Smashing the system

My brain hurts!

It’s been a busy old time at Gazette Towers recently with the implementation of a new all singing, all dancing system that enables us to do all sorts of fancy things.
It’s coincided with a new look for the paper too, so anyone who has bought it this week will have noticed a fresh, cleaner and more modern look to it. It’s involved all sorts of new working practices and, would you believe, we’re getting a new telephone system in too.
I’m just hoping they don’t take away the fridge where we keep the milk and the boiling water dispenser in the kitchen area or I won’t be able to make a cup of tea without referring to a crib sheet or seeking advice from a superuser.
It’s about the only workplace process that hasn’t undergone a radical overhaul so fingers crossed there are no tutorials on the horizon detailing workflow changes to the teabag, boiling water, milk process.
The introduction of such cutting edge jiggery pokery is quite a leap forward, especially for an old geezer like me who started out in journalism when we still used typewriters, copy paper and a hot metal press.
A hard drive was an away trip to Exeter back then.
I still remember when the fax machine was seen as an item of major technological wizadry (younger readers, ask your parents what a fax machine was).
The first edition on the new system came out without a hitch, as have subsequent papers, which was greeted more with relief than popping of champagne corks.
And that’s more that can be said for the launch of a new system when I was on my last paper.
The system very helpfully colour coded shapes on the page shown on your computer screen so you could pick out the main body of a story, a headline, a caption, a subhead etc.
Seemed like a great idea. What could possibly go wrong?
Well for a start nobody thought to tell us you had to manually remove the application before printing so as a result the back page of the following day’s paper featured every colour of the rainbow as it stood, staring out at a a bemused public from the newsstands.
A modification to the system was quickly made.
So there, you see, there’s more to the job than turning up at the track, watching some blokes on bikes turn left then going off to write about it.
That’s part of it too, of course, and this week Rye House Rockets zoom into town in the semi-finals of the Premier League KO Cup.
They’re bottom of the table and we’re second. I’ve a good mind to say ‘what could possibly go wrong’ but then I remembered the incident with the multi-coloured pages…


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