Whenever I go on work experience, why is there always a McDonald's in the near vicinity? I did not plan this, account for this or even welcome this, let's just leave it to say there was a bad experience at my last work placement due to a bad encounter with a typical fast food employee and a wanted number. Yet regardless of yesteryears horrors, I set out, with perhaps not the most promising start, to a week of what is most likely to be making tea, with perhaps the occasional variation of coffee. After finally navigating my way around the unhelpful and clueless roads which make up our countrie's industrial estates I finally managed to find the building, I was pleased to note you could most certainly not catch any glimpse of those famous golden arches, and even better not even a trace smell of any deep fried "delights" that may be on offer.
As per usual we'd managed to get first day timing down to a tee - you leave way to early, just in case the world collapses, and end up sitting out side for half an hour, not only looking like a world class idiot, but slowly falling prey to those creeping nerves you never knew existed. When it finally was time to make my grand entrance I was greeted by a friendly woman who gave me the tour of the building, being the local paper offices the big tour didn't last long, but I was quite pleased to find I had been allocated a fully functioning work desk, the height of technology with a phone, swivel chair, PC and even my own rubbish bin.
No sooner had I sat down, just getting comfy it my high back, fully adjustable swivel chair, a young looking woman rushed over saying she was just about to go out to follow up an incident to which the fire brigade had been called to last night - did I want to tag along? Now don't get me wrong. . I wasn't expecting the reporters lounged around all day but I wasn't expecting The Times either. So off we trundle in a small little car which appeared to contain half of Next's shoe department on the floor to some obscure little walkway I've never even heard of. I'm sure you can imagine the fun we had with me trying to read a map ("Is this even the right way up?"). When we finally do arrive at our destination, we're awaited by a house drenched in water from a burst boiler - not quite the high end excitement I was expecting, and the busy family give us the boot in favour of yelling at council.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure the boiler incident was quite nasty but I didn't really think it was that exciting and newsworthy, or worth more than a mention. I guess that's my Journalism instincts shot considering it landed the front page head line on next weeks issue. Back at base I'm given my very own lead, a local boy is going to Uganda so I'm the one who's going to have to write it up and suchlike. Oh I do like it when people take you're name on the phone, thinking you're a real reporter! "Jemma Collins, North Devon Journal" . . I'm beginning to like this more and more. .
Moral Of The Day - Little things are apparently quite exciting in the world of local journalism. . ?