I’m sure I’m one of millions of Americans who isn’t always able to enjoy a full weekend, and overall it doesn’t bother me too much. After all, the two-day break from work is a relatively recent development. I know that somewhere in the Bible there’s a passage or two suggesting that if one day of rest is good enough for God, it’s good enough for you. Apparently business leaders, with a little prodding from labor unions, eventually realized that taking an extra day off from a job that doesn’t involve creating the universe is a good thing for your workforce.
This past summer, I wrote about : those days where you expect you’ll be spending Saturday and Sunday just kicking back and maybe tackling a bit of housework and wind up heading out on an adventure instead. Of course, there are also those days when the weekend is interrupted by an avalanche of unexpected work.
In my case, this started on Friday night. I’d been advised to expect a press conference regarding issues raised by the police chief, but thought it had fizzled out when ’s regular hours closed without notice of one. When I was informed that the mayor would hold a presser a little later, I was mid-way through cooking dinner. At a fortunate midway point, it turned out; I spirited the components of a ziti into the fridge and wound up resuming the meal the next day. I joked with the mayor’s staff that I would have demanded a relocation of the press conference to my apartment if the dish had been in the middle of its bake period.
Then came Saturday, when I already expected I’d be paying a visit to to write up an article for the next day. Any expectation that I’d have an easy go of things went out the window when I checked my Blackberry and saw that a long-anticipated report on the police chief’s accusations had been leaked to the media. A lengthy breaking news story thus became part of what had been a fairly sparse list of things to do.
I recently realized that journalism bears some similarities to the DEAR program that many of us had in school. Well, maybe just the acronym and most of its meaning. There are certainly things I to merit a weekend all-hands-on-deck rush to dash off an article. For other stories, there’s obviously enough of a public interest to make the effort. In that case, the only course is Drop Everything And Report.
This other kind of unexpected weekend can be a little aggravating at times. But it can also be an exhilarating experience. Judging by the number of comments the past weekend’s stories received, it was certainly worth it.
But please, no more dinnertime press conferences. My kitchen’s on the small side, and I don’t think I could fit everyone in there.