Editorial Camaraderie

Every so often, I find myself wondering what I’m doing with my life – mostly when it’s closing in on 10 or 11 p.m., and here I am, still at the office.

We live in a world of portable information, after all. I could take my work home with me easily. I have a laptop, a cell phone, and access to a printer. And best of all, I have a couch, a Netflix account, and a bottle of wine waiting.

Yet more often than not, I spend my pre-production nights here, sitting *just* right in my ancient, creaky office chair, hoping that I don’t have a muscle spasm that throws the derelict piece of furniture off balance just enough to throw me to the ground (yes, this happens). I type on the old, sticky keyboard of a Mac that hates me enough to deny me the right to access the printer and my own files. There is no running water on the floor. And the weird glances the cleaning crew gives me when they catch me working this late make me feel like I’m up past my bedtime.

So why do I stay here?

It’s simple. I’m not alone here. As I type, Erick, editor of Arts & Culture, is slaving away in his own cubicle, cursing under his breath every few minutes at something one of his writers has done. The editor-in-chief popped in for a few minutes, too. News Editor Andrea Vedder left about an hour ago. And this might be the first night in a long while that Kevin, the Sports editor, has not joined voluntarily.

It’s not easy being alone in the newsroom. I’m not going to lie: We’re all workaholics. And like other addicts, we enjoy having someone with whom we can share our addiction. We work and work and work, but we do it together.

I’ve gotten so used to spending most of my time here that my desk reflects it. I have clothing in my drawers (labeled “for emergencies only,” but still…). Kevin and I share a fridge, and it’s always stocked. I’m not wearing shoes; I probably won’t until I decide to head home. I have my favorite couch, as do the other editors – and thankfully, we’ve all chosen different ones. And on the corner of my cubicle, I have a robe hanging up for communal use. A fuzzy, baby blue, rainbow-covered robe that is washed once a week.

I’ve been here long enough to know that we’re not just in it for the art anymore. We came for the experience and the pay. And we stayed for the companionship.

Nothing wrong with that at all.