|what it feels like to work in a Ugandan newspaper (standard:humor, 988 words)|
|Author: DAVID TUMUSIIME||Added: Sep 27 2003||Views/Reads: 1911/1194||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|i tried to be eminently practical, hold down a job and work 8-6pm. i did. for three months. at a newspaper. and this is what happened...|
What it feels like to work at The Sunrise. Unfailingly, every Friday morning, the first thing you do after you shake off sleep or get to the office is demand for your week's Sunrise copy. Unfailingly, every Friday, you get it. Probably by now you feel you can't live without it. What you don't know can't hurt you. But today is special. As a faithful reader, you deserve to know a bit of the heart stopping excitement that goes on before your favourite weekly gets to you. And there is lots of it! Sometimes we have not even been sure it was going to get to you! It comes a surprise to many people that The Sunrise works on weekends, Sundays included sometimes. Working very late into the night. We work late into the night most days. But a weekend late night is an eerie experience if you are afraid of the dark, are the kind who believes in ghosts. A late Sunrise weekend night is not for you. There is something many people are terrified of: absolute stillness. 8 p.m. on any night is not late. But it is the beginning. The other offices that bothered to open on a Sunday long ago closed. There seem to be absolutely no cars on the road. Can't even hear one. No voices in the corridor passing having loud conversations. Just silence. After a while questions like “what is that?” to small noises you can't identify start to impinge on your mind. Typing. Typing. Has anyone ever noticed how much noise a computer keyboard makes, you wonder? Typing. Typing. “How come this small room looks so big today?” Suddenly! “What was that? I'm sure I heard a sound.” Unwillingly, Bukedde newspaper pictures begin to replay in the mind like slow motion videos. Gory pictures of decapitated bodies, decomposing corpses found by lonely footpaths, sensational unproven stories of back-alley murders. Lonely nights are the best to murder one. You could be one of them tonight! “Nah,” the other part of your mind argues, “We have never been mugged in this city. We're okay.” The most powerful, ground-shaking argument is propelled forward, “There is a first time for everything.” Time to go home definitely! But that's a weekend night. Sought if only idle, or haven't paid the landlord rent or dodging some social function like birthday parties or extended family get togethers. The week late night is obligatory. Monday late nights are the most memorable. Sunrise is the ONLY newspaper I know that has a music band to play to them as they work. Yes, this is true! Sometimes it is jazz or one of those soulful instrumentals and faces in the office become wistful. Ah love, they seem to say. Or maybe is it I wish I had a lover? There are an alarming number of single journalists. I'm told the reason is...well, forget it. Err, financial? If a Monday jam session night doesn't faze you, there is a pretty good chance of coming through a Wednesday and Thursday night with only a slight case of RAGING headache, nausea, a determined vow NEVER EVER to do this again. Wednesday night is what they call crunch time. Everything about the paper to come out Friday morning before the cocks' crow must come together on this night. If it does not, you MAKE IT COME TOGETHER!! If not, you'll sleep in the office. Wednesday, after five, has been a slow day, you are slipping into jacket and your bag is swinging on the back of the chair ready to go; the editor, the boss, and all those senior to you will suddenly dash into the newsroom agitated as if they are being stung by bees. They will look around, eyes gleaming as they count the unfortunate souls who lolled in the newsroom and are about to become involuntary volunteers. Announce, “There is work to be done.” The dreaded words follow, “a lot.” The more dreaded words, “I wish you and you and you could stay to help, can you?” Click here to read the rest of this story (35 more lines)
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