Thursday, May 29, 2008

I saw the president. I think.

First day on the job at the Park Record, and what do you think happens? That's right, the President of the United States comes to visit Deer Valley and his entourage passes right through Park City, right along the street where I work. It was crazy-go-nuts.

This is when they blocked off the road in anticipation of his coming. No, really; I mean no one in, no one out. The cop you can kind of see to the right was nervously eying a guy on crutches, like he didn't really need them and would try to huck one at the limousine.

Here's the motorcycle cop escort. There were at least 14 of them.

I think that one rather far-off limousine with the police lights was the actual transport for the President, although the whole entourage was zipping through town at about 60 mph, so while that thought was going through my head, it was gone.

From what I could tell, my coworkers are all Bush haters and mocked him and the procession the entire time it was happening. I don't know if I'm going to fit in here...Not that I love Bush, but he is our President.

In other work news, it's the classic "How is this job going to work out?" phase of work where I don't know what people think of me and I actually kind of care. Can I joke with them? Should I tell them the actual title of the book I'm reading? (The Belgariad) Do they want help with their work or do they want to do it themselves at their own pace? Mostly, I'm just hoping they don't hate me as much as the last guy in my position. They talk about him all the time and it makes me hope I'm not the next one...

Monday, May 19, 2008

I got the job!

Well, all, the waiting is finally over, 'cause I got the job at the Park Record! The hiring guy wrote me an email to ask if I wanted to accept the position and when I could start. I said, "Heck yes!" and "A week from Tuesday." Ah, getting my gall bladder out and not being able to start, say, tomorrow. Oh well. This way I can get some surgery done AND start a job soon after. The Lord, as always, knew what I needed.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A conversation of an interview

Well, I've done it; after waiting and fretting over the interview at the Park Record, it finally came and it was great.

I got a little lost right at the exit, but then got on the right track and got there 15 minutes early, although it still took me about an hour to get there. I checked in with the secretary and sat back to wait with a copy of the Record they had laying on a bookshelf. It definitely had good design for such a small paper.

Then the interviewer came in and we were ready to go. We went to the conference room and he basically told me about the job. I felt like it was a conversation rather than an interview, which was marvelous. It was shop talk between two people in the newspaper industry. He told me they were a bi-weekly, what their production cycle was, that they had corporate backing from the company who owned the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, and a lot of other things I don't remember now.

The best thing about this guy is that he was genuine: when he asked me if I had any questions, I didn't feel like it was a test I might fail. I felt he was really asking me if I had questions -- what a revelation! He looked at my portfolio and gave me feedback on it, which was also amazing. He liked my temple layout. I felt I would like working in the environment he set up.

He said he was interviewing another person for sure and possibly another person after that, but he needed to make his decision by the end of the month, and he'd let me know in the next week or two. All in all, I feel good about it and it was the most easy-going interview I've ever been in, which was the best part.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The State Republican Convention

This column could possibly be appearing in the Scroll, this coming issue (Tuesday, May 13).

Reminiscent of the atmosphere of a high school assembly, except a little louder, the Utah Republican Convention convened Sat., May 10 at 10 a.m.

This was not my introduction to the 2008 race, since I’d attended a lunch hosted by Chris Cannon with my dad -- who’s a state delegate and incredibly involved. He knew I’d just graduated with a degree in Communication and my emphasis in journalism. Oh, and that I’m insatiably curious, especially about how government runs.

It was a fascinating experience. The UVSC McKay Events Center was decked out in an advertiser’s dream: signs, booths and even golf carts bore marks of candidates. I wondered if the overwhelming barrage of names truly affected voters; I was of the opinion that it didn’t, but I’ll tell you what did affect them: the speeches of various candidates.

When talking to a neighbor and fellow delegate, we discussed the fact that each candidate for Congress had some sort of flaw that made them unappealing. But how do you decide which flaw is the worst? The neighbor had decided to keep his judgment on hold until the speeches, to see what they had to say, and vote based on the strength of their speaking.

The first couple of speeches by candidates for Congress were interesting; one focused on the fact that the United States was becoming the North American Union, with no borders between Canada or Mexico. Another talked of a Peacemaker Bill that didn’t make any sense. It kind of made me feel good to see that even if you’re a bit of a crazy, you can still run for office and get a forum for your ideas. The Convention is set up to weed those people out, but at least they get a chance to speak at all. My dad told me to run for the Senate you go down to a courthouse, fill out some paperwork and pay $50.

The other couple of speeches were by those who were the serious contenders for Congress: David Leavitt, Jason Chaffetz and Chris Cannon. In my mind, there was a clear winner if an award for the best speech could be given: Jason Chaffetz addressed issues, told people he wouldn‘t overspend, like he did with his campaign, and was overall the best speaker of the three.

I was amazed at the opposition against Chris Cannon -- people started booing when he was announced and continued to boo every chance they got. It reminded me of elementary school and made me wonder how people could be so disrespectful. Even if I didn’t agree with what someone was saying, I would never boo someone.

How old was this assembly anyway? Near the end of the day, when it had been going on seven hours, it became apparent that everyone had the attention span of 4-year-olds and I thought pitchforks and torches were going to come out if they were made to wait any longer.

The race was close against Chaffetz and Cannon; so much so that a third round of voting needed to take place to see if there would be a state Republican primary. My dad stayed to the last round, casting his vote and being one to decide if there would be a primary election between the two, which ended up being the case. If a candidate wins 60 percent of the vote, there isn’t a primary. Chaffetz won 59 percent of the vote, helping Cannon squeak by to a primary.

Through it all, I was wondering how to know what to believe what these people were telling me. Will they do what they say? Should we give someone a chance who has never been to Congress or give someone who has experience another four years in office to possibly use their seniority as a plus? I guess once they find out how to tell if people mean what they’re saying, it will be the millennium -- until that point, it’s up to us to figure it out. So go out and vote!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Another possibility

Well, as you all know, I've been hunting (and somewhat fishing) around for a job these past few weeks, and I think I've hit upon a keeper.

When I was looking through Craig's List for job ideas, I came upon a really old one from March that was just about perfect for what I want to do: page layout and design at the Park City Record.

I didn't really have a hope the job was still available, but having a feeling I should apply, I faxed my cover letter and resume to them all the same.

It had been a week since that point, and I decided to check back up with them about the job, just in case, yesterday afternoon, so I sent an email to the production department and got one back today.

The guy said there had been a hiring freeze shortly after he made that ad, and that he'd received my cover letter and resume, but now there wasn't, and a job came up just yesterday that he'd like to talk to me about! I haven't heard back from him yet, but when I do, I'll let y'all know. :)