Mondays are by far the busiest day of the week in the CCN newsroom, as we hustle to meet our weekly deadline.
I typically perform best under deadline pressure, probably because I spent more than 20 years working for daily newspapers where that pressure was unrelenting. Thatís the good news.
The bad news is that I can be a little lax when Iím not working under a deadline. So, working ahead is not something Iím particularly good at.
When I got to the office last Monday, though, I was feeling a little proud of myself. I had actually put in a couple hoursí work the day before, on a Sunday afternoon, and that meant we were ahead of schedule in putting together the June 22 paper.
That all changed very quickly.
Just before 9:30 that morning, we heard a loud boom outside, followed immediately by our entire office going dark. I heard a scream come from the front of the office, but everyone was OK.
Our power, on the other hand, was not OK. Entergy initially estimated that power would be restored by 4 p.m. but it turned out to be a few minutes after 6. By that point, our circulation director and ad coordinator Rhonda Worrall and her husband, Jeff, had brought a generator from home and gotten our lights back on ó but then we discovered that our phones and internet connection still werenít working because wires had been damaged.
At that point, I was beginning to worry that we might not have a newspaper. Our deadline to send the pages electronically to the press in Harrison was 10 p.m.
Fortunately, we were able to use laptop computers and a home internet connection to get back to work on the news pages. Ads and other files that we needed were saved on flash drives to be plugged into the laptops. Our entire team ó everyone who works for Carroll County Newspapers ó pulled together to make sure we were able to print a newspaper.
We got the last pages to the press at 11:30 p.m. ó an hour and a half past our normal deadline, but a win in my book.
I celebrated my seventh anniversary at Carroll County Newspapers last Wednesday. I knew within the first week I was here that this was a special place to work, and what happened last Monday underscored that.
Thanks to Robert Cox, Samantha Jones, Krystal Parton, Melody Strodtman, Sherry Woodall, Jeff Worrall, Rhonda Worrall and everyone else who went the extra mile to make sure we were able to publish a newspaper.
Our publisher, Bob Moore, was on vacation out of state when the lights went out. But while Iím thanking folks, I should express my gratitude to Bob, too. Iíve had the best seven years of my career here, and thatís a direct result of his support.
It all adds up to one heck of a team, and Iím grateful to be part of it.