When I first got into the news business, at first I was bummed that I didn’t get holidays off and was so far away from family. You can read about some of my early thoughts on this here. But after three years, working on holidays, it now doesn’t phase me. In fact, at my current station, working holidays means plenty of perks. Not only is everyone in a good mood on holidays, but we usually get free food and it is double pay. My current station even has the annual tradition of a Christmas Party held at a casino and a station potluck when it gets really close to Christmas.
This was the first year I could attend the Christmas party because last year I was shooting a wedding. This year, we (Clay and I) were also shooting a wedding, but luckily it wrapped early enough for us to go to the party. It was a lot of fun to see everybody dressed in their holiday best! There was a photo booth, raffle prizes, free food and drinks.
On Thanksgiving, just like last year, our morning anchor Adria hosted a Thanksgiving dinner at her home for everybody at the station that didn’t have a place to go. Clay and I both worked Thanksgiving but Clay was able to go to the dinner on his lunch break and I was able to go before my shift started. It worked out perfectly and it was fun to fellowship with our co-workers outside of the building.
Clay and I both have to work early shifts on New Years Day, so that means we won’t be able to attend any fun glamorous celebrations to count down the New Year. It is a bummer, since it is my favorite holiday, but to make up for it we are going to pick a country that will count down their new year early in the evening and celebrate then! That way we can still celebrate and be able to show up for work well rested and ready to go.
Overall, sure working a job where you don’t automatically get holidays off is not the best, but when you do work it’s not the end of the world. Plus, working in news doesn’t mean you won’t ever luck out and not work a holiday. For instance, Clay and I lucked out and we are going to have Christmas off this year!
It is amazing our station tries to do fun stuff when it comes to the holidays for us all the time, we even have a “social committee” at our station. Just recently, we had a company meeting where the social committee lined the hallway with stars with each employees names on them. They gave the meeting a Hollywood type theme, we were all given “golden tickets” that were raffle tickets and each 15 minutes, they raffled off visa cards and VIP parking spaces.
The fun atmosphere is a stark contrast to a previous work experience many years ago, that whenever my boss heard laughter she would shout from her office, “Why do I hearing laughing?! Get back to work!”
Currently, I love working at a place where my co-workers aren’t afraid to have fun at work and write silly quotes on the quote board. Just last week, in the middle of the day we had an impromptu contest about who is the best gentlemen among the sports team. That stemmed from Rashad (sports reporter) winning the award of “best gentleman” at the station Christmas party. Sometimes as a stress reliever, the producers get up and play a game that has the whole newsroom erupting in laughter. Now I’m not saying everyone is 100% happy 24/7, I mean that would be impossible. But any station that values good morale, is a station I want to work at, plus it takes the sting out of working holidays. I hope there are more newsrooms out there like ours.