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Posts in "Newsroom"
March 12, 2014
It’s not every day someone chronicles the aftermath of a fall from grace.
But former Politico reporter Joe Williams did just that in his tell-all piece in The Atlantic, “My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Poor.” Williams went to work at a sporting goods retail store, the only job he could find after an on-air gaffe and negative press about his personal life landed him out of a job and without many prospects.
“Of course, I had no idea what a modern retail job demanded. I didn’t realize the stamina that would be necessary, the extra, unpaid duties that would be tacked on, or the required disregard for one’s own self-esteem. “
Williams goes on to talk about the indignity of being searched after each shift, the extra unpaid duties including taking out mounds of trash and mopping bathroom floors. He touches on minimum wage and overtime — things Hill staffers are exempt from under the Fair Labor Standards Act but that are real issues for the rest of the working world. He also laments the great divide between his old life and new.
“Having once supervised an 80-member news division of a major metropolitan newspaper, the first weeks on my new job triggered a self-esteem meltdown. Flygirl, a supervisor half my age with a high school diploma, critiqued my shirt folding. I fruitlessly searched the shoe stockroom for the right size and style for an impatient customer. I silently prayed no one who knew me would come in during my shift.”
Hill Navigator recommends this as a read for anyone who constantly wonders about their own job happiness and well-being. Whether you are reading this sitting at your desk sorting constituent mail, drinking a latte at your best job ever or while wondering if your current job will ever promote you — now is as good a time as any to take stock that things can change. Quickly.
The people at the top — you included — do not always stay there for very long. It’s worth your time and energy to maintain your connections and continue to make new ones. Sure, it’s good to know lots of chiefs of staff, but keep in mind that the staff assistants won’t always be answering phones. They — like you and Joe Williams — are on the move to bigger and better things.
(h/t to Clinton Yates’s Lunchline for the recommendation.)
December 9, 2013
Hill Navigator is a strong advocate of the power of entry-level jobs: Get your foot in the door, work hard and learn all you can from those ahead of you. If you’re lucky, you’ll have the chance to work with some amazing people — both on and off Capitol Hill.
So this week, Hill Navigator bids adieu to one of our longtime established and respected journalists. John Cranford, CQ Weekly’s editor, is retiring from the newsroom and embarking on a nationwide tour of baseball stadiums.*
Many Hill staffers have relied on CQ Roll Call’s coverage of news and policy to get through the workday. If you’ve read anything on budget, economics or finance, it likely had the imprint of Cranford, a stalwart of budget policy and a great steward of newsroom morale. At a time when newsrooms are getting smaller, we rely even more on established journalists’ insights and guidance. For someone like Cranford, who was always quick to encourage anyone new to journalism — including Hill Navigator herself — he will be sorely missed.
*Hill Navigator recommends stopping for UDF’s Homemade Ice Cream at the Great American Ballpark and the capicola overstuffed sandwich at Panini’s outside Progressive Field.