Thursday, July 06, 2006

on trying to earn a salary

For fuck’s sake.

Of all the bloody nerve. Gleaning and writing stories as a journalist often involves cutting through an excruciating amount of bureaucratic red tape, this I know. But this is just pants.

It’s not like I’m writing a story about how the UN is embezzling Saudi Arabian oil money to finance Kofi Annan’s crack habit, or like how Osama Bin Laden is living in a penthouse apartment on New York’s 5th fucking Avenue on US government scraps, or even that I know who killed Roger bloody Kebble here. The stuff I get to write about is about as exciting as watching Bonnie’s Best Buys in a padded cell, you understand.

I write about retailing, merchandising and branding food and beverage products. Riveting stuff. So riveting in fact, I almost fell asleep when I wrote that sentence.

You’d think this would be easy. It’s not like I sit with a dictaphone on the Western Front dodging bullets, I have to liaise with head office’s of large supermarkets and such.
Well.
These head office people are apparently hiding the crown jewels and/or state secrets, because they are the cagiest motherfuckers I have ever come across. Try and get an interview with a guy that owns a shop. It’s hard work. It's more admin dealing with franchisees than dealing with celebrity agents when I wrote for a muso-industry magazine. Far more admin for what it’s worth, believe you me.

In a nutshell, I organised an interview with a guy that refurbished a large store at the back-end of Roodepoort. (Living the rock star dream right there.) Unwittingly, he pretended not to know who I was after speaking with him on the phone just this morning and three weeks prior to organise the story.
I drove out there and instead of coming back with a story, I came back with a foul temper, and empty notepad and more loser’s syndrome that I even thought possible.

It’s not like I don’t have a deadline looming over my head like the UFO in Independence Day already.

Fuck everything.

22 comments:

peanut said...

hey peas,
I cover retail etc for a fincial daily.
Let me know if you need some help with specific contacts etc, I know some really jacked up people.
How do I access your email from this site?

Peas on Toast said...

Ah Peanut, what a star, thank you!

My email address is peasontoast@gmail.com

Give me a shout and tell you exactly who I am dealing with at this point.

kyknoord said...

Everything? Just as well Macro's having a special on KY this week.

Peas on Toast said...

Kyknoord, everything.

I've had it. All I have left is my sound system and bath time - the rest, along with my sanity is all up to shit.

PS: Am in bad mood.

zuzula said...

oh hon, i'm so with you! i've been driven absolutely CRAZY this week by a new actress who I was 99 percent certain had just got a part in a massive hit tv show here. So I phoned the publicists. they refused to confirm. I told my editor we should print - I was THAT positive this was the girl.

He chickened out. The publicists finally confirmed THREE HOURS AFTER WE"D GONE TO PRINT... and I lost my exclusive.

Who to hate more? the editor or the publicists?!

Peas on Toast said...

Fuck Z!

What is wrong with people? It's like a power drive for them, that's the bottom line here. Because the press is obviously seen as the scum on the bottom of everyone's shoe, they think they have unyielding power when it comes to calling the shots - all because they can and will.

I need a smoke. Be right back.

PS: Let's quit this media circus and head for Cancun early.

Anonymous said...

Hey queen pea, did not expect another story today so this is not a response to your shit day, sorry:) but an interesting question got sent to me today. "If you were to make a pact with yourself today -- what would it be? Yes we can joke about it, but a sudden reality hits you and you wonder if you could find that 5 minutes of me time to think about. Or is it something that one knows immediately. I found a lot of your stories relating to my life so I was very intrigued to see how you would answer this. Or even how your story would go?xxx

Champagne Heathen said...

Peas, it ain't a jounalism thing. It's a Big-fish-in-a-small-scumpond thing. We all get power-desperate people's flack.

Just write what jounos always write to show people have been useless & unhelpful: "So-and-so could not be contacted for comment". Us the public read it as the person running scared or just being fcking difficult.

Peas on Toast said...

Anon - you know what my pact would be today? "I make a pact not to give a fuck about all the crazy stuff that keeps on happening in my life."

Think it'll work? Will I need marijuana and/or tranquilisers? ;)

Champs - That's what I usually say, with a certain amount of bitterness thrown in: "Mr Fuckwit was not available for comment." Problem is, I need to write a 2 000 word feature. And I don't think that'll fit. ;)

Champagne Heathen said...

Phone his competitors and ask their opinion. I am sure they will supply you with more than enough words and info...

Peas on Toast said...

Champs - I thought about that too. I just have to get into the shop without getting arrested in the first place. And take photos.

Perhaps I should disguise myself, like dress up like a giant piece of fruit or something. ;)

Champagne Heathen said...

Borrow someone's bratty kid, go to the store, stick the screaming child in a trolley, and every other person will try their best to keep as far away from you & the noise as possible. This means no one will be around you long enough to notice what you look like or what you happen to be doing (wielding a camera).

That's all I got for you. My mind's not on today.

Peas on Toast said...

Champs, I love the idea! Even if your mind's not in it, it's the best I've heard all day. :)

Now to find me a screaming kid...:)

Cookie Monster said...

I am happily in love with a journalist and have been for most of her career..... just hang in there you will get to where you want to be. She has been hacking away at journalism for over 10 years. I AM SO PROUD OF HER!

She had the same gripes about the stories she had to write..... today she is wrtiting what she wants and loving it!

So hang in there, you will look back and say it was all school fees!

Peas on Toast said...

Cookie - aren't jounalists just the best? ;)

That's what I'm saying to myself to keep my head about me, Cookie. This is my fourth year of experience, which, in the big picture is nothing. So I'm thinking, this is finishing school. I took this job because of the position I am in at the magazine (deputy ed), but am hoping to move onto better and more exciting things in the future. x

Cookie Monster said...

Get onto the dailys, thats where my beautiful love of my life gained pace and started loving it.... you write so well and I am soooo sure you will get there! She started out with a local paper and grew to a top daily.... Head down, focus on the objective and lets see your name on the front pages shortly.... Oh and she met me when she was a the small paper, see you find all sorts!

Peas on Toast said...

Luckily Cookie, in my short four year journo gig, I've written for different publications. I wrote for a daily, did a website, did consumer magazines, an on a trade publication now, and freelanced some of my stuff around.
The dailies, admittedly, are most exciting. I enjoy writing news, and I like that I had daily deadlines - nothing hung over my head for weeks.

Cookie Monster said...

Well there you have it,I think ya fast tracking the career, good luck and GO GET EM... I deal with retailers all day... all I can say is that they have a certain mentality its called "Little shop and four walls syndrome" They all rate themselves as the top of the food chain all they really are is side cafes with fruit and veg... on that point the french are up tonight and we need the porras out so have a chat to old Zinadan for us! Its Italy and France at Berlin folks!

peanut said...

any luck peas?
In response to the discussion, yip, dailies are the schizzle, but just try meeting that deadline when you have a hang over (like today, go italy).....sure fire cure!!!!! ouch

third roommate said...

roger kebble is still alive. it was brett, his son, that got shot...

Peas on Toast said...

Peanut - still working on it, will let you know if I get a response today. Thanks for all your help.

TR: I realised that only after I posted this. My bad. :)

Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info » »