From ‘The’ Desk:
(Or, is Common Sense on the Curriculum?)
When I’m not writing for pleasure and publication (YAY! Thanks Decadent!) I spend my days behind an assignment desk in a television station newsroom. ‘Riding the Desk,’ as it’s called.
I am an assignment manager. (Which, if you go by the adage ‘crap rolls down hill,’ I am in the lowest spot of the newsroom.)
Some of my daily duties include: butt-kicker, mother, psychologist, grammar/history expert, human spell-check, hand-holder, pronoun corrector, receptionist, assistant to the news director, traffic cop, scanner jockey…just to name a few. I’m the ‘hub’ of the wheel, so to speak – info comes in, and it’s my job to get it out to the right places.
I work with college graduates – I am a college graduate, but the curriculum of Common Sense must have been an elective in the past twenty years or so. Don’t get me wrong, I adore most of the ‘kids’ I work with, but ‘book-learnin’ certainly doesn’t teach them how to get along in the real world. Maybe their parents had the same ‘missing’ common sense gene, I don’t know.
For example, a young lady I worked with left in a station vehicle. Not moments later, my phone rings and I hear, (no offense, but please use your most irritating mouse voice for this), “Uh, yeah, um the gas light is on in the Jeep, what should I do?”
Now, c’mon, you don’t think I’m gonna be THAT easy on her, do you? I politely mentioned, ‘Well, if you drive around long enough, it will eventually go out.”
“Okay,” she sing-songs and hangs up.
(For those of you who have spent too much scrubbing your manuscript---the gas light will go out when she’s out of gas!)
Was that wrong of me? I don’t know – but c’mon! Everyone has a car! And most vehicles in the past twenty years (I don’t know anyone who drives less than an ’85 anymore!) have gas level indication lights. Anyway, I need to take my moments of levity when they present themselves.
For some reason, the thought of stopping at a gas station and filling the tank never occurred to her! (Hmm, I haven’t seen her in quite some time, I wonder if the little light actually went out and…)
Maybe if you’re sixteen and new to the driving scene, you might not know what the gas light signifies, but if you’re twenty-nine… Enough said. (Same folks, however, are sure to know every conceivable emoticon and email abbreviation. To which I must say, OMG -lol?!)
While I’m on ‘the vent,’ this is the same journalism grad (and she’s not the only one) who could not figure out the difference between ‘there,’ ‘their’ and ‘they’re.’ Go figure. I guess Spellcheck (although a fine tool) didn’t know either.
Please don’t think I’m hammerin’ on j-grads, as I’m not --- I’m hammerin’ on Common Sense…or lack thereof. (By the way, my degree is a Bachelor of Science in Radio/TV/Film…which means I have a BS in BS.)
I do have to mention, this same young, cub reporter, just a day later, accidentally hit the ‘panic button’ on the key fob and was at a loss at how to turn off the incessant honking. Yeah, I got a phone call for instructions on that too!
Sometimes I wonder what happens between brain and mouth. Whatever it is, lately it isn’t good. Common sense seems to evaporate in that oh, two to three inch, less-than-millisecond span.
My father was often heard saying, ‘Make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear.’
Love you, Daddy, but the problem with that statement at this time is – mouths are usually on automatic now, manual transmissions of the vehicular and verbal variety have gone the way of the Betamax, rotary dial phone and the stove-top percolator.
Whoo…I feel so much better.
Can’t wait till the next Wild Wednesday, I already have a blog in mind – stories from my radio past, painting pictures with the verbal word. You know if you pound on the back of a traffic reporter on the radio, it sounds just like he’s in a helicopter?
Yes, people believe that!
Um, what was it I said about common sense?