So I've been back home now for three whole weeks. Three! It's a short time really - since I came back my parents have flown to Vienna, done a cruise up the Danube to Budapest (copycats!) and returned. A lightning trip for them!
I guess the most exciting news is that I am no longer an unemployed bum. I am an EMPLOYED bum. I have managed by some universial benediction to pick up work at 4BC. 1116 AM, if you want to tune in. You know the one, it's the station with John Laws!
Well, I'm very happy to be working here. It's casual, and that suits me fine at the moment. It's a different news system ("Newsroom" instead of "NewsBoss") so there's lots of new things to learn and mistakes to make. I'm good at those. ;)
The biggest difference is with a larger news staff, 4BC attends a lot more media conferences. I've been working for a week now, and I've attended about 10 conferences. Back at Austereo I might do one a week (smaller newsroom). So I'm having to learn how to use splitter boxes and mini-disks and line-ins and T-Marks and stuff. So obviously, with my technological clumsiness matching my physical ineptitude, there was always going to be problems!
Yesterday I went to the Post Cabinet conference in the Executive Building in George St. No probs, had been there before, managed to get in, set up, and start joking with the guy from A Current Affair next to me. Then our Premier Peter Beattie came out, and I started recording. No sound. I checked the plugs. No sound. I changed the plugs, which involved me leaning over the desk ungracefully. Still no sound. I had a minor internal panic attack, and decided I'd get what I could using just the old "hold the microphone up and hope it picks up some sound" technique. I had a listen in with my earphones and yep...it was pretty terrible. So I made a move to leave, (it was nearing the end anyway), and passed Beattie's press secretary Fiona. I quickly whispered that I'd had technical trouble (I'm not inept, really!) and could I put in a request for a phone interview. "Why don't you just hang around and you can grab him afterwards?" she asked. Fair enough, I thought. I'll just have a quick word out the back of the media room.
Oh no. I ended up following Fiona up the corridor, into an elevator, down a passage, through a ordinary pair of wooden doors, through a Matrix like series of halls and rooms and bang! The Premier's waiting room. 'Take a seat", Fiona said. I thought the Premier would come out so I got my mike ready.
Oh no. "Come in", Fiona says, throwing the doors open. "Natalie!" says the Premier.
So there I am, struggling to look professional, explaining away about tech problems, and Pete's ready to go with a quick one-on-one interview. Brilliant. I get the grabs, talk some bollocks, say thank you, then Fiona walked me back to the lift. I got the interview, which was good. I felt better about going back to work - my technical problems would have been accepted (everyone here is very nice and really patient with me!) but I would have felt useless. But hey, the trade was having the Premier know I'm not a person with their s*** altogether.
And I got a chance to reinforce that today! To be continued....