May 20, 2011

Breaking A Life Story (Part I)




There I was again. Sitting at my desk, editing another article written by a thin blonde who cheated her way through college and got the best job a journalist could have. Sigh.

My name is Christina Carlson. I'm a 20-something year old college graduate and I'm in the big city...Yep, you guessed it Birmingham, Alabama. Ok, so it's not that big of a city and it's not that glamorous but it's like New York compared to my home town in Montana. I left my hometown three weeks after I graduated, knowing that once I was here I'd be something big...I couldn't be more wrong.

I've been with Birmingham's premiere and most relied upon news stations, ZWAP Channel 6 News for eleven months, two weeks, and three days and I have yet to cover a story. For eleven months, two weeks, and three days I've been editing other journalists' work. A real dream job.

It's been my dream since I was a child to become a news anchor. I spent four and a half years of my life in college (Introduction to Spanish was harder than I anticipated...Along with a couple other classes, too) earning my degree in journalism and mass communication. For what? To sit at a desk for 8 hours and edit the crap from other people.

I must admit, it IS practically my fault that I'm doing this instead of my dream job. When I was first hired, my supervisor kept telling me how I was an amazing writer and how my words "moved him". I smiled and blushed as he stroked my ego. I fell right into his trap, now I'm editing papers for a living. I should've demanded the news anchor job that I was promised during the initial phone interview. I should've raised hell at human resources until I got what I'd traveled 546 miles away from Montana for...But I didn't, and this is what I get.

It's also my fault for not looking like a news anchor. I don't have straight flowing hair that stays in place for 24 hours straight, my smile isn't award-winning, and my body doesn't belong in (or anywhere near) Playboy. My hair is long, curly, and unmanageable. I wore braces throughout high school and my first year of college, yet my teeth could still be straighter. My body is well, full. The last time I wore a size six was in middle school. So, I'm not a Miss America contestant but I am ambitious, smart, and entertaining. Not mention I graduated from college with a 3.79 GPA. That damn Spanish class.

While I'm stuck here editing articles for the station's website, I can hear Kellie James reading from the teleprompter for the 5:00 newscast. Kellie is everything that I'm not. She's lazy, ditsy, blonde and super thin. She's the eye candy of the station. Kellie keeps the men of Birmingham on the edge of their seats when she's on the air, yet surprisingly, she's really a nice person, the total package I guess you could say.

As I heard Kellie's high pitched laugh, I couldn't take it anymore, I had to be in that seat, broadcasting to the people. I HAD to be the news anchor that I always knew I could be. I stood up and marched to the elevator, headed to the 6th floor - Administration. I was determined and my mind was set to ask for the position. I knocked on the door of my supervisor, Darian Gregori and took a deep breath.

"It's open!" He yelled from his office.
I stepped in slowly and wasn't surprised when I saw him on the edge of his seat watching Kellie talk about God knows what.

"Hey Darian...It's Christina." I said trying to get his attention. He turned a bit as if I snapped him out of being hypnotized.

"Oh hey Christina, what's up? Those articles you edit always turn out perfect, you're seriously the best editor we've seen here in years. Hemingway started out as a editor, I believe you're destined to be just as great as he was!"

Ego stroking, again.

I smiled, "Thank you...But that's not why I'm here. I'm grateful for my job, but what I want to do is that." I pointed at the TV as Kellie her Co-Anchor William discussed world news. Before he could speak again, I continued, "Over the phone you told me that I'd be an anchor and I've waited for a year, but nothing has changed. I need to be there. It's my destiny, I know it is."

I stopped myself before I could ramble on anymore and waited for a reaction. His face said it all as his eyes moved from my size ten, two inch heels, to my wide curvaceous hips, and to my high yellow face where my long curly dark brown hair flowed freely from my scalp. He rubbed his chin seeming as if he was in deep thought. Probably trying to find the most comforting way to say "Hell no".

"Well, I don't know. It's just--Well...Have a seat and I'll talk to the General Manager, he makes decisions like these...He knows best."

I took a seat in the rather uncomfortable chair in front of Darian's desk as he stepped out and disappeared down the hallway. As I sat there, my mind raced. I wondered if my job was over all because of an impulse to ask for my dream position. How could I tell my mother that I was fired? How would I pay for my apartment? I'd have to give up my dog, Lacey, because I couldn't afford dog food without a job! Oh, what have I done?

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