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It’s good to get out of the office

June 26, 2008 - Diane Speer
There I was, 10:30 in the morning, comfortably ensconced in a porch chair, gazing out at picturesque Grand Lake from the 216-foot long back deck of the Fireside Inn — and all the while getting paid. Course I had my reporter’s notebook in hand and my camera at my side, and I was listening to resort owner Lori VanSchoten tell me what makes her visitors return to the Fireside Inn year after year after year. As if by just sitting there and breathing in the unique atmosphere, I couldn’t feel and see the superb draw of a quintessential Northern Michigan fixture that is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008. But I was there for an interview and some photos for a feature on the inn that will run in The Alpena News in mid-July, and so VanSchoten played the perfect host, sharing scads of pertinent details while I took notes — and gazed at the view.

Yes, I do like my job. Ask any of us who work here in the newsroom and we will tell you that we certainly get our share of complaints from the general public about everything from why we didn’t cover a particular event to why we ran a particular story to why we made a particular mistake. Over time, we all just learn to take disgruntled people in stride, knowing that each day we process through a large volume of information and photos with a small-size staff, and though we try our best and are dedicated, some things just are not going to get covered and some errors are just going to make it into print.

For me personally, the joys of the job usually far outweigh the complaints. Where else can I work and meet such interesting people, visit such interesting places and then get to write about them? Give me a portion of a morning spent relaxing at a wonderful place like the Fireside Inn — all in the name of work — and I’ll cheerfully field a complaint call or two once I return to the office.


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