Hot Off the Press - Pt. 1
My phone rang just as I was packing up my things to leave.
“What is this on my desk?”
“My submission for next week.”
“Did you read this?”
“Uh, yeah. I wrote it.”
“So you read this and still decided to leave it on my desk? Is this a joke?”
I was already starting to get hot. Jonah had been giving me a hard time since last week and I was tired of it. Everything I submitted to him was either too long or too short or not meaty enough or too damn meaty. It was like the only way I could write the perfect piece was to have him write it for me himself. It was already eleven and I just wanted to turn off my desk light and go home. Instead, I put my purse on my desk and sat down in my chair. Slumped down in my chair I looked up at the drop ceiling tiles and rolled my eyes.
“Jonah, what’s wrong with this piece?”
“It doesn’t sound like you. This isn’t the voice you were writing with when I brought you on 6 months ago.”
“Yes it is. I write my pieces like this all the time and they all seem to go to print just fine and no one is writing and requesting to burn me at the stake so what’s the problem?”
“This isn’t your voice. When I first invited you to write for me, this isn’t the voice you had. I expect better from you because I’ve had better from you.”
“Honestly Jonah, I think you’re nitpicking at things that aren’t even there.”
“Come by my office”
“Jonah I was just leaving”
“That wasn’t a request.”
The phone clicked in my ear and I knew I was in for an argument and possibly a rewrite. I flung myself out of my chair, grabbed my purse and walked across the floor to Jonah’s office. Leaned up against the doorframe I glared at him unable to contain my irritation with him. “You wanted to see me…Boss?”
“Cut the “Boss” shit. Sit down.”
“I’d rather stand. I don’t plan to be here long.”
“I don’t recall asking about your plans either. Sit down.”
I put my purse on the seat beside me and sat across from him and leaned back. Although Jonah was my boss, I was always careful to let him know that I came into this believing us to be equal. I avoided being disrespectful, but I was always stern in my position. He held two papers in his hands and looked back and forth between them for what seemed like entirely too long and finally let out a sigh before he put one down and looked at me. He handed me the other paper, “Read this.” I took the paper out of his hand and started reading across the page. My chest started to feel a little warm and I shrunk a little bit. “Jonah, this isn’t what I write for this publication.”
“I know, but this is what you wrote the first time I ever heard of you and it still made me want to bring you in because you painted a picture with words that made me feel intrigued and ashamed for reading it. That’s not something every writer can do. I brought you in here so that people who were moving away from print to video and immediate gratification could still get that from a writer who knows how to produce it. These fluff pieces you’re writing, I can tell you’re bored and if I can tell then that means everyone reading it can tell too. I want you to write for me the way you write for yourself. I want you to give me a reason to not think that I made a mistake bringing you in here.”
To Be Continued...