February 3, 2013

KNISELY: Advice: Learn to complain

— I’ve just wrapped up my first month here at the Pharos-Tribune. In that time, I feel as if I’ve bestowed incredible amounts of wisdom onto the newsroom staff.

But none more profound than the insight I offered them this week.

(Editor’s note: If you don’t speak sarcasm, you should have an interpreter read today’s column for you.)

In honor of the Super Bowl, which I’m hearing is this weekend, there was an office party of sorts on Tuesday. And by party, I mean free food. There was pizza and wings, par for the course on such occasions. But there was also a football word search game left on everyone’s desk, presumably to distract us from wanting seconds.

Sitting around the newsroom and eating pizza were myself and two reporters. We were working on the allegedly easy word search. It was not easy. The person who made said word search must have an attitude problem or was just ticked off when working on this particular puzzle. It was hard. Unnecessarily hard. The creator seemed to really love putting in words backwards.

Anyway, the three of us were discussing (read whining) how ridiculously hard the puzzle was. We repeatedly muttered loudly about how there’d better be a prize worthy of the effort we were putting into this. And it better not be one of those draw-for-only-one-winner deals, we bemoaned.

We finally finished our puzzles. They went back to whatever they were doing before, but I wasn’t done with this puzzle business. I wanted my prize.

So I went to the head of the party-planning committee with my completed puzzle in hand to inquire about my prize. I bet you can guess what she said.

“The satisfaction of completing the task isn’t prize enough?” she asked.

“Umm, no. Not even close. I want a real, tangible prize,” I countered.

“OK, your free pizza was your prize!” she returned with a bit too much sunshine for my taste.

“No, no,” I seethed. “Everybody got pizza whether they completed the puzzle or not!”

I decided the discussion was futile so I left it alone.

A short time later, I returned to my office to find a Certificate of Completion on my desk. Granted it was the type teachers hand out to third-graders, but it was a prize nonetheless!

“Congratulations! To Misty, for completing the football word search!” It was dated and everything.

Ahh, my prize.

It’s now proudly hanging on my office wall.

The following day, I was out in the newsroom when the conversation turned to the notoriously prizeless word search. I believe the two reporters were filling an editor in who wasn’t here the day before about their not getting a prize.

I chimed in, as snottily as possible, with “Oh, you know I got a prize.”

I told them of my certificate and watched as their faces fell. Seems they were jealous of my prize, as they should be.

I told them they clearly need to learn how to complain better. And, more importantly, who to complain to.

There’s so much they can learn from me.

Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5155 or by email at


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