I spent most of last week in Providence, RI, on business.
The mind-numbingly heartless and institutionally incompetent…ur… The ever so wonderful and forward looking corporation that owns the newspaper I work at also owns the one in Providence.
With the devestation of the IT ranks, there’s nobody out there to do the job, yet, strangely enough, the job still needs to be done.
Me and a couple coworkers headed out to see what’s what. No, I couldn’t take the bike. No time, and this time of year is not ideal for long runs to the northeast on a deadline.
Anyway, the newspaper was pretty refreshing. They’ve done an outstanding job, particularly on their production plant, of creating a company that’s focus is printing newspapers. Yep, good old production folks, actually producing things. Seems an odd concept for me at the moment. My company’s focus is
on just about everything else other than newspapers nowadays…and even that focus is a tequila-based fog of haze…the kind suffered by somebody that’s actually drowned in a vat of tequila (and a cheap-ass brand of it at that!) … ur … unclear to me at the moment.
I feel much better about the situation, yet I feel much worse about it too. I think we can keep them publishing, but we have a lot of work to do. I’ll have to go back, probably in January just for starters.
Should be an interesting challenge…assuming we get the resources to tackle it. If those resources don’t come soon, I think I may just take up truck-driving…or maybe just start drinking heavily. I am intensely production focused and really hate to see the drifting we are doing now.
My hotel was great. They upgraded me to a suite just because I came in on Tuesday. I had two king sized feather beds, about a hundred pillows, and a 50 inch plasma TV…just in the one room! There was another bed and VLT in the other room, and the closet was bigger than most hotel rooms I’ve been in. All for a lower rate than the Best Western or whatever it was down the street.
The city is nice. People actually live in the downtown area so there are pubs and eateries and shopping all over…you know…the corner pub where you can grab a beer…and a 16-ounce perfectly cooked steak to go with it. Yum!
Downtown Dallas is a war zone by comparison. Vast landscapes of boarded up buildings punctuated by vastly overpriced chain resturaunts and homeless shelters starkly identified by the urine stains on the walls…and all guarded by cops that for some reason think “bullying” the populace is part of their jobs (maybe it’s a perk?) does not a friendly city make.
I’m more optimistic about my job at the moment. This industry is pretty cool to work in…we have to start from nothing everyday and end up hand-delivering hundreds of thousands of a brand-new product to the customer’s doorstep…each and every day. Rain or shine.
It moves fast. It requires state-of-the-art technology to keep up with. It’s complicated. If we get the resources, we’ve got a hell of a lot of interesting work to do.
If we don’t get the resources soon…we are well and truly screwed.
Y’all have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!
Oh yeah…don’t forget to buy a bunch of books for your friends! They make great gifts!