My new job!

As you probably know from Fionnuala O’Leary’s article a couple of months ago, I’m working at The Wave now as a member of the art/design team. I write about everything that’s going on in my life in this column, so I thought it was about time to write about my experience so far at my new job!

First off, going to the office has worked wonders for my mental health. I know longer feel like an old cat lady, peeking out of the lace curtains to see what the commotion is on the street. It’s refreshing to have some structure in my week – to put on a nice outfit, leave the house and have interactions with like-minded humans. A huge perk is having the best commute of anyone in NYC. I walk three blocks to get to The Wave building. I don’t pay for transportation or expensive lunches either. I almost feel bad about how good I have it.

During my day-to-day, I’m working alongside Janette Rappo, Mark Hogan and Judy Gardonyi. They’re the people behind the pages of what you’re reading right now. The graphic design team does an outstanding job, laying out our usual 56-pager. They’ve been so patient with me while I learn the ropes. I’ve interrupted Jeanette and Mark Hogan dozens of times asking questions, yet they never get flustered with me. Four weeks ago, I put a page number on the inside margin by mistake. (Yup, that was me, sorry!) Even with that doozy, Janette, Mark and Judy were very understanding.

Before the stories get to the art department, Mark Healey, Ralph Mancini, Fionnuala O’Leary and a shortlist of freelancers work their magic covering stories, conducting interviews, writing detailed accounts, fact checking, editing and proofing. Fionnuala is a witty social media pro and Ralph is a meticulous editor, not to mention they’re excellent journalists. The editorial dept. is a small operation with big determination.

When a story breaks, the news room heats up. I love that energy! The phones are ringing off the hook, conversations are happening and our Editor In Chief, Mark Healey is in the center of it all, doing what he does best… managing everything! I’ve learned a lot from Mark already, about the importance of local news reporting and the impact it has on a community. With all that’s on his plate, Mark makes sure our plates are also full, with work yes, but also with snacks from the kitchen, lunches on him and he keeps us caffeinated.

Bernadette Luina is our  “all hands on deck” secretary. She takes unending phone calls, assists walk-ins, some of whom are tipsy, looking for Ship to Shore Wine Shop. She handles the classifieds, orders us Chinese food on Wednesdays and even helps layout a few pages here and there. She has the patience of Mother Teresa I swear! You’ll here Berni’s voice calling “Carol, we need a notary”.  Carol Keenan along with lending out her “John Hancock”, is our accountant extraordinaire. Everyone loves Carol because she makes sure we get paid!

In addition to the overwhelming work involved with being a publisher, Walter Sanchez and his wife Tammy are our “pinch hitters”. They come in on Wednesdays and Thursdays to check the “big picture” of the weeks pages, helping the team get the paper to press on time. Walter and Tammy are 100% committed to the staff and The Wave Newspaper. It’s been a pleasure working for them.

A weekly publication is a fast paced environment. I don’t think people get how much work it is to produce a newspaper with pertinent content. And then you just start all over again the next week. On Thursdays when we go to print, it feels like an impossible task sometimes. But article by article, ad by ad, and page by page the paper comes together as a result of the whole team’s  feverish work ethic at The Wave. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be a part of it all!

Previously published in The Wave.

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