It doesn’t seem like seven years have passed since my first day at the Clayton News Daily, but they have.
Wednesday will mark the lucky seventh anniversary of my hiring by this newspaper. Yes, I have been a thorn in everyone’s side for that long. Cake and presents will be accepted but they aren’t required if you’re a reader. If you’re a co-worker in either the Clayton News Daily or Henry Daily Herald newsrooms — well let’s just say I’ll be making a list.
I still remember my first day. It was a Tuesday and my first assignment was covering a celebrity reading event at Lewis Academy of Excellence. This was back when it operated out of a church in Riverdale. Then-Riverdale Mayor Phaedra Graham and the city’s police chief, Thetus Knox, were the celebrity readers.
I got lost on my way to the school because I couldn’t find King Street from Ga. Highway 85. It was my first time in Riverdale and it can be easy to miss things on Ga. 85. Cut me some slack. I probably still couldn’t find it from that highway.
Since then, I’ve drawn the ire of elected officials, school superintendents, public information officers, a homeowners association, Clayton County NAACP leaders, Republicans and ABBA fans from Australia.
I maintain to this day that you should not upset ABBA fans. They are the worst group to elicit anger from because they will call you things you never thought people would actually call other people outside of the movies.
So, the big thing I’m excited about with this anniversary is that I’ve heard I can become eligible for more vacation every year now. I’m really hoping that’s true because an extra week away every year will do me wonders.
We all have our reasons for looking forward to a vacation, whether our job is stressful or unstable, or even if we feel neglected and underappreciated by our bosses. Trust me girls and boys, I know your pain. I won’t go into details of how I know, but you can rest assured that I understand you.
That is why God created vacations. It wasn’t part of the whole “In seven days God created the universe and man” bit, but he did create it. I think it was around the time of the Industrial Revolution when man thought it was a good idea for everyone to work on machines that could maim or kill them.
You’d have to be crazy to not want a break from that every now and again. Vacations are more than nice trips to far off places. They are the peace of mind you get from knowing you are out of the clutches of your boss for a week or two. That means you don’t have to look at their ugly mugs, receive bullying texts from them or listen to their grating voices.
They can text you and mockingly say “We’re having a pizza party and you don’t get any pizza because you’re on vacation.” You can respond with “I’m sipping Chardonnay in front of the Palais de Chaillot — with a view of the Jardins du Trocadero, River Seine and the Eiffel Tower laid out before me. I win.”
An extra week every year away from work? Oh yeah, I’ll take that. It’s an extra week I can spend in Europe every year. Another week around people doing things that would be lawless in the U.S., pick-pockets, camera-laden tourists and sweaty vendors shelling out cheap souvenirs.
That sounds like heaven to me.