Managing to Survive my First Job as an Editor
When I sold my home in 2004, and rid myself of almost all my possessions so I could spend the next leg of my life’s journey traveling this country in a small RV, I packed away the few things I couldn’t part with in bins, which eventually ended up here in Tucson with my youngest daughter.
I just retrieved those bins and have been reliving the memories they hold. One of these had me belly laughing until I almost peed myself. It was a printout of an AP photo that had been posted on the board at an editors’ meeting, my first venture into what until then had been an all-male domain— I should note that the year was 1980 when women were just beginning to make themselves a force to be reckoned with in the working world.
On my first day in attendance as an editor at the meeting, one of the macho male newspaper editors boomed out: “OK guys. We all have to watch our language now. We have a lady present.”
Perhaps he didn’t mean his words as a put-down, but I took them that way. I didn’t want to be treated different, or special, because of my gender, especially not when I was fighting for equal pay for equal work. While I never cuss (unless you count the S word, and back then not even that) I flared back with: “That’s right. You #$%^&**” guys.” I didn’t spare the offensive adjectives. “Watch your language.”
They all laughed, but I think they got my message. At least there were no similar comments, or vulgar words either, in future editor meetings.
There did, however, continue to be sexism actions from the photographers, who posted the day’s picture selections on a presentation board. Almost every day there would be a cheesecake photo – one time it was Miss Nude America – that had no chance in a zillion of making it into our family-oriented newspaper.
Finally, I piped up: “OK. Fair is fair. What about some beefcake tomorrow?”
The above photo, with stickers identifying me as the blonde, and the caption: “Lets get this editors’ meeting over with, made the presentation board the next day. Everyone laughed, including me. I do have a sense of humor. In fact, I loved the joke so much that I swiped the photo printout and put it into my scrapbook. It still makes me laugh.
The upshot of my beefcake request, meanwhile, is that there were no more cheesecake photos brought into the editors’ meeting. Sometimes you just have to tackle issues by way of a back door.
And always scrapbook, so that memories, and belly laughs, can be relived.
Bean’s Pat: Totsy Mae http://tinyurl.com/ll74neu I absolutely adore this artist’s fantastic watercolors.