When you spend ten hours a day with your co-workers in intense situations, you get to know each other quite well and you even pick up each other’s habits. Back in my television reporting days, I spent many of those hours with the photojournalists on staff. In pairs we covered fires, court trials, feature stories and plenty of meetings. After a while we each discovered how we worked best and we tried to play to each other’s strengths.
Chief Photographer Dave had seen many reporters come and go and he was familiar with training them in. We worked together for six years and learned each other’s quirks. Dave is all about efficiency and his ideas rubbed off easily on someone self-diagnosed with ‘obsessive compulsive disorder’.
Gas station stops while traveling took five minutes, tops. Get inside, get what you need, and get back in the car. It’s ruined me for traveling with other people and really, it’s hard for me to just need to chill out. We need to get there! Get back in the car!
Dave told me something that would change my life forever. While running errands on his day off, he plans his route so he will make as many right handed turns as possible – it’s the same way UPS plots its delivery routes. I tried it once and I won’t run errands any other way.
But this knowledge didn’t always flow so easily in my direction.
For my first few months at the station, Dave didn’t talk much while we were working together and I was pretty sure he hated me.
On a trip out of town in Lakes Country, the beautiful summer weather was the best backdrop for a drive and the waves in a lake along Highway 10 made for the perfect piece of video. While Dave set up near the lake, I stayed in the car with the window open, writing my script for the story.
I thought it odd that he began walking back to the car right away; I thought he must have forgotten something. He opened the driver’s side door and I saw him throw something through the air toward me. When I finally realized what was going on, it was too late to scream or to dodge the object.
It was a frog. And it landed in my bag.
Having not gotten the screaming reaction he had hoped for, he told me I better get that frog out of my bag or it would stay there.
“Fine,” I told him.
I reached in the bag, grabbed the frog and walked it back down to the lake. (I was dying inside, but I wasn’t going to let him see that). I got back in the car like nothing happened and Dave was extremely disappointed that his plan backfired.
He may have failed on his mission to torment me with a flying amphibian, but over the years he “ruined me” when it comes to inefficiency. He should take comfort in that. Thanks Dave.