Some recent conversations have got me thinking about...me.
Who am I? I know who I am, but how do other people see me? I try not to think about it too much. After all, I'm just the guy behind the lens who is trying to be as non-descript as possible. I consider myself somewhat shy. Meeting new people is not high on my list of favorite activities, because I have a horrible time remembering names. Seriously, it's nearly instantaneous, unless I make a concentrated effort, then it might last until the end of the day. The news business is not for someone who suffers from social paralysis at the thought of meeting new people, but I thought, "Hey, I'll just make pretty pictures, I won't have to talk to anyone." Oops. I found out the hard way that I have to do just as much talking as the people who get paid to do it, sometimes more.
This is where my recent ruminations begin. A certain blonde reporterette and I were cruisin' FEMAville. We were looking for someone with a wind vs. water claim from the storms, and our sure-thing interview had fallen off the radar. We soon discovered that most of the people you find at 11:30 a.m. on a weekday in a FEMA park are not homeowners. We were adrift on a sea of people, so Cassie began dialing for a lifeline.
Movement at the periphery of my vision drew my focus, and I turned to see a kindly woman strolling toward my window with a hopeful, questioning look on her face. A push of a button lowered my glass barrier while I fervently hoped that Cassie would end her call before I had to do too much talking. No such luck.
Long story short: her sound makes the whole package work. To hear Cassie tell it, the woman didn't have a chance once I turned on the charm.
This week one of my glass-toting bretheren suggests that I would make a good news director. He says that I would be a natural, since I'm a fair person and have a good way with people. I must admit that I've kicked around the notion of dropping back a few markets and giving it a shot, but I don't currently feel that I've got the experience to take the helm of a newsroom in this sea of information.
Sure, I can get along with just about anyone, but I don't feel like it's anything special. I just keep my mouth shut until I have something relevant to say. Apparently I've always been that way, because my mother says that I didn't speak until I could form complete sentences.
So, if others perceive me as a decent human being with an easy smile and natural charm, I guess I'll have to live with it.