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View Diary: What's Your Work Space? Street Prophets Saturday (29 comments)

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  •  I wished I had a basement for all my books too (6+ / 0-)

    but there is none, so that's why my books are all in boxes and my home looks like I am moving. At home I have a desk, it's a desk I have since I was thirteen years old. I made my homeworks on it when I was in seventh grade, brought it with me to the US. It's a piece in my life, a fine desk, scandinavian teak, solid, can disassemble it and put it together, it never breaks.  I can't work on laptops. Too small for me. So I work with a desktop and still feel I have not enough space. I hate laptops.

    At work my office is a "walk-through" room with no windows. People run from their offices to the "feed room", that's were one guy sits and watches like five to seven TV and PC monitors at once, talks via microphone  to correspondents and video editors in their editing suites to provide them with the video clips they need. Very stressful, he has to listen, sort, trancscribe, research and everything under awful time pressure. So, people run to him through my room, run to the studio where the actual finished video news clip gets his "voice over" (correspondent narrates into the microphone while technicians match video and voice and record it. Once it's ready it is sent over to Germany to go on air. Sometimes we finish the piece literally in the last minute. Sometimes everybody is literally running. If some program fails, it's a pressure cooker. We have great technicians, who perform under stress like smooth peaches. There is just no such thing as "not being able to broadcast".

    So my office is dark, noisy and "animated" by people who run around and feel under lots of pressure they need to vent. Obviously they want me to find all the images they don't have and think I can miraculously pull them out of our archives within minutes. I am the final station in the search for video footage. Which makes it pretty nerve wrecking and often frustrating. We are not our headquarter's archives, just some satellite studio. For the last thirty years video footage on tapes got "gathered on shelves" with handwritten notes that look like ... well. Often nothing at all. Not even dates are correct, as Germans and Americans write something on the labels "their own style" (which means they have different order of dd/mm vs. mm/dd etc) and they never have time to write a clearly written label or log. They work for the moment, once the news piece is done, that's the deluge after them. They couldn't care less, how the data get collected and processed. If you have tons of books open in your basement office, I have clothes baskets full of tapes, which I throw in and out of machines, who act up like obnoxious teens.

    Anyhow, I have air conditioning in the office which, if it's on, it blows from the ceiling directly on my head. I can't stand that, it makes me sick withing ten minutes, I have worked with winter clothings in summer time in my office, because the air conditioning is just not capable of individually cooling each room to the needs of its occupants. If the air conditioning is not on I am usually well cooked in a couple of minutes.

    My work is watching and describing the images, search for transcripts, put data into an archival system that nobody knows how to use in our studio and rough cutting video footage, playing into the system, playing them out of the system, scanning news (including dailykos), always under time pressure and with lots of interruptions and multiple requests at once. I am cursing a lot. With myself. But they can hear me. Nobody would do my job here. They are lucky that I need a job. I may be lucky that I had one that was needed by others, but all in all it's one of the lousiest jobs one can have. It drains your brain as you just watch, never produce, only process images like on an assembly belt in a factory. You just always see something different and mostly what you see and hear upsets you a lot. On top of it people think I can remember everything. I can't.

    I want to quit. I would love to have your outside office and your basement office. And your cat. Sometimes I bring my dog and my boss also brings her dog into the office. Amazing how these animals can mellow down a lot of stress and make all the people very ... you know... acting humaely.

    It's nice to be able to research and dig into something without time pressure. I miss quiet time a lot. I don't want to do the job anymore. I am working on quitting.

    Civil Men Are For Civil Rights

    by mimi on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:49:32 PM PDT

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