Happy Tuesday y’all!
As a former journalist and a mom who is familiar with barfy kids, this headline caught my eye: “Vomiting Child Costs a Journalist Her Career.”
Here’s the gist: a TV writer for the Chicago Sun-Times reluctantly agreed to review the “Glee! Live” show, and her editor gave her the OK to take her kids and include some of their reactions and POV. I loved those assignments that let me combine work and motherhood, so I’m reading along and thinking, sweet!
And then: her squirmy 6-year-old son fell out of his seat. Next, her 7-year-old daughter barfed into a cotton candy bag. ACK!!!
Needless to say the writer hightailed it out of there halfway through the show, after 13(!) songs. Here’s where she screwed up: instead of fessing up, she looked online at previous set lists and wrote the review as if she had stayed for the whole show. Turns out the set list had been altered and some Gleek outed her, setting in motion a chain of events that led to her firing.
As a journalist, I get it: that was a cardinal no-no. As a mom, I say, OUCH. That was way harsh. Turns out the writer, Paige Wiser, had recently backed out of covering the Oprah farewell spectacular when she got vertigo in the pressbox. So she felt like she couldn’t flake out again.
“Of course I was in the wrong. I made a horrible decision at 1am when I was tired, but I know it was not worth throwing away a career. After the Oprah incident, I felt this one had to be solid. But I have no excuse. I know the rules.“
Until recently, the Sun-Times had made special accommodations for Wiser by allowing her to work from her far northwest suburban home to avoid what she called a “three-hour commute.“ But after a recent round of layoffs left her department more short-handed than ever, she was told she had to come in to the office each day.
“Trying to do this with the kids and a three-hour commute, and when every editor wants something different, let’s just say it’s become a very strange place. And because there’s not a lot of people with kids at the paper, I’m a little sensitive about coming across like I can’t do it because of my kids.“
All I can say is, I feel for her. Sometimes that work-life balance spirals out of control and it can lead to disaster.
I found it interesting that this Cafe Mom blog entry on the debacle drew absolutely zero sympathy from the commenters, who are presumably also moms. Incidents like this just burn me up, because it gives more ammo to the asshats. To wit, a comment:
RhondaVeggie on Jun 11, 2011 at 7:50 PM
She just proved that you can’t be a good mom and a good employee. Something always suffers and in this case she failed both her kids and her employer.
STFU, RhondaVeggie. Why are women so hard on each other?
I remember running across the street to the day care center, racing to get there before the 6 p.m. closing time, then hauling Maya back to the newsroom where I had to wait until my story was edited. Then it was a matter of entertaining her while not disrupting anyone on deadline, and praying my editor wouldn’t request a major re-write. I get where this woman was coming from. I like to think I NEVER would have made such a boneheaded move, but thankfully I never had to find out.
What do you think? Does this woman elicit some of your sympathy, or is she just a plain old f*ck-up? Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation?
What else is on your mind today? Chat away!