Thursday, April 10, 2008

And they pay me to do this

Sometimes, when I'm feeling contempt for things that happen at work, I sit back and remember the crazy things I get paid to do. I got paid to photograph one of the best AFC Championship football games ever played when Indy came back in the second half to beat the Patriots and head off to win the rain soaked Super Bowl XLI in Miami. Oh, then there's that. I got paid to go to Miami for a few days in February to cover that Super Bowl. It's a job, to be certain, and I can see how most people think they would love to do what I do, but like every job it has its issues.

I'm sure there are plenty of folks who would have loved to do what I did yesterday. Well, at least until that pesky part about writing two stories and editing/transmitting photos popped up. Yesterday was another of those times when I asked myself, "Is somebody realling paying me to do THIS?"

I drove up to Detroit to play poker with NASCAR's Tony Stewart. How many fans do you know that would have traded seats with me for free? How many of them would've paid me to trade with them? Two of his fans did get to sit in on the game, and they were giddy.

I have to say, I am not starstruck when I meet famous people. Hey, they're just people ... who happen to have a lot more money than I do. But I'm glad I covered this story because it was nice to talk to Stewart away from the track and in a more relaxed settting. It's common knowledge that he has a low threshold for what considers to be stupid questions. On this day, though, he was cracking jokes and less tense, even if he did have to get away from the game to get on a plane. I felt like I could ask a question without wondering if I would have a head left when he was done. It was a good time.

Kid Rock, who happened to be at the Motor City Casino's hotel even popped in for a few minutes to catch up with his buddy Stewart who made a joke about Rock being awake while it was daylight.

I was up $5,650. Too bad we played with fake money. I could have bought into a real game, but I'm not sure the accouting folks at Fort Wayne Newspapers would view a poker buy-in as a work-related expense. So, I got to do something different. I got to do something that I will likely never do again, and I got to take my mind off the fact that what I do is actually a job with its inherent frustrations.

Now I'm off to a baseball game. Have I mentioned how much I like baseball?

Check out my column at Unfortunately my two stories had to be combined into one, but space dictates, and my editor, Elbert Starks, did his usual masterful job of pulling it together.


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