We, the women of The Free Press, would like to welcome our new publisher, David Hamilton, to the newspaper and to the Elk Valley this week.
Although we know very little about him yet, apart from what we can tell from his impressive resume, we are all excited to have a new member of the team.
I hope he’s prepared. Our office is currently made up of five women. I wonder if anyone has told him this yet. It’s not that we sit around talking about handbags and shoes and swapping recipes. None of us have time for that!
It’s more the touchy-feely aspect of working with women I think he needs to be prepared for.
During a particularly stressful moment at the end of last week, I lowered my head to the desk, closed my eyes, and started sniffling. Within a few seconds I was being hugged, being offered chocolate, being counselled and the kettle was on – because I’m English and we need tea in times of crisis.
I must admit it’s not a newsroom atmosphere I was used to before starting work here nearly three years ago. I worked at a newspaper in London before – where I worked hard to be “one of the boys” by keeping my composure at all times.
Showing emotion was a sign of weakness. I remember being on the verge of a meltdown one day. My bottom lip started wobbling. I panicked, but not as much as the men around me. Luckily I was able to hold back the tears until I made it safely to the washroom, and managed to avoid an uncomfortable situation with a group of men who appeared, frankly, terrified at the sight of an emotional woman.
I like working here better. I still try to maintain my composure obviously. Bawling at my desk is not a daily occurrence. But it is nice to know that I don’t have to feel ashamed to show emotion. I might be a newspaper editor, but I don’t have skin so thick I don’t take things to heart.
So to David Hamilton, welcome, I hope this doesn’t scare you too much.
On Monday, your first day, there will be cake, because there is a cake in the office for every occasion. Our last publisher, Pierre, counteracted this by buying a treadmill.
I apologize if you ever have to witness any tears, but if you do, I suggest you quietly close the door to your office and pretend you don’t know what’s happening. Either that, or put the kettle on and be “one of the girls.”
Learn more about our new publisher on page 2