Friday, 22 November 2013

The L.A. Observer

I wrote this story about work at the newspaper and always being happy with who you are and to never let anyone get in your way of success. I hope you like it!

“Deadline in 5 minutes!” the boss called out poking his head out of his office door. I typed the last few words for my article before hitting the command P buttons on my MacBook Pro ordering my computer to print the document. I raced to the printer, picked up my freshly printed piece and stapled the 5 pages in order. My feet automatically took charge, ran me to the story drop box and I dropped my article in. Just in time, my boss walked out and screamed in his loud, nasal voice, “Ok, times up, all stories in the dropbox are going in the paper”. Some of the workers cheered and others moaned in disappointed that their article didn't make the cut.

It was late on a Friday night and the deadline for the L.A. Observer had just reached. The office was getting ready for the Sunday Observer to be printed. The night had fallen, the stars were up in the sky twinkling as if they were talking to each other. The owls hooted, the crickets chirped and the disturbing sound of traffic was heard across the silent office as I got ready to leave the office and head home. I packed my stuff into my red purse and opened the wooden door just when my boss, Mr. Damon Wagner came out of his office.

He rubbed his eyes and yawned. He seemed tired. He called me over asking me to wait for him. I rolled my eyes. I didn't really like him, mainly because he didn't like me, well atleast I think he doesn't like me. I stood there awkwardly desperate to go home and snuggle into my soft bed and have a good nights sleep. “Your piece better be good, I hope” he said as the two of us walked out the door. “You and me both sir” I called out as we went our different ways to our cars. Mr. Wagner was a tough man. His eyes sagged down covered up by his thick brows and furrows. His balding head looked good with his white shirt, grey suit and red tie. His bitten nails were signs of nervousness and his wrinkles showed signs of aging. He was a good man, but could get pretty nasty if you turn in a bad article or just annoyed him on his bad days.

I jumped into my silver convertible and popped in my 90’s Rock music CD into the player and turned on the ignition. I reversed my car out of the parking space and drove out the office grounds as I rocked out to the Spice Girls “Wannabe”. The drive home was long and irritating considering the huge amount of traffic and the horrible drivers who constantly popped their heads out to yell at other bad drivers. I finally reached my apartment by the Santa Monica Pier, opened the door, dropped my bag on the floor and collapsed on the couch. I quickly opened up some cup noodles, heated the water up, made it and watched “America’s Next Top Model” while I ate. It was the final episode of cycle 19. Laura James walked down the runway followed by Kiara Belen. I cheered them on as each of the 3 finalists went ahead in the competition. Finally, the winner was announced. “And America’s Next Top Model is………. Laura James” I jumped and screamed in my living room, which was pretty pathetic considering there was no one to share the excitement with. After the show was over, I went to bed.

It was Monday. The wonderful weekend had passed and now it was time to go to work. I got dressed in my regular white blouse and black pencil skirt and added a pair of red stilettos to spice it up a bit. I ate my breakfast, which was always toast and a cup of coffee, black, unsweetened, no foam. After that, I tied my brown wavy hair up and put on some lip balm. I got out of the house and jumped in my car stopping at Starbucks on the way to pick up the coffee for my boss. It was my job to do that every Monday and Tuesday. I walked from there to the office which was just a block away.I dropped the coffee in Mr. Wagner office and walked to my desk. A copy of today’s newspaper lying there, which was normal, but their was something unusual next to it. It was an envelope which had my name written on it. I immediately recognized the handwriting to be my boss’s. I ripped it open and read it.

Hi Diane,

Bad news coming your way. Your piece was terrible, it was like you had not learnt anything the past year you have worked here. I just cannot keep someone who writes like that. I need you to pack your stuff up. Your resignation should be on my desk by tomorrow afternoon.

-Damon Wagner
(Editor, The L.A. Observer)

I read the piece of paper over and over again until it finally sunk in that I had just been fired. I could see my colleagues eyeing me with a disappointed look on their face as if they knew that I had just been fired. A tear welled up in my eye as I pulled out the papers I had put up on the corkboard by my desk. I looked at the pictures which were put up there, the picture of me and my colleague, Amy on our shopping trip and the one with me and Adam, the intern on our fishing trip. We both looked happy because we had just caught out first. The cards that I had received on my birthday laid on a pile in a big box as everyone watched me pack my items up in shame. I put the pen stand into the box and looked at my strangely empty desk. I ripped out a paper from my office notebook and scribbled down my resignation. As I wrote this heart-wrenching piece I began to think about all the articles I wrote for the paper, all the times I woke up early to get coffee for my boss, all the times I spent editing my piece and making it just right until I finally realized that my whole life revolved around the paper. I did everything for the paper, I didn't have any friends outside of work, and I spent every minute of my life thinking whether my story was good enough or if I had done exactly what I was told to.

I remembered all the times my boss said my story is not good enough and how he criticised my until I finally realised that I have better things to do in life than always hoping that I am good enough. Why should I care about what that old man who doesn't know anything about modern minds thinks of me? I am GOOD ENOUGH! I don't know why I ever doubted myself. The progress I have made from the time I started out in the office as an Intern to now, a writer. I know that now, I am better and I have changed in more ways than one. I know that I am amazing in my own way and I should never doubt myself again. It doesn't matter what other people think of me, it matters what I think of me, and I know that now.

3 comments:

  1. Absolutely perfect. As I always say "You are the BEST". I love you.

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  2. This is a really good piece of writing, Urja! I really like how this gives me an insight to what is behind the articles I read. Did this just flow out of you or do you know someone in the industry? Keep it up :)

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  3. amazing as always, Ria love you:)

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