Story of a lost journalist

April 15, 2010

Frustrations, frustrations

Filed under: Personal — Cris @ 02:04

I can’t stand people with attitudes. And I am meeting more of them every day, given that meeting people is an irremovable part of my profession. I enjoy meeting people – only, I am not quite the social kind – talking on and on and calling on and on for no reason – is not my cup of coffee. No. My enjoyment ends with the meeting part. No new friendships need spring from these meetings. Contacts, yes, but friendship, no.

Wait, I was talking about attitudes. Yesterday I interview a shop owner – I spent at least two hours for it to go there, walk around the shop, take pics, wait to meet a couple of directors – and at the end of all that – he says “Sorry but you can’t use my name or photo.”
“But if I don’t use your name, the story loses credibility”
“No. Sorry mole but no. No names.”
“Hey I am not asking you to tell your opinion about an attempted murder. It is about your own shop.”
“No cant do that. No names, please. If I had known it before, I wouldn’t have given the interview at all. Wont give you my card too.”
This from a 60 year old man! Was it about the age-old belief people held that if your name comes on paper about any comment you make, then you will be in trouble? Or was it that he wanted a big paper? Or was it that he was in fact doing some questionable business???
In any case, I felt quite offended and luckily my editor let me scrap the story.

Today morning I call a lady who is apparently having a fest at her shop. I ask “Hi, I wanted to know about the fest that you are having…”
“It came in The Hindu. Didn’t you see?”
“Ok… I called you for it before but then you were a little undecided.”
“Yea but you didn’t call me two days later”
“Ok… it is on now right? So if we come today, we can cover it? Get some photos?”
“Hmmm I don’t know. Maybe. And I may be there only in the afternoon. Call me and check”

Third instance was just now. I called another lady to write an article about Vishu. She was apparently not interested.
“Can I come now to see you? Will you be free?”
“No I am going out right now”
“When will you be available?”
“I wont be here for two days”
“Ok… then can you tell me over phone…”
“What is the use of putting it now in your website?”
“It is Vishu and people would like to read about it.”
“I am going out now”

What is with people? Or is it that I am saying something wrong. I tell a junior kid who joined work recently to also listen and not just talk, I get a volume of replies including a lot of I don’t care what you think to others were better.

Ok, I decided it is me.

Cos there is more. A bad joke – which I took offense at – has put some distance between some people and me. Not a huge thing but it’s there. Gave me the feeling that I brought it on myself. It is always good to keep a good distance from people, they say. I never believed it but now I get a feeling it could be true. I love jokes but I guess I draw my lines somewhere.

It is a day of frustrations. The only good part is that I love my work now. I love the scope of it. I know I am not making use of it and have just started learning. But it is still great. Trivandrum seems like a whole big world open in front of me and I stand there like a confused kid not sure where to go or what to do.



  1. I also used to wonder, but now I just ignore it. It doesn’t make sense to lose our peace of mind over someone who doesn’t care about it at all.

    Comment by Dhanya — April 15, 2010 @ 13:15 | Reply

    • @Dhanya: I suppose you are right. It isnt easy still – not getting frustrated I mean. Letting it pass is hard for me!

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 02:10 | Reply

  2. Hmmm.. I understand the feeling of being rejected. It is damned frustrating to have people being so pessimistic and negative. It sort of envelops you, and for a short little while, makes you feel like shit, and useless. But then, snap of it, pick yourself up, step into the shoes. Start walking, and you’ll be yourself in no time. More positive. And you know all’s not lost.

    As for the distance, it’s something that happens to me too. Bad jokes, silly lies, a tidbit here and there, and you know you don’t really like the person all that much. I would stay away, but feelings of resentment can be read all too easily from my face. I suggest you try masking expressions too, effectively. You can’t force yourself to like someone.

    That’s that 😛

    Comment by Rasika — April 15, 2010 @ 14:41 | Reply

    • @Rasi: It comes on my face too, too obvious most times. Ah let it be!

