I remember my first day at The Enterprise more than three years ago. I sat in the corner cubicle and cried almost all day.
I had a good reason to be melancholy — and it wasn’t because I was entering the work force. My first day as an intern also was the same day my twin sister moved out of state to attend law school. I’m still not certain, but crying may not have been a great first impression. But for some reason, they kept me around.
My final day as editor of the Shoreline/Lake Forest Park edition of The Enterprise is bound to be a sad one, too, but for different reasons. Suffice it to say that I’ve become quite attached to many people. This is probably not healthy. But, as I’ve heard, it’s best to leave when a person’s having a good time.
I recently accepted a position with the King County Library System as a communications/copy specialist. I am very humbled to have the opportunity to work for the library system. I’m so excited that I can hardly sleep at night. Yet, come morning time when I’m driving to work, I’ve been tearing up at the thought of leaving a few of my coworkers. I hope they don’t find out.
My new career path is a bit of a divergence from journalism, but it will include the aspect I enjoy most: writing. And in many ways, more than I even knew when I initially applied to the position, the new job opportunity is a perfect fit.
It will enable me to utilize some new skills I’ve been learning about in graduate school, like how to write specifically for the Web. The library system is soon launching a new Web site, for which I’ll have the opportunity to write most of the copy.
I also will edit a weekly newsletter for library staff throughout the county, as well as write the annual report. And when a new library opens, I’ll be in charge of organizing the publicity and the ensuing celebration.
I’m still very surprised by the new job, and am feeling extremely grateful for the opportunity to expand my skills. And to think that it all came about after I perused the classified ads one day and stumbled upon the job posting. I thought it sounded like fun and submitted my application. Fate took care of the rest.
Being a journalist has afforded me some great moments, like when I got to see Paul McCartney at Third Place Books. I doubt if I was deserving of this celebrity encounter, as I once was not even able to name all Beatles members by memory.
What I’ve enjoyed the most about working at a weekly newspaper is just learning about everyday people. In the past three years, I’ve been impressed by all of the nice, funny people I’ve encountered in the cities of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. People have stopped by my office to bring me books (I’m still working on the Mencken Chrestomathy, I promise).
Or they’ve made sure that I have enough candy to hold me over at city council meetings. They call to ask how my graduate classes are going. And, on occasion, I’ll even get hugs from city officials. Who could leave?
The hardest part is having people do nice things for me in the days before I go. This just reinforces how lucky I’ve been the past three years. So far I’ve been the recipient of a week’s worth of presents, a vase-full of beautiful pink and white tulips (despite my track record with flowers, I am determined that these will have a long life), balloon bouquets and a custom-made farewell banner.
I’ve neatly printed out almost 20 good-luck e-mails, which I will stow away to remind me of all the nice people I’ve encountered. Again: who could leave?
As I start cleaning out my desk drawers, I realize that I only have one real concern to take care of before I go. I’m still trying to figure out who in the office will continue to collect soup cans for recycling purposes. I may very well lose some sleep over this.
At any rate, I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their stories with me. I’ll look forward to being lucky enough to cross paths again. And remember: if you see a new library opening, please stop on by. I’ll be there.