Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Big Role

I work in an industry that reminds me daily how big the world is, and how small it really is.  I am afforded the chance to watch major world events unfold from the cheap seats.  Rarely am I in the front row for the good stuff, but I am always up front and center, making sure someone better looking tells it like it is.  I'm the girl in the background handing off the information to someone else. 

It's the role I chose, I think it's pretty big, and I like it.  I work really hard to make sure the team is first, accurate and accountable.  I think I do it right most days.  It's kind of thankless, and no one says anything about it unless something goes wrong.

Many journalists set goals for themselves: get the big story, win an Emmy, beat the competition, make it to a bigger market.  I had never been a big believer in the latter until 2007.

That's when I met my friend D. It was my first management job in south Louisiana.  It's wasn't a large market by any stretch of the imagination.  Small by any standard, the city was no friend to me in the beginning.  D was the producer of the number one morning show, hands down.  It was informative, funny, easy to watch.  Good television.  D is really good at what he does.  He is a natural storyteller who really "gets it".  I knew we would be friends immediately.

For several years we worked side by side (it was a really small space), churning out news, feeding the beast, bringing in solid numbers.  We laughed and celebrated wins, we cursed and gnashed our teeth over losses.  D helped make my life in Louisiana more fun.

Time flies.  D found a bigger opportunity, moving on to better things.  And being a good manager (and hopefully good friend) I encouraged him.  I sent him on his way, armed with best wishes and a new pair of headphones for good measure.

Ironically, the same stars came back around a few months later, putting D and me back on the map together again.  We were a long way from Louisiana, but still a rocken' team!  What followed were three more years of good times and bad, victories and defeats... and a few lame jokes about how I followed him across the country.

Now, D is on the move again like a rock star on tour.  An even bigger city awaits and I have no doubt more success for my friend.

The good news is that, as big as the world is, it's actually smaller than ever thanks to technology.  I can see my friends near and far whenever I want with the click of a button.  Distance eliminated.  I have no doubt I will be bothering D to find out how things are going in his new home.

As our time winds down, I can't help but be proud of how far we have come.

He once told me, and I'm paraphrasing in my favor here, "You have played a big role in getting me where I am today."

Funny you should say that, D, because you played a big role in getting me where I am today too.

But I'm not following you this time, pal!  At least I don't think so...