Getting things going right

Ben Robinson

Ben Robinson

All About Ben

By Ben Robinson

When you’re trying to turn things around, it’s easy to get discouraged.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a small town in Georgia for a job interview.

The town is small and closed off by mountains that surround it. It’s a nice place, a little small for a weekly newspaper, but from what I was told, most people there subscribe to the newspaper there. Their only competition is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but apparently the AJC no longer sends papers that far. Some guy in town apparently goes to Atlanta a few times a week, buys some papers, and then sells them for quite a profit.

I liked the town and the paper I was applying to. They had only one public high school in the county, and my journalistic appetite was strong, looking forward to being able to give the kids from that high school coverage.

I spent one day there at the newspaper, meeting nice people as they did their jobs. I was looking forward to dedicating myself to that newspaper.

The only problem was that the community was completely surrounded by mountains, so there would be no “halfway commitment.” But when you’ve been unemployed for a long time, and you get an opportunity to do what you love to do, you’re ready to move on to new friendships.

So that night, my future boss took me out to eat. We passed by the motel where they had reserved a room for me. When we returned to the office, I parted ways with my prospective boss and headed to the motel.

That’s when things started to go bad for me. When I checked in, the girl at the front desk complained that the Internet was out. That did not surprise me any because my phone could not pick up a signal anywhere in Georgia. Apparently it was difficult for any information to get through the mountains.

But I had brought my phone’s battery charger, and though I could not call anyone, the alarm on the phone would work, and could serve as a wake-up call for me the next morning.

It took me a while to fall asleep, but my trusty alarm was set for 6 a.m.

The next morning I looked around my room, and noticed how light it was. I looked at the phone, and it read that it was almost 8 a.m.

The words “Silent Alarm” were flashing across the screen on the phone.

I wondered at the time, and still wonder today, exactly what is a “Silent Alarm?” Those seem like contradicting terms to me. I did not know my phone had such a silly setting.

So I got up and took a shower. Not familiar with town, I got lost on my way to the office. I got there around 11:30 a.m., and found everybody fighting deadline. They were not very pleased with their prospective sports editor.

Later that week, I got a call from my prospective boss, who said they had decided “to go another direction.” But the guy was nice and professional. I consider it an honor to have been considered for the position. Hope things go well for the folks down there.

Now I’ve got a few prospective jobs, and I hope something works out.

I’m too young to retire.