Friday, September 30, 2011

Like Columbo at Times


I'm the first to admit it can be hard doing the same job day in day out, without many pay raises for the last 100 years, but I have found myself strangely energized of late.

I put this down to a number of investigations that I have been carrying out. There's something to be said for this game of cat and mouse that can end up with you exposing what they didn't want exposed; that can give a voice for the little guy when nobody else cares. You feel a bit like Columbo at times - sneaking up to people and saying "just one more thing," or more likely writing it in an email.

It has its downside too. I see the glances, the disingenuous comments and notice the way rooms can sometimes fall silent when you walk in.

It's a funny rule of journalism that the more successful you are, the more people are likely to end up shunning and disliking you. But when you have a beat sometimes you find yourself working with the same people you are holding to account.

As journalists there are many times when we consider selling out to the world of PR and so many journalists have gone down this route. Ironically they can often be the more tight lipped and unhelpful press officers we deal with, perhaps because they have the inside track.

But this email I received from an old pal D. who sold out down the line has convinced me to continue to live in semi virtuous poverty for a while yet.

Macca,



I see you want to be my friend, business schmooze or whatever virtual frottering Linkedin sponsors. Frankly I'm not entirely sure why I joined...bit like Facebook...it's all a bit anal high maintenance for me.


Any hows it has nevertheless prompted you to send me...or rather it has automatically prompted an e-mail that relates to you. Which at the risk of sounding dangerously positive is a good thing. I think I'll put that in "" ...a "good thing" like people do in Sunday supplement columns. Bit of word and structure play there. You see I'm having a something of a linguistic outing far from the corporate tedium of the NHS where the managerial watch word is: "say nothing" but if pushed "say even less" and whatever you do pass the buck and evade taking responsibility for anything. You may have intimated from my tone a degree of dissatisfaction with my lot and you'd be right. And to think some - may be most - people spend their entire working lives embalmed in this sort of bureaucratic quarter life.


That said I'm now the proud owner of two very smart bathrooms and a selection of good looking internal oak doors, some of which have actually been cut by the fitter to actually fit the door frame. Only some mind.


It makes it all so worthwhile.


How about you?


Yours slightly disenchanted,


D.





7 comments:

  1. The grass always seems greener, doesn't it? Be we know it's really not. Stay--be--where your heart is, David. You can't go wrong. ;)

    (I loved that Columbo show.)

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  2. If you are receiving the glances and disingenuous comments it is because they are obviously jealous not only of your journalistic ability to get the truth, but for your outstanding writing as well. As my mother always said when people stop talking about you is when you should worry.

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  3. The picture of Lt.Columbo was like a magnet from Robyn's blog(Life by Chocolate) to here. Crazy about the Columbo series. I like how you drew the comparison. But there are lessons to be learned there.

    I'll be visiting here often :-)

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  4. I think I'm in the twilight zone somewhere between the two waves of disenchantment. Me? I've always been disenchanted and slightly stunned that my academic career was cut short by the need to earn money by any means necessary. But right after Uni, I noticed many of my friends were suitably unimpressed by the field they had studied for four years to enter. The most notable were the 8 or so engineering students who are now in the field of Anything But Engineering (sometimes translated as Something In Computers). But I can feel the next wave coming, the one you speak of, where people realise that the glamour or challenge or whatever it was that made them sell out, is not all that after all.

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  5. People sell out and then get disenchanted...I admire those that stay put. I also have a grudging respect for those that accept the non fairy tale end of selling out and pretend its still cool.
    To the rest, all I can say we don't live in Utopia so stop whining. Whether you step into the water or stand at the edge, remember you will invariably get bitten.

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  6. Wow, that email has made my job seem incredible so thanks for that. You're doing great and that's the main thing right? What an email, I had to read that three times before commenting.

    Also love Columbo though also get it wrong in pub quiz every time which of his eyes were false!

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  7. thanks Jayne - yes I often feel thegrass is aways greener. You are too kind Lidia. Thanks so much for the visit Vidya. reat comment Emm. I inhabit that twiling zone. Stop whining is good advice Rek. For real Abi - he had a false eye?

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