Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Easy labor

Friday, September 6, 2019

Most people would complain about working on a holiday, but I’m happy to come to the office on Labor Day every year. Monday is a production day –– that means we have to come in to put out a newspaper. Fortunately, we make our own holidays here at Carroll County News.

Every holiday that falls on a Monday ends in a cook-out at the office with the editorial crew. The cast has changed a bit over the years; we used to have a sports editor, a reporter and two photographers. This Labor Day, it’s just me, our managing editor Scott Loftis, freelance photographer David Bell and my husband Gideon. Gideon is not technically part of the crew but he is bringing soda and Swiss Rolls, so it’s safe to say he’s an honorary member.

Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I really look forward to our working holidays. The office is empty save for the editorial team. That means I can play my music as loud as I want. I am sure the empty office loves listening to Springsteen’s greatest hits –– at least I haven’t heard any complaints. We can also wear whatever we want. If you’re wondering, I am rocking a pair of Gideon’s sweatpants and Scott is killing it in cargo shorts.

While everyone’s part of the family here at Carroll County News, there’s a special bond among the editorial team. That’s apparent on our working holidays, because we take the time to hang out even though we’re working on a paper. David, in particular, hasn’t been part of our full-time staff for more than a year. He still comes to our cook-out and makes the best burgers you’ve ever tasted. Seriously, I have never had a better homemade burger. Mouthwatering doesn’t even begin to describe it.

This job has many perks; a flexible schedule and getting to write for a living top the list. But I wouldn’t love the job if I didn’t have such close relationships with my coworkers. Scott and I have been a team practically from day one. We started working at Carroll County News within a couple months of each other and have remained here as other staff members have come and gone throughout the years.

I’ve learned so much from Scott, from the proper use of hyphens to lots of fun, new acronyms. But the most important lesson he’s taught me is the value of time. On my first day of work, Scott encouraged me to use my time on the job thoughtfully. There’s only so much one person can do in a day, so the things we do should have meaning. Knowing that has helped calm my anxiety more times than I can count –– you can only do what you can do. If you can’t finish everything in one day, prioritize your tasks and take care of the low-priority things the next day.

That’s an especially useful lesson on holidays, when it’s tempting to try to do everything at once. But we’ve still got Tuesday through Friday to do all that and there are more important things to do in the meantime, like eating burgers with dear friends.

I hope all of you had a great Labor Day weekend. We’re grateful to keep bringing you the news and eating burgers together.