Your life can change in the strangest mo­ments

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Sports - Craig Welsh was a re­porter, as­so­ciate ed­i­tor and gen­eral nui­sance at The Packet from 1998-2001. He cur­rently lives in Iqaluit, Nu­navut.

It’s a beau­ti­ful Septem­ber day in Clarenville, but I’m in Barb’s small of­fice with Roz Smith, be­ing in­ter­viewed for a re­porter job with the Packet. A job I re­ally need at this point. The in­ter­view is go­ing well, when they glance at each other. I rec­og­nize the look. This is it. The ques­tion they use to make or break in­ter­vie­wees.

“One of your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties will be de­liv­er­ing news­pa­pers on Mon­day. Do you have a prob­lem with that?” Blink. “Uh­h­hhh, no?” “Great! We’ll be in touch.” Seven years of post-se­condary ed­u­ca­tion, a year work­ing over­seas and free­lance writ­ing gigs, but it’s my ex­pe­ri­ence de­liv­er­ing the Evening Tele­gram at 10 years old that puts me over the top.

Your life can change in the strangest mo­ments, my friends.

My life im­proved the mo­ment I started work­ing with the Packet. Not just as a re­porter, be­cause no one can be around Barb for long and not be­come sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter at the job. I just be­came a bet­ter… per­son by be­ing at the pa­per and work­ing with five re­mark­able women. Some­times it was by watch­ing and learn­ing. Some­times it was through gently phrased threats. Of­ten it was by them teas­ing the fool­ish townie in their midst.

One last thing. The Packet has al­ways been ahead of the curve. The small ware­house of awards is proof of that. But at a time when women are jus­ti­fi­ably stand­ing up and tak­ing power more than ever be­fore, it was a les­son I learned on my first day on the job, al­most 20 years ago. When I went to use the only wash­room in the of­fice I was greeted by a sign:


And un­der­neath, on a sticky note:

“And Craig.”

I never for­got who was run­ning the joint. And I was bet­ter off for it.

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