Working in a better environment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 9, 2002

On June 25, I left the job for a three-day vacation up north, and when I left we were still located in the front of the building. Even though I was aware of the move, when I returned to work on July 1, I was completely astonished by how the newsroom, advertising department, circulation department, editor’s and bookkeeper’s offices all fitted into another part of the building. Phase One had been completed.

I don’t know about my co-workers, but it has been a learning experience to work as one big team in one big room as we have done here in the past two weeks. During this time I have observed many things about my fellow employees that make me even prouder to work here and to be working with such an enthusiastic group.

However, at times things may get a little tedious when we find ourselves trying to get to a point in a hurry and may accidentally bump into each other; or there may be a situation where one of us may be facing each other while trying to decide which way to go or who should go first. In spite of all of these little inconveniences, we seem to be working it all out.

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Our publisher is trying to make being in our new surroundings as cheerful and easygoing as possible. He is always busy observing and overseeing the situations here to make sure that everything is running smoothly with us employees as well as the building contractors. He is also trying to break the monotony of it all by making interesting little games during this period until all phases are completed. There was one little suggestion that he introduced to us last week. Each Friday until the renovation is completed the employee who does the best job as voted by his or her colleagues of facilitating harmony within our business would be treated to a surprise. That employee would have to display a cheerful attitude, help keep his or her work area and other areas clean, and be as helpful as possible to his or her co-workers and our customers.

There is one big thing that I am going to have to get used to though if I’m going to stay in this room, and that is those little microphones worn on the heads of the classified ad representatives. When they are transacting business on the telephone, I am sometimes distracted thinking that one of them might be talking to me. Betty Griffin sits directly in front of me sideways and sometimes when she is talking, I sometimes find myself saying, &uot;Huh, what did you say?&uot; Then I soon realize that she is on the phone.

I also have observed many traits about my lovely co-workers some of them I can mention. or example, there’s Sue Barnes who is always very concerned if she can help you if you are in need of anything such as change to buy a soda or a needle to sew on a button. Then there is Linda Bundy who, when she completes an ad transaction with a customer and still needs to talk with another ad rep about it, she will usually say, &uot;Okay here’s the deal.&uot; She then assists in helping to take care of the deal. There is also John Bushbaum who is hardly ever here. Don’t get me wrong, folks, he is out there selling those ads which makes him a valued employee. At times I love looking at his desk and empty chair. It reminds me how mine would look if I could only take another vacation. Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s not that I don’t love what I am doing but that I needed a little more time doing what I was doing. But some good things must come to an end to prepare for better things in the future, such as the new construction in this building.

Speaking of which, some people are still getting confused or are not aware about entering the back door. When you come through the gate to the door that has the pointing finger on it, you will see a sign on the left that says &uot;Enter here.&uot; Signs on the left side of the building from the front will also direct you where to enter the building. Once inside, follow the colored tape and it will take you directly to where all departments are located.

I think that I can speak for everyone when I say that we employees are already displaying a sense of pride and are excited about our new facelift.

Most people are overjoyed that we are staying in this location. The business represents a part of Suffolk’s history in reporting and producing news in the same location at 130 S. Saratoga St.

We enjoy seeing customers enter those doors and many who have already seen what has been done so far make the statement, &uot;It doesn’t even look the same&uot; or &uot;It’s just like being in an entirely new building.&uot;

That last statement is true. However, I think that the News-Herald staff has always strived to do its best in the old surroundings, and if it is true that a better environment creates better results, and when all phases are completed, and when we are all working in an entirely better environment, we should be awesome.

Evelyn Wall is a staff writer and regular columnist for the Suffolk News-Herald.