Rice Lake

Iam lost so much of the time now that I am tempted to fill out a missing person report on myself for police to keep handy just in case I do disapppear from the face of the earth.

While trying to get the Rice Lake Chronotype to the printer in Eau Claire by deadline last week — a feat I just about botched on my second day on the job — I continually pestered my new co-workers in the newsroom about where to find things.

(Although I am proud I didn’t have to ask twice for directions to the bathrooms. A woman has to have priorities.)

Ruth Erickson and Travis Nyhus, my new long-suffering news staff, repeatedly gave me directions on where to find templates, photos, pages, etc., on the server. If I were smart I’d have started to write it all down, but I’m runing around so fast in circles that I can barely keep up with the work that must be done to finish the print product.

Besides Ruth and Travis, I had also peppered former Chronotype Editor Ryan Urban, Sawyer County Record Editor Paul Mitchell in Hayward and graphic designer Angela Rediess in Eau Claire with phone calls and e-mails. They all cheerfully provided me with help, guidance and, best of all, direction even though it’s difficult for me to ask my way around.

I kind of take after men that way.

Besides learning to navigate the newsroom, computer server and a few new programs, I had begun to venture out to businesses and city offices, all with little clue where to start in the absence of an address.

Tell me the post office is two blocks down and take a right, I’m fine. But when something is not right downtown near the Chronotype office on Main Street, I suddenly get a bemused look on my face.

This is where Ruth has stepped in with well-meaning but admittedly confusing information.

For example: I mentioned that I needed to go to Jaybirds for a story and photo. Ruth immediately piped up it was just down from the The Milk Pail.

I had no idea where or what The Milk Pail was.

When I mentioned to her some apartments I had an eye on, she said. “Oh, yes, right behind Lehman’s.”

I had no idea where or what Lehman’s was.

As I travel back and forth from my hotel to work with weekend jaunts to Ashland to tie up loose ends and meet with the wonderful friends I made on the Bayfield County beat, I haven’t been able to drive around as much as I would like in Barron County.

Although I did manage to accidentally stumble upon Cameron last Friday when in search of Highway 53 and in the process discovered the location of the mall. (Again, priorities.)

Intellectually I know I will learn my way around the county, towns, newsroom and computer. I did it when I started at the Leader-Telegram nearly eight years ago. I did it when I pulled up stakes and ended up in Ashland 20 months ago.

And I know I and my co-workers will be up to the challenge of learning new procedures and processes as plans are afoot to change the way the Chronotype is paginated by the end of the year.

I just need patience with myself and the kindness of the Rice Lake community, which has alread started reaching out to me to say hello.

Thanks for the welcome.

And directions.

Preferably with addresses attached.

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