Tuesday, September 03, 2002

US&J scribe takes up juggling ...

Forgive me if I seem confused or disoriented.

You see, I'm in the middle of moving.

Not in the literal sense. More figuratively.

I'm switching jobs.

I'll still be with the Union-Sun & Journal, but doing different things ... covering different things.

Instead of City Hall and the Lockport School Board, it will be town and village halls and the Roy-Hart and Barker school boards.

For two years, I covered the city and all it entails. What a rush it can be covering the politicrats in Lockport. Constant fodder, I assure you. I seldom
- if ever - lacked for something to do.

But, you see, it wears you down.

So when the opportunity presented itself for me to split my time between being an editor for our fine publication and covering the easternmost part of Eastern Niagara County, I didn't take too much time to make up my mind.

I can't imagine that I'm going to regret my decision, either.

There are difficulties, mind you.

You know how once you really know what you're doing, your job gets easier and easier? Second nature almost?

Well, I had hit that plateau. I was in the zone. (My self-opinion may be somewhat overinflated, but someone's got to think highly of me.)

Anyway, back to the moral.

So, now that I'm in a different ZIP code, I'm not sure where the zone is any more.

I have a huge learning curve to overcome, too.

I have a lot of people to get to know.

Their likes, dislikes, kids' names. You name it. (I've got to fill my Palm Pilot up with something.)

But I'm in that odd sort of situation that we all put ourselves in occasionally
- like when we go to our spouse's family reunion for the first time and don't know ANYONE.

For them, it's easy. One new name to remember.

"Scott Leffler. Lockport Journal. I'll be covering your town now."

For me, though, I'm taking in way too much information to be good for me.

I'm meeting supervisors, board members, clerks, attorneys, dog catchers.

"So let me get this straight. Your name is Fluffy and you cast the tie-breaking vote on whether or not to call a snow day?"

And that's per town.

Now take into account the fact that my move has me covering ... (deep breath) ... Royalton, Hartland, Middleport, Somerset, the Village of Barker, the Barker School District and the Roy-Hart School District.

That's a whole lot of dog catchers to learn. (Roy-Hart doesn't have a dog catcher. At least I don't think so.)

Plus, I'm holding on to an old staple of mine, Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems.

At least that's the same. Well, except that they have a new spokesperson - Barbara Barkley replaced Doug Hoy about two months ago
- who for the life of me I can't seem to find time to sit down with for introductions.

Splitting my time up eight different ways in only three days (I did mention that I'm also editing part-time, right?) makes the calendar function on my Palm Pilot incredibly useful. The calculator part, too.

Some of the meeting people has been somewhat daunting, but I think I can handle it.

I am, after all, good with people. (There goes the self-opinion meter again.)

As long as I can stay organized, I'm sure I'll be fine.

And if not, maybe I can convince Roy-Hart that they need a dog catcher.