May 4, 2014

KNISELY: Watch out for flying papers


---- — When you work at a newspaper, you never know what each day at the office will bring. While studying journalism in college, no one ever told me life would so unpredictable in my chosen field.

We can all be sitting quietly at our desks just humming along with the next day’s edition and boom! Next thing we know we’re out chasing down leads on a breaking story or en route to the scene of a major car accident. Then there’s the fires and flash flooding. It’s hard to keep up with it all sometimes.

And after having been in this business for going on 15 years, I thought I had lived through all the adventures working at a newspaper had to offer. But it turns out I was wrong.

Just returning from lunch, I was walking into the building’s back door when I noticed there was a small problem quickly brewing into a large problem. I quickly ran my purse, drink and other junk into my office and then summoned those in the newsroom to come outside and help me.

”We’re kinda littering at the moment,” I told the news clerk and news editor.

”We’re littering?” the news editor asks.

”Yes. Big time. Hurry,” I said over my shoulder as I we headed out the back door I had just came in through.

As we exited the building, we were accosted by flying newspapers.

”Holy cow! You weren’t kidding!” the news editor shrieked.

The press manager had stopped by to empty the full paper recycling bin located on our dock. But unfortunately for him, the wind was whipping itself into a frenzy that day and blowing newspapers everywhere.

The three of us started grabbing papers as fast as we could. We pulled papers out of the air as they tried to whip by, pulled them from car fenders where they’d gotten hung up, and peeled them off poles they’d wrapped themselves around. The harder the wind blew, the faster we ran.

Fortunately no one was injured, but the news editor did take a blow to the face. Though I didn’t see the incident happen, I saw the aftermath, which was bent-over laughter coming from the press manager. The look of sheer shock never faded from her face as she told us a sheet of newspaper blew up and smacked her square in the face, with the force of the wind wrapping it around her head. It was a scene right out of a cartoon. And I won’t lie, I’m still angry I missed it.

I can’t imagine what a sight all this was to watch. It’s not every day you see women dressed in professional office attire chasing flying papers across a parking lot. A delivery man was fortunate enough to make a well-timed drop-off and got to watch it all play out. He tried to hide it, but I saw him snickering.

But that’s OK because we were laughing at ourselves anyway.

Reach Misty Knisely at or 574-732-5155