“Misty, I blame you!” exclaimed the producer half in jest half in frustration.  “All these weird truck problems are all you!” 

“Yep, that’s me.  I caused the tire to go flat,” I responded with a laugh.

Sometimes when it seems all is going wrong, all you can do is make a joke out of it as you work to make sure the viewer would never know what obstacles with which you’re dealing.  Tonight it was a flat tire on a live truck.  The truck was already in position for the 5pm newscast live shot, but it was supposed to then move to a different location for a 6pm live shot. 

The photographer who called said, “We broke another truck, but I have a backup plan.”  His plan was good.  I approved it and explained the changes to the producers.

The backup plan is what made our joking conversation possible.  If there had been no other plan; if I had to cancel the live shot, there wouldn’t have been any joking.  Scripts would have had to be changed.  Camera blocking would have had to be changed.  When these instances happen, the joking doesn’t happen until much later.  Usually humor can eventually be found in the worst of situations.

Sometimes I think this humor is what keeps us all sane in the newsroom.

One nickname I already have in the newsroom is “Dream Killer” because there are times I have to pop the dreams of the producers.  Producers have grand plans and pictures in their head of how their newscasts should go.  Sometimes their dreams are too grand and I have to say no.

Now I fear I have another nickname, “Saboteur,” because as the joking about the live trucks kept rolling I quickly went from getting all of the proverbial blame to becoming the mastermind behind an elaborate sabotage plan.  Why I would ever want to sabotage anything is beyond me.  When plans break it falls on me and my coworkers on the assignment desk to fix them.  Those episodes cause panic, stress and adrenaline rushes.  They lead me home to an extra dirty vodka martini.

I know it’s all a joke.  I know humor is essential.  So now I proudly wear the Dream Killer tiara and the Saboteur name badge.  I just gotta figure out some sort of really cool undercover spy-type gear that would make this Saboteur gig even better!