A few weeks ago my work schedule changed a bit. I now work an early second-shift type schedule, much like my sister the nurse does, actually, but Tuesday through Saturday as always.
The change came about because one position was cut from the newsroom. Now, there’s just the managing editor and me as editors for the six-day-a-week paper, so we’ve split the duties formerly assumed by the associate editor. As a consequence, I’m the one coming in late and staying late to edit copy (stories and stuff) and “put the paper to bed,” as we say. (That just means I read through everything that goes in the paper, tell the designers what to put on which pages, then read through it all again once they design the pages and make more corrections.) I still do reporting as much as I can, which feels like very little.
It’s a rather solitary job, far more than reporting has been, anyway. Most of the newspaper staff leaves at 5 p.m. sharp and the reporters, who start a bit later because of the news cycle, are usually out by 6 or 7 p.m. Then it’s just me and maybe a sports guy or two, off in their own little world about a dozen feet from my desk.
Unsurprisingly, the solitude doesn’t bother me. I actually save most of my writing for those part-hours between sending copy and receiving printouts of the designed pages to proofread. No distractions, no interruptions. It’s heavenly.
It also leaves the sunshiny mornings for my own amusement… bike rides, curling up with a book, having friends over for brunch, going on a walk, taking care of errands, all that great stuff. All the things that people normally picture doing in evenings aren’t my type of thing, anyway – definitely not into the bar scene – so this suits me well.