After a month of working at The Virginian Review I can tell you that very little has changed since my departure four years ago.
The faces are still the same, the people I'm dealing with are still the same and the job is even still the same. There are a few cosmetic changes, but it's more or less the same place I left a few years ago. The sweet times to be in the newsroom are between 12:30 and 1 o'clock in the afternoon and that final half hour of the day that begins at 4:30. Those are the two most peaceful times at The Virginian Review. At 12:30 the day's paper has been sent across the hall to the press and there are 30 minutes left, on an average day, to kick back, talk and wait for the clock to tell us to go to lunch. At 4:30 things tend to be more or less wrapped up for the day and there comes a point somewhere in there where you decide you've done all you're going to do for the day and you start browsing the AP news wire or the Internet until the clock says it's time to go home.
This job has its moments, though. Two of them are going to come around this weekend. Friday and Saturday evening you'll be able to find me on the streets of Clifton Forge and Covington watching the Christmas parades roll by. There isn't a thing I can do while the parade is going on, but I'm supposed to be there. True, it's overtime, but I could write the story without ever laying eyes on a single float. The boss man prefers that I be there, however, so I will be.
Among the employees of the paper there is a lot of goofing off and a great deal of an attitude that's too far away from doing the job right in the first place. Frankly, I don't care if I have to go spend extra time covering events that don't hold my interest. After nine months of unemployment, I'm happier than a bird with a french fry just having a job again.