Mama Mayhem

Great workmates lead to a rewarding career

By Riverine Herald

THIS month marks 13 years I have been at the Riv.

It could be, probably should be, a scary thought.

But the funny thing is, it doesn’t feel as if I have been here for that long.

I know time flies, especially if you are having fun, and I must be having a ball because those 13 years have gone so fast that as I sat down to write this, the number started to slowly sink in.

So while I stared blankly at my screen my mind went back to the days of video and I started rerunning a few tapes to remind myself what I have been up to all this time.

And, as it has turned out, by and large I seem to have had a pretty good time.

Obviously there have been bumps along the way, but for the most part it has been a hoot.

I have always chosen love over money when it comes to my career — and you can take this as gospel, in this industry that’s absolutely essential.

The average person spends a third of their life at work so obviously it’s important you enjoy what you do.

It’s a privilege to tell people’s stories; and perhaps even make a difference to their lives in some way.

Whether it’s about the new president of the CWA, a parental tribute to a child lost too soon, a battered woman who finally feels free to share her story, or finally getting to the truth in a matter that’s been covered up for too long.

But one of the reasons I love working at the Riv, in particular, is the people I have met along the way.

In and out of the office.

I don’t know how many young journos I have seen come and go through the doors of this office in my 13 years.

There are too many to remember.

But every now and then, someone special comes along who you won’t ever forget.

And of those, I could probably count them on one hand.

Vivienne Duck is one of them.

She came on board more than two years ago as a young brash, energetic and outgoing graduate cadet.

Soon the aptly-named ‘Peking’ made it known how good she was, especially when it came to online technology and social media, and so she moved up to become our very first purely digital journo.

That means she does all the stuff about which I know nothing, or which I choose to ignore.

God bless her.

Some of her jobs included maintaining our website, posting stories to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and editing our TV show, The Lead, before uploading the video to all online platforms (which isn’t meant to be, but I can assure you it is) a lot harder than it sounds.

She ran me through it once – and I only need the one showing to know I didn’t get it, I was confused and I had to go home and have a good lie down.

And as is usually the case when it comes to great journos, Viv is leaving us to pursue bigger things on a daily newspaper in a bigger town.

And while I won’t miss her cries of ‘have you posted to Twitter yet?’, ‘you cropped that photo wrong’, and ‘you posted that story in the wrong section ... again’, ‘turn your phone on silent would you?’ or, the one I think I heard most, ‘are you listening to a bloody thing I am saying?’

I’ll miss her.

But her willingness to abandon me is causing a lot of personal grief.

Because I know the brains trust in editorial are casting their eyes around for a replacement and it’s hard to shrink down and hide behind your desk when you are the only blonde in the room and you are the tallest journo in general news.

I have to stop now, I am typing this on the floor and I think I can hear the editor’s footsteps.

Shhhhh!