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 02:12 | Reply

  3. Hey Cris,

    Can’t help it. Especially in our profession. But we need to talk to people.
    Don’t get frustrated. Yeah, attitudes make men people who they are.

    Comment by Sabin — April 15, 2010 @ 22:22 | Reply

    • @Sabin: yes I know. Maybe I will get used to it. Wish I was blind to attitudes! Maybe the problem is we think too much!

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 02:13 | Reply

  4. Geez Wally, when you make unsolicited calls on people, they are not going to respond politely. Remember that they’ll be getting several such calls every day, and many of those calls won’t be as civil or polite as your call.

    Of course the game changes if you call and say something like, “This is Wally from CNN India”. That sort of thing is guaranteed to get good, polite, and often excited responses. *grin*

    Comment by Nish — April 15, 2010 @ 22:41 | Reply

    • @Nishboy: LOL!!! Wally from CNN!! ROFL!
      Well I hope some day my name would be enough to guarantee “good polite and excited responses”, before they even have to hear who I am calling for :p

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 02:15 | Reply

  5. Cris,
    Girl, so you have not eloped with some eskimo to his igloo in the artic ?! (sigh)!
    your coldblooded hybernation has had harboured some huge such hypothesis in my hind mind.

    When I opened your vishu post, Quite honestly, I was expecting some pyrotechs of hilarious display of wanton wit !
    but you seem to be squirting half-hearted bursts like a damp ‘padakkam’!

    one of those days I presume, where your own bubbly spirit could not pervade the let downs !
    its ok da! Happens… you know.
    you work for a news paper? … mag?..(I promise to buy a copy every time it hits the stands)
    its an e-paper? … gimme the add,(I promise to read and mebbe … put in an advert of some sort in there )
    Thats what friends are for !

    Do not get disheartened Cris.
    these things happen to the best of us !
    there will surely, come a time, where a publication will be sold , purely b’coz you right in it !
    take heart!
    happy vishu yesterday ! (NOW DON’ HOWL @ ME )
    be here (journalost)as much as you possibly can afford to.
    there are enough souls here, willingly waiting for … even your wailing 😉

    Comment by muralee maadhav — April 16, 2010 @ 18:18 | Reply

    • @Muralee: Thank you 🙂
      I work for a Trivandrum-based webportal called
      Only the beta version is launched now 🙂

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 02:17 | Reply

  6. Ahh! I thought it was for me only! 😉 By the way, I started following Nish’s way in some cases! 😀 It works! I use Hindu, instead of CNN

    Comment by Srijith — April 17, 2010 @ 09:08 | Reply

    • @Srijith: Edaaaa Phayangara!!!

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 02:19 | Reply

  7. I totally understand all that you have written. And maybe i’m a part of it as well… And about attitudes, i cant stand such people either, and there is another set, i discovered lately, who will come to you for their needs and when you go to them mam, interview, “oh no! Im busy now, later dear…” and then a call after a week, a wide 100watt smile. “dear can you come to this place, we need a small help” Blah!

    Comment by Akshaya — April 18, 2010 @ 01:48 | Reply

    • @Akshaya: Heehee I can guess who you are talking about. My new theory is that everyone has attitudes, in one way or another, that frustrates someone or another. I know for certain I have managed to irritate a few people just by speaking a line or two. the tone, they have said was intolerable. I didnt understand it then. And I guess the people who irritate me dont understand they are irritating me. So everyone is innocent, in a way.

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 02:21 | Reply

  8. There is another kind of work where one has to face even worse, door-to-door sales. Every time I see a sales person I am not sure whether I should laugh or cry. Those guys are really on the receiving end! Rejection and frustration are part of every profession. At least the journalist card would assure you prime access to many exciting things. And as far as relationships and keeping distance are concerned, my usual policy has been to keep the expectations low especially if I like the person a lot. It helps to not be too concerned about being happy always. After all, its the tears along with the laughter that make us feel alive. 🙂

    Comment