So there was absolutely no sanctuary, nowhere for me to hide, which is plain ridiculous anyway, because I screwed up the opening of the show so bad, what I'm running from has not only been seen, it has been broadcast to all of West Michigan. The only thing I *didn't* do was just punch black, although I may as well have.
The funny thing is, I am totally overreacting. Nobody sitting at home could have possibly known what was going on behind the scenes. Nothing aired incorrectly. And it's not like I do this on a regular basis. My shows are clean. I just don't drop the ball the way I did for tonight's 11pm show.
And yet, I can't escape the truth: I fell asleep at the switch, literally.
It all started when I realized I had to go to the bathroom. The real problem is, I'm too uptight to use the restrooms here at work, ever since I discovered the walls are paper thin. You can hear everything. I guess the last three years that I've been here I've just either been lucky not to have been using the bathroom at the same time one of the guys were using them, or else they were tombstone quiet while I did my business. The first time I discovered you could hear everything, I was mortified. And tonight I had a little more business to do than usual, and I just preferred to do it at home.
Okay, laugh if you must. You can hear people unzipping their zippers through the walls. You can hear them breathing, I'm not lying. What did I have to do tonight? Not just number one AND number two, I also had a pantyliner to rip off my underwear. There is nothing quiet about that.
I knew I was building myself up for a huge failing. I saw it coming, and still I refused to just suck it up and chalk it up to experience. The whole night went off without a hitch. I even walked home, did my thing, and drove back before the promo producer was in the booth to do the late updates, less than fifteen minutes! So I got my way, and thought I got away with it too.
We began our 5 o'clock show with breaking news out of Detroit, and ended our 6pm show with breaking news out of Walker (our viewing area). The phone rang, I answered it, and was informed the crew was going to have to put dinner break on hold while we waited for developments in the breaking news out of Walker. Now there's no problem with pushing dinner break back a bit. Except when you have to use the bathroom desperately, are ravenously hungry, and have *HUGE* amounts of production work to do after dinner break as well!!!
I was screwed. Plain and simple.
7 o'clock came and went (our 6pm news show ends at 6:30, obviously). Then I watched 7:30 go by. At 8 o'clock we were released for dinner break but really only on an "on-call" basis.
Ever tried to poop when you're in a hurry?? Yeah -- doesn't happen!
9:00pm. I actually suffered through our production work. I actually put the production work *first* so as not to raise suspicion.
Finally, at 9:15pm, I was free. I only had 15 minutes, but I didn't care. I figured I really had more like 20 minutes anyway, because the promo producer rarely comes up to the booth when he says he's going to. I shamelessly told Ben I "had" to run home for a few minutes, but that I was sure I'd be back in plenty of time. I told him that on the off-chance the producer made it up before I did to just tell him I stepped out and I would be back shortly. I grabbed my purse and keys and headed out the door. I was so happy I could have just -- well, you know. But something was wrong when I got out to the parking lot. My car was gone. Why?
BECAUSE I WALKED TO WORK TODAY!!!!!
At that point I didn't care, because there was NO WAY I was going to use any of the loos in that building. I decided to walk as fast as possible, poop as fast as possible, and drive like a bat out of hell to get back to work.
There should have been someone blocking the driveway. But there wasn't.
There should have been a big nail in the driveway to puncture my tire. But there wasn't.
There should have been a cop pulling me over for speeding, or a license plate light being out, or mistaken identity.
Was there a big semi parked right where I wanted to park in front of the building, so I wouldn't have to drive ALLLLLLL the way around the building with my noisy muffler??? Why, yes! Yes, of course there was!!!
No matter. I just drove the wrong way up the driveway, which put me closer to the door I wanted to walk through anyway.
But still, the punishment did not rear it's mighty head. I beat the promo producer to the control room.
In fact, I did everything I was supposed to do, except eat dinner. I marked my rundown, I checked the stills, I even caught a misspelling.
And then, in the thirty-second break before the show's open at 11pm, the producer uttered those magic words that every TD wants to hear:
"That tape is wrong! You've got the wrong tape in the open!"
No, no we didn't, but it didn't matter, because it was enough to send the carefully crafted guise of well-put-togetheredness I spent all evening working on right over the edge. Yes, dear reader, at that point the thread had been pulled and it all came unravelled. Because what the producer managed to do was the worst thing anyone could have done to me at that point: he managed to instill doubt in my mind. What that means is that, instead of getting all my ducks in a row so that I don't take a s*** -- no pun intended -- instead, I used that thirty-seconds (well, more like fifteen seconds by the time he saw the tape, processed that it was 'wrong', and said something to us) to double-check my work.
Which is fine under ordinary circumstances. But don't forget, I expended far more energy this evening doing other things than I was willing to let on to anybody. When you decide to suffer in silence, and especially when you're just being stupid, you forfeit the right to complain out loud. So there was absolutely no way I could even ask nicely for some sympathy ... not that I would have gotten any anyway, and boy oh boy did I know that.
I missed the map, I missed the animation pulling video out of the map, I thought the video I was *supposed* to pull out of the map was a package -- it wasn't -- and I damn near missed the video. At that point, I realized I was not ready to do this show.
Well, TOO BAD, 'cause guess what princess, *YOU* have yourself a half hour show to switch!!!
I scrapped the OTS, I almost missed the monitor graphic for the reporter in the studio for his story. I was ...y'know, words don't really describe how I was feeling at that point.
I guess it was either put my job in jeopardy or die of septic shock. I mean, what would you do??? *she says sarcastically*