The Pencil Pusher

February 2, 2009

My world is one of press releases, Google rankings and job insecurity.

Filed under: Uncategorized — nicoladavison @ 5:48 pm
Tags: , ,

journo-picTrying to be a journalist is proving more difficult than originally thought. But not difficult in the familiar sense. Sure, there’s the economic crisis, the decline in advertising sales and a general flagging readership, but as this is all I know, that’s all ok. Having only a vague and dream-like grasp of the “good old days” of spiking stories and lingering on freezing pavements waiting for the elusive scoop, I both accept and embrace the current doom and gloom.

For me, the struggle to force people (occasionally quite literally) to pick up all 80 pence worth of insightful, provoking and masterfully constructed prose is all I know. My world is one of press releases, Google rankings and job insecurity.

It is the randomness I didn’t expect.

It’s 10pm on a Saturday night. I pull on my coat, hat, gloves and make a grab at the umbrella. With a wan smile I say a sad adieu to my friends, all cosy in their boozy glow, and whisk out the door.

Half an hour later a red sign reading “Accident and Emergency” materialises out the sheeting rain. It is a stereotypically stormy night: too cliché to write about. I’m overly grateful for the warm, fluorescent glow of the hospital’s waiting room, and try not to look anyone in the eye as I take a seat.

I feel guilty – they all have some horrible and depressing reason to be there – I have none. I start scribbling furiously in my Paperchase notebook as if with each word I can somehow legitimise my presence. I practically ooze malfeasance.

Rightly enough, a security guard approaches and asks who I work for. Pause. Shaking, sweating and finally the strangled reply: “No one”. The head nurse approaches asking if she can “look up my friend” who, in a moment of blind panic, I had told the security guard I was waiting for.

Fortunately at the critical moment a drunk lady in red fishnets and black hotpants takes it upon herself to collapse in an unfeasible fashion, and the nurse is forced to pay her some attention. For now at least my made-up friend of nobody’s name is forgotten.

Thundering along the freezing pavement (was it my footsteps? was it my heart?) I couldn’t help but wonder is this that old-fashioned journalistic rush after all? It’s really quite exciting, isn’t it.

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