So a few of you have asked when the Hack stories are coming back.
I'm very aware that at the end of the last series I said, blithely, that more stories would come in January or February. But the truth is, I've tried to write a new batch and I have failed. The problem is this:
My philosophy, when I started this blog, was Make fun only of myself. I have wanted this to be a fun and entertaining place, not a confessional, and I have avoided (for the most part) dark topics, complaining, ranting, and angry stories about work.
So when I tried writing the next series of Hack stories, which I was calling "The Hack Gets Edited," I ran into trouble.
I had some amusing stories of being edited (when I tell you the "slam bam thank you ma'am" story you will all laugh, I think) but the problem was that I had a lot of angry stories, too.
There was one editor in particular who was more than a thorn in my side--he almost drove me out of the business. When I started writing the editor stories I couldn't not write about him. Yet writing about him stirred up my anger all over again.
I found myself writing two or three bitter, angry, furious ranting Hack stories that are not in the spirit of the series and are not what I want to share with any of you.
You have enough frustrating and agitating stories of your own.
A few years ago, I ran into a woman named Julie, who also used to work with this guy. I had not seen her in more than 15 years, and when we got past the "how have you been?!" and the "is that really you?!" we both spontaneously started talking about this editor.
We were in a bookstore in Uptown in Minneapolis, and I was with one of my brothers. Julie and I stood in the aisle and let fly. We ranted. We swapped outrageous stories of his abusive treatment, his patronizing speeches, his condescending treatment of women, and his absolutely arbitrary editing. We interrupted each other, our words tumbling over each other in our eagerness to share our pain.
My brother kept kind of sidling up to us to see if I was ready to go, and I just waved him away, and kept talking.
Julie and I talked for more than an hour.
It was that bad.
And when I left the bookstore, I did not feel better. I felt all stirred up and frustrated and angry all over again.
I realize that I'm piquing your curiosity about this guy, but the stories aren't even that interesting. He was patronizing, condescending, unskilled, biased, and extremely sexist. He was also the most un-self-aware person i have ever met; to this day, if you asked him about me, he would smile with great cheerfulness and tell you that we are good friends.
I can't post those Hack stories. I have to think of a different angle.
So instead of January (obviously) or February, let's say that the Hack will show up again maybe in March. or April.
I'm not giving up. Just asking for an extension on my deadline.
In the meantime, here's another picture of me taken during my reporting days. I was covering floods in Carlton County. Either because I look like I'm about to smooch this guy, or maybe because I'm standing in several inches of water, this photo ended up on the newsroom bulletin board for days, until I took it down.
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