It's day two of book (Nielsen ratings period)and we're chugging along just fine. To be honest, the stress of scheduling all the special shoots and edits for stories that are going to be aired in the next few weeks seems to have eased up. I'm not sure why. There's still a lot of blue ink on our assignment board.

Oh, I should explain blue ink. We keep tracks of assignments on a big dry erase board and several smaller boards depending on the day/stories, and of course in the computer. Assignments are color coded:
Black: story being shot and turned for today
Blue: a shoot for a special project that isn't going to air today
Green: edit a package or two or three or...
Red: live shots

The blue ink is all over the board, and around the blue is all the black, green and red because news today has got to be covered as well. So life can get pretty crazy/stressful for everyone involved to get it all done. It just seems like our plans and past efforts may have eased up on the current stresses. Then again, maybe it's just me and any one of my coworkers would disagree with me!

Today was a manageable day to get everything done. I think I had all of the color-coded assignments planned and handed out by 2:42pm. Yes, I looked at the clock as I talked to the 3rd photographer of the night. As always, I conclude every assignment by saying, "if there's breaking news or something comes up, goes wrong, it all changes."

The assignments did include Photographer 3 to be used for editing all day for stories that air next week, plus a story that was shot by two other photographers that ran tonight. I needed Photographer 2, who shot part of tonight's story, to shoot the Kepler launch party in Boulder. Photographer 2 wouldn't be able to do it all: the pkg shoot, the edit, the vo/sot shoot, the live shot, so I had to reassign something.

Why did I reassign the edit instead of the shoot? I needed to make sure Photographer 3, who needed to edit for next week, actually got those edits done. He probably wouldn't have been able to do the edits and go to Boulder to shoot the launch party. (I must admit here, that one of these two edits for next week was not a must edit, but if I didn't give him time to do it today, he would have had to do the edit on Monday & Monday's scheduled is PACKED. Trust me, it was way easier and smarter to make sure he could do it today instead of pushing it to Monday!)

So everything was going along just fine until 7:55pm when I received a call from Photographer 2 in Boulder. Photographer 2 is one of the most hard working and dedicated guys I have ever worked with and he gave me permission to blog about this.

Me: CBS4 News, this is Misty

Photographer: uh, now don't laugh at me until you hear me out (said w/a hesitant voice)

Me: silence.. OK

Photographer: You told me to take EJ 7 (live truck) and I took the EJ 7 keys, but, I don't know what I was thinking I got into EJ 8 and I stopped at the gas station on the way and now I'm locked out because the EJ 7 keys work in EJ 8's ignition, but not the doors and I got out and locked the doors and now I'm locked out...

Me: silence as my head spinned... What? Uh, so you're locked out of EJ8, but you have keys for EJ7? What? How did you...

Photographer 2 explained it all again to me and asked me to give him a number to AAA or to the police department. As he's saying this, I'm looking at the clock 7:58pm and the launch is less than an hour away. I calculate in my head how long it will take a photographer from the station to get to Boulder to rescue him.

The photographer really truly thought that AAA or police would help him, but I'm not so trusting. I told him to hang on for a sec while I figure things out.

I walked around the desk and asked the Executive Producer and Producer what the situation was with editing tonight. They looked at me with wary eyes, protective of their show, but ready to pounce on breaking news. They were not expecting a story of a photographer in need of a rescue because one set of keys can work in two different ignitions.

An editor joined us in the newsroom and I explained again what I wanted:
Photographer 3 to go rescue Photographer 2, but to do this Editing would have to pick up Photographer 3's 10pm pkg. BUT Photographer 3 needed to do the rescue in time to make it back to the station to set up a live shot for a reporter in the newsroom. (Big breath in cause I used all my breath to explain this to multiple people. Do you understand? Most everyone looked at me like I was crazy. I can draw a graph if you want.)

Photographer 3 leaves the station at 8:03pm. Finally, I get back to Photographer 2 with AAA and police numbers for him to try as well. Of course, I was right and he got no help.

Photographer 3 made it to Photographer 2 at 8:38pm and Photographer 2 made it in the doors in time to get the countdown and all the other pieces for a nice little vo/sot.

YEAH!!! CHEERS!!! WOO HOO!!!! YEAH ME for being fast and smart and insisting this was the only way to get the vo/sot. It was try or let it fail. If editing hadn't been able to pick up the pkg edit, we would have had to let it fail.

Photographer 3 made it back to the station by 9:30 and was set up for the newsroom live shot by 9:50 with mic check and everything ready to go.

Photographer 2, after some more problems with the establishing live truck signal, got his vo/sot fed in by 9:45.

Oh yes, I did have Photographer 1 as well, but thankfully he and the reporter had no problems that I had to fix.

During the many phone calls from Photographer 2 he apologized over and over and over.

Photographer: I can't believe I did this. This isn't me.

Me: I know it's not you. It's OK.

Photographer: It's not OK.

Me: You're right, it's not OK.

Photographer: silence... What?

Me: You won't listen to me, so I decided to actually agree with you and tell you it's not OK. I've told you it's OK and sometimes these things just happen and we have bad days.

Photographer: But, this wasn't a bad day.

Me: You're right, it wasn't a bad day, but sometimes good days go bad.