Mama’s returning to the working-world

Police reports.
Police scanners.
Looming deadlines.
Demanding editors.
For many people in the working world, those four factors would send almost everyone running for the hills or hiding under a desk in a cubicle.
For me, they thrill me.
I’m an odd duck, I know, but it’s the career I chose back in the late 1990s.
When I began my journalism career unofficially in 1997 (officially in 2000 at a daily newspaper), I had a glimpse into the life of a journalist because I was the editor of my five-day collegiate newspaper, The BG News. It was a student-based/student-operated newspaper. We printed Monday through Friday. (Now, sadly, I have heard they are either cutting back on publication or trying to go the digital/AP route.)
After I graduated from BGSU, I worked at a total of three different newspapers.
Currently, I freelance from my home for Lorain County’s top daily newspaper, The Chronicle-Telegram. In a time when so many newspapers are folding, ours is still up and running.
Since I began working at The Chronicle, my personal life has drastically changed.
I used to work two nights per week, covering the police beat/night cops beat.
I did that for about three weeks because my oldest had a hard time adapting to daycare; plus we were in the middle of putting our house on the market. I was also a substitute teacher.
Honestly, it was a bit too much. So, when my former editor asked me to “stick around and freelance from home for a little bit” I said, “Sure! I can do that!”
That was seven years ago.
In the seven years that I have been a freelance reporter, we have moved to the countryside; I had two miscarriages; and I gave birth to twins.
But, in the work-force I have had the opportunity to build a rapport with many people in my coverage area. I no longer feel like a “fish out of the water” when I make telephone calls requesting information for a story. I no longer feel intimidated by politicians or other government officials when they get annoyed with me or with the questions I ask.
It’s part of the job. It comes with the territory.
And beginning Jan. 4, 2013, I will once again be stepping foot into the work-force. (This also gives me a little more than a week to purchase a new pair of comfortable shoes and a few new tops! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!)
I will walk into the newsroom where many of the newbies have no idea who I am. I will feel the eyes watching me and hear the whispers … “Who is the new reporter?” “Who did she replace?” “How long will she be here?”
Maybe I can wear a sign that reads – “Melissa was HERE seven years ago and SHE’S BBBBAAAACCCKKKK!!!!”

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