I think we're at our best by the flicker by the light of the TV set.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Perks of Being a News Fox (there aren't many)

One year ago I started a job as a News Assistant/Production Assistant/News Fox at Fox 5 in New York City. I was assigned to work for a show called Good Day New York. It's a local morning show much like Good Morning America. It ran from 5am to 9am, so my shift started at...wait for it...2:30am. Yes, 2:30 in the morning. As in, the middle of the night. When most everyone in "the city that never sleeps" is in fact, ASLEEP.

During my seven months as a News Fox, I did not sleep. I tried to, but it wasn't easy. My body never understood that bedtime was from noon to around 8:00pm. When I fell asleep at noon, I almost always woke up just a few hours later. My mind thought I was just taking a nap. Despite my exhaustion, I could not sleep. (Note: I will have no trouble being a mother and waking up several times a night to take care of an infant. I've had plenty of training.) Since I was always trying to sleep, I never saw anyone. My bed was my best friend/worst enemy. I also cried at least once a day.

There are some (but not many) perks to being a News Fox and living like a vampire. For one, you have the whole day free! I got out of work at 11:30am, so I had the entire afternoon open to do whatever the heck I wanted. While everyone else in Manhattan was stuck at their 9 to 5, I had the city to myself. There are some things you can do in the afternoon that you can't do later in the evening...like go to the post office! I never had a need to go to the post office after work, though, because I didn't have any friends to mail anything to because I didn't talk to anyone because all I did was try to sleep. And if I did have anything to mail, I probably wouldn't have made it to the post office because after working for eight hours in the middle of the freaking night, I walked out of Fox like a zombie. Every day I fell asleep on the subway ride back to the boogie down Bronx. I was that embarrassing person on the train with her head bobbing, falling over on other passengers. It was only noon, so I'm sure people thought I was on drugs or drunk or something. Surely they wouldn't consider that maybe I was a sad, tired News Fox desperately wishing I had chosen another profession.

Another perk was that I could swear like a mother fuckin' trucker. Everyone did. In case you're unaware, working in television news is incredibly stressful. There's a million things to do in a short amount of time. The show is live, so if something doesn't get done in time, you're screwed. While sitting at my computer, frantically working, I would occasionally hear a fellow writer or producer scream out "FUCK!" It would go unnoticed, for the most part. No concerned heads turned in the direction of the curse. It was totally normal. Bad part is, I got so used to swearing like a trucker and hearing others around me swear like a trucker that I began to constantly swear like a trucker. It's not an easy habit to break. Although, I did somehow manage to fix my dirty mouth before moving home with Mom and Dad.

The third and final perk that I can think of at the moment is that no one at Fox cared if I complained about being tired. Everyone working for Good Day New York was utterly exhausted. None of us could see straight and we were constantly yawning. No one expected us to come to work well-rested. In fact, you're expected to be dead tired. Haven't slept in 2 months? No one has! It's cool! There were several instances where I actually had to smack one of the producers because he was SNORING at his desk.

Needless to say, I don't miss it.

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