I worked my second GA shift today. GA = general assignment. It’s like being a doctor on call. Only you’re a doctor who tells stories.
What always scares me about GA shifts is the stress in the newsroom. Early morning in the newsroom before things get crazy is pretty nice though. It’s peaceful and you (read: me) can really focus.
But then when I return from class in the afternoon, it gets crazy. Everyone is in the newsroom. Everyone is on the phone. Everyone is typing furiously and disseminating information as fast as possible.
Some people perform well under pressure. Some people claim they actually perform BEST under pressure. I fall in neither of those categories. When the pressure’s on my mind goes blank. All the possible ideas race through my head and I can’t nail down a solid thought. I stare at the screen like a deer in headlights. My heart starts to race and I start to get really hot. And the thing is, the whole time I am undergoing this heart-pounding, heat-inducing brain fart, I KNOW I need to be trying reallllly hard to get everything done but I still cannot function.
So, you can imagine how well I was functioning when I was trying to write two stories at once, while awaiting two phone calls (crucial sources for each story) and an email. Live tweet from this afternoon:
“this job is going to send me into cardiac arrest #stressedtweet”
But hey, the good news is I got it done. #ithinkitcan