A single lamp shines on in a darkened high-rise office building in the middle of Manhattan. A man in a three-piece suit is silhouetted in the dim light of the bulb, as he types for a few minutes, signs a few legal forms and then moves back to typing again. He’s got a photograph of his family of five framed up on the wall, below it five bottles of liquor and a set of tumblers loosely situated around it, one of them still containing three millimeters of whiskey in the bottom.
There’s signs of life outside the four walls of his office, but there seems to be none inside. He’s a lonely, desolate man, replacing legal forms for his children’s love and long hours for the longing he feels for his wife’s intimacy.
Up until I started at college four semesters ago, this was my mental snapshot of a workaholic. It wasn’t until I got going at the Royal Purple and UWW-TV I realized the real depiction of a workaholic could be easily obtained by turning my front camera on in Snapchat or walking past a reflective window in the TV studio.
I never thought I would become that. I wasn’t a middle-aged man (nor will I ever be) who cut the throats of his colleagues to climb to the top. I didn’t plan on majoring in business or being an account executive. I didn’t plan on “hating myself” into a mid-life crisis where the only prescribable medication is a once-monthly car payment for a new Ferrari.
Nobody ever told me being in a creative field would result in being a workaholic.
But it does. It takes a lot of time to be a photographer, a writer, an editor, a videographer. One of those alone all take up so much of one’s time.
Being the News Editor of the Royal Purple has kept me in the office until 3 a.m. each Tuesday morning of production night and scheduling my week full of interviews, back to back. Juggling the multiple responsibilities at the TV station has had me there every day of the week, starting early and ending late.
I don’t mind any of it as I lock up the doors at the end of the night.
I’ll admit, it gets to me sometimes. I spend so much time in the studio and the newsroom that somedays, it takes effort to get back to my pre-journalism personality and remember who I used to be. I have a hard time discussing anything other than my work and the news. I have yet to strike a balance, which is okay for now. I’ll get there.
I was once told if you have extra time as a journalism major in college, you’re not taking full advantage of the resources available to you. You should be a workaholic, because it’s the work ethic you put forth that will get you hired. Being a workaholic has helped me build confidence in my work and allowed me to learn in excess from others around me. I’ll be a workaholic until I can’t sustain it anymore.
That being said, my sincerest apology goes out to all those business execs I’ve scoffed at in years past. You drink your whiskey with your monogrammed stones off Etsy and I’ll drink a juice pouch of fake fruit juice, and we’ll both burn the midnight oil together.