I have been a trainee for two weeks now, an intern since the start of the year and for the past four or five years I have dabbled in "journalism" (I put it in quotes, because I also wrote articles about being a groupie for skijumpers, which isn't really journalism. It's not really anything. And let's be honest, this blog isn't a breeding ground for newspaperworthy topics, is it?). And I have noticed a few things, that apparently happen to anyone working as a journalist. Want a fun trip inside my working life? Yeah you do. (And yes, I am aware that this is basically just a buzzfeed list. But that's what I'm reading these days. Buzzfeed. Because that's all my brain accepts at five in the fucking morning. Check #11 for reference...)
#1 Your caffeine intake rises dramatically
Coffee and Coca Cola are the beverages most consumed in our office. Everyone has a mild (read: severe) caffeine addiction. The day the coffee machine breaks, will be the day someone loses their head. Game of Thrones style. Which I know, because...
#2 You will get "nerdified"
All your colleagues (or at least the vast majority) are massive nerds. If you're not already one, you should get into it ASAP. I am not only talking fantasy books and sci-fi series, I am talking literature nerds, political nerds, computer nerds, boys that play video games during large portions of the day and looohoooong conversations about computer programmes. Get yourself a copy of "Geekologie for Dummies" today or you will become the social paria of your office.
#3 You start every other sentence with "We did a feature about that..."
Whatever the topic, whatever your degree of knowledge about it - you will come off like an expert (or an extremely annoying know-it-all). Which will lead to your friends wanting to strangle you. "Have you heard about that knew sewage plant around the corner?" - "Yeah, we did a feature about that...". "Have you heard about that mayor that did a lot of cocaine off his secretary's stomach?" - "Yeah, I actually interviewed him. And his secretary. And I took a sniff out of her navel as well..." Let's be honest, you'll get some awesome stories out of it, but don't overdo it.
#4 You'll buy a lot of Apple products.
Two years ago I had a regular mobile phone. Now I own an Iphone, an Ipad and a Macbook. I have heard that this is a common development, yes?! (because that's what I told my mum...)
#5 You suddenly know a shitload of people
Especially in local journalism, you will have to call and contact the same people over and over again. And then you run into them at press conferences or a party. And all of a sudden you have a hundred facebook friends more and you'll wonder how the hell you met all of these people. (Don't get me wrong, in most cases this is a fun development. ... Alright, it's fifty-fifty...)
Also: Sometimes you will meet "celebrities" (or: really cute guys) which will be a highlight of your work days. The picture above still makes female colleagues of mine go "Awwwww....I CANT BELIEVE YOU GOT TO MEET HIM AND I DIDN'T!"
#6 Your alcohol intake rises dramatically
I have a colleague who claims that there is a direct link between journalism and alcoholism. He may be right. These people can chuck away a lot. Cheerio!
#7 You suddenly use weird abbreviations that none of your friends will understand.
"Well, I did a TI with him this morning, and..." - "You did a what?" - "TI. Telephone Interview. Try to keep up!" My friends might hate me by now...
#8 You see a story in everything
And by that, I mean everything. When I caught myself thinking about how I could turn a story my friend told me about her weird ex-boyfriend into a news-feature, I realised I needed help...
#9 You think you are doing world-changing, Pulitzer price worthy work
When in fact, you are working on a feature about a rare species of bats that live in a railroad tunnel. Or talk about the hottest football players, that play in the world cup (which is more fun, than Pulitzer price worthy journalism anyways...).
#10 You go on at least 4 different news sites before breakfast.
And on Twitter on your way to work. Just in case you missed something really important.
And, last but not least:
#11 You work really odd hours
Nights, Sundays, late evenings, or - in my very fun case - from five in the morning to midday. Which makes for interesting lunch times (I recently had lunch before 11 am) and fun moments, when you have gone to bed at nine in the evening and your neighbour rings your doorbell to borrow some salt. You also feel constantly jetlagged and start crying over soy milk (don't even ask). I have been told that this is a rite of passage. I also am too tired to protest.