Slings & arrows of the week

By Don Rush

What’s going on, you ask? Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks for your hero (and in case you forgot, that’s me). First to mind has been the attempts at herding cats, which as everyone knows, is no easy endeavor.

Yup, it’s been over 10 days since we “lost” our server at work. Now, hold on one hot minute — before you jump to the conclusion that we must be doing super awesome here at your community paper, and rolling in the doe-ray-me, so much so we can afford to hire servers to be at our beck and call —


I’m talking about our main computer server — the one that decided to puke out a couple of Monday’s ago. And, that’s when the cats started losing their cool. That Monday all the nice page templates we had set up, all the ads, all the pictures, stories, classified ads, pretty much everything we use to publish four community newspaper and two shoppers, just like Elvis, figuratively left the building a few, short hours prior to us starting up the presses and printing said papers.

Let’s just say, “There was no joy in Mudville” and “when you live by the sword, you die by the sword.” Computers have really made publishing easy, and now, just the opposite. What about your contingency or backup protocols, you’re asking. Well, we asked those same questions to those we thought were taking care of the redundancies so we wouldn’t have these problems.

The sweet, calming calls of male crickets to their mates were all the answers we received — except had their been crickets chirping, we may have been calmed. Wasn’t to be.

The de-stressing squishy Aflac duck lost his head.

Smiles turned to frowns.

Snippy comments were made.

Tempers flared.

Frustrations mounted.

All the emotions you would expect to come into play did. Getting all the cats to retract their claws, stay calm and get back to the business as it was told to me by one Mr. James Sherman, Sr., some 29 years ago — “Get a quality product out the door, on time and (hopefully) at a profit.”

Bemoaning something, that at present, could not be fixed does no good. Yelling, or being short with coworkers does less than good, it actually makes things worse. I think, for the most part, we all came together with only a few errors and missing ads. (Errors and not running ads makes my skin crawl, by the way. I loathe errors and I almost get sick when someone puts their trust in us to run an ad, and we don’t. My shoulders are tensing now, just typing that last sentence.)

So, if you were less than impressed with this week or last week’s paper, forgive me. I apologize. However, I am gonna’ thank our staffs for coming together and not missing a publishing date for all our papers. It could have been much, much worse and I could have felt tons worse. For some reason I just thought of a line from Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop book, “SAD DAD BAD HAD. Dad is sad. Very, very sad. He had a bad day. What a day Dad had!”

It wasn’t easy and as a matter of fact, it was down right ugly at times, but the staffs did it! They all put on their big boy and big girl pants, and with not a little pride in their work, put out their papers. Thank you 11 editorial-type workers (editors, reporters, photographers and interns).

Thank you to our advertising departments — all eight of you (ad managers and marketing representatives).

Thank you composition staff — you who are charged with reading the minds of the ad staff and making ads from hand sketches and bad scrawling hand writing styles. You three took the brunt of the storm.

Thank you front office peeps. You nine are our front line offense. You answer the phones and get all complaints first.

Just remember what famed Notre Dame football coach is quoted as saying, “When the going get tough, the tough get going.”

We are getting through this and with that knowledge and experience we will be better off than before. And, to our readers, THANK YOU for understanding.

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