered to buy us coffee, I would treat myself to one of their specialty coffees. I ordered a creme brulee latte, because I can never pass up any creme brulee.
My first impression was to realize how people who regularly have these specialty coffees must either have very big salaries, or go into debt on a regular basis. My God. $3.75 for a "tall" (Starbucks' way of referring to a small!) And it came warm, not hot. I like my coffee very hot. I had to drink it quickly before it cooled off to cold, so I couldn't even enjoy the creamy goodness.
The women arrived and we sat down to chat. We both talked about our backgrounds. What a fascinating woman she is! I learned she had lived in China for a year, teaching English and doing something else. I wish we had explored that experience more in depth. I told her how I began doing newspaper with the long defunct free political rag, The Argus, which even the editor had never heard of. I was the entertainment editor back then, pasting up the entertainment calendar and giving spotlight attention to friends of mine who were performing. The editor didn't give a fig about entertainment and I don't think he ever even looked at that page. The more comfortable I felt, the more fun I had with the page until he went bankrupt and closed the office.
We had a great time laughing about an issue that we all agreed on. I loved that!
We finally got around to the recent issues with my reviews, and it was not a heated discussion. I learned the difficulties the paper has, with a smaller staff and fewer pages into which to put more articles. I confessed that I have a review blog where I usually post reviews after they have been published, but when they are not published in a timely fashion, I may post to Bitter Hack before they have been published in the paper so the theaters can read them and use them for quotes, if they want to. I hadn't told anybody that before, fearing that it might violate some copyright or something, but both women were fine with my doing that. It's nice that that blog is finally out in the open and everyone is OK with it.
In the end it was a very positive experience, a lovely coffee, and I suspect that I will be less irritated by things because we have actually met face to face.
I hope she feels the same way.
I guess there are occasions where e-mail is NOT necessarily the best
way to communicate with people!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Creme Brulee latte
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