Your life can change in the strangest moments
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:
I never forgot who was running the joint. And I was better off for it.