Wednesday, April 09, 2008

So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright

Goodbye is a hard word to say.

The sound itself is not difficult to produce - it starts with (I'm relying on a couple linguistics classes, now) a plosive, velar consonant made in the back of the mouth with the tongue and soft palate.

Spitting the word out of the mouth isn't hard, it's what goodbye connotes that makes saying those consonants and vowels difficult.

No matter what people say, goodbye means change. Goodbye means distance. Goodbye means gravitating away from a situation of constant presence.

Sometimes goodbye means don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. Most of the time, though, goodbye is said with a sort of sadness.

That's how I feel about my time at Channel 12.

I walked in the door in March 2005 with a bruised, defeated ego. My confidence was completely destroyed by my previous employer and I was woefully insecure about working in a television market two times bigger than Lexington. I was also intimidated by the thought of working at one of the best stations in the nation.

Everything about Local 12 was a polar opposite to my experience in the Bluegrass.

Lexington's newsroom was dominated by youth - the station had one senior reporter to carry the load - the average age in the newsroom skewed toward the mid-twenties.

Local 12 brimmed with experience - a majority of the newsroom was in their late 30s to early 40s, with most of the reporting staff in their 40s and 50s. Local 12 also brimmed with great ratings, great recognition and a great reputation.

The accolades are fine and dandy, but it's how I was treated that I will always remember.

I heard a relevant quote just today from the COO at my new office (stick with me, that info is on the way): People will not always remember the words you said or the things you did, but they will always, always remember how you made them feel.

How profound is that?

There are a few people and a few experiences I will remember shrouded in a cloud of negativity, but by in large I will recall the exceptional goodwill that flourished at Local 12. I will remember the kind moments I shared with many people while working in that newsroom, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Local 12 gave me an opportunity to find my confidence. Local 12 gave me a chance to flex my producing muscles and grow as a broadcast journalist. Local 12 opened up the chance to meet so many incredible people, a phenomenal group of individuals whom I will never forget.

Thank you - my friends at Local 12. You know who you are, and I know who you are, and hopefully that means we won't go long before saying hello once more.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Now, for the new job bit.

I started feeling some career growing pains about a year ago.

About a year earlier, I dove head first into the world of volunteering and discovered so many wonderful opportunities to help the community. I became a member of the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2006 and that introduced me to the wide array of needs around town. I spent time at a local battered women's shelter, I ushered at performances of the Cincinnati Ballet. A couple months ago I was voted onto the board of trustees for a local agency that battles child abuse.

At the same time, I really started evaluating the direction I was headed in life. The broadcasting business is a road paved with relocations and unusual shift demands. I decided I didn't want to dig up the roots I worked so hard to cultivate - but I didn't want to get stuck in a situation with no mobility.

My priorities shifted - no longer was I the rockin' party girl I knew so well in my 20s. I had become a volunteer with a vested interest in making my community a better place.

I wanted to honor the duration of my contract, so I waited until January to look for opportunities out of the tee vee business. It was all prompted by a conversation I had with my platonic boyfriend Jos - I guess you could say I owe my new job to him.

A few days in to the new gig - I know this career change is spot on.

I now work in the marketing department at the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. Ours is the ninth biggest out of 1300 United Way agencies in the nation - a daunting statistic that intimidates me. My particular position is dedicated to the media relations aspect of marketing, and I am anxious to use my experience, my know-how and my connections to help publicize the United Way and the 150 local agencies it helps financially support.

I am a little bit scared about this new venture, but I know fear is a good thing. It will help motivate me, push me and challenge me to learn new things about an entirely different profession.


NB-C said...

FINALLY!!!!! You always could write one hell of a tease!

Congratulations! You will be great! And, if your experience is anything like mine, you'll feel like a total dumbass for about a year and then you'll get the hang of life away from all the tv bullshit.....

Denae said...

Kate- I am so proud of you for stepping out on this new adventure. Your leadership and communication skills will shine in this position and you have your own office space! And...what's that? Holidays off? Woohoo!!

The Notorious N.A.T said...

That sounds fantastic Katy! Congratulations for making the leap! Sounds like a great opportunity to make a difference!

JAB said...

Congrats on the new gig!!! Good luck!

Kate The Great said...

Thank you so much, you guys, for all your well wishes! I am really excited about this new opportunity and the chance it provides for personal and professional growth. I must say, I am also looking forward to having my holidays off!