‘It’s the least wonderful time of the year’

November 28, 2003
By

…. to be working on the copy desk, that is.

Why? Huge papers with no added staffing. Vacations, which make already calamitous understaffing even worse. The occasional sick day taken by a co-worker who gets ill due to the bad weather here, or who selfishly decides to take one “because it’s there.” And bosses, angry at working on holidays, pressured by huge papers and impossible deadlines, fearing that slipups can result in reduced MBO bonuses, can turn into martinets.

Testiest copy editor Phillip Blanchard had my favorite rejoinder:

I make it a point to work holidays, lest I be invited to eat with people other than my wife and son.

Not that I endorse such a view, having just had a swell Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at the home of Ken, who sits next to me on the features desk. I just think good old fashioned copy editor crankiness is entertaining to behold.


In features we get weekends and holidays off but holidays are not really a break from work because we have to do five days work in four days, forcing us to forgo many critical coffeee breaks. We do this three times in the six weeks between Turkey Day and New years, so it makes us crankier than usual.

2 Responses to ‘It’s the least wonderful time of the year’

  1. Rich Boudet on November 29, 2003 at 12:29 am

    “holidays are not really a break from work because we have to do five days work in four days.” Tom, I dare you to post that on the cranky copy desk site. The flames would burn.

  2. tom on November 29, 2003 at 12:04 pm

    Most of the testy copy editors are regular visitors of this blog, so I sorta think they’d have erupted by now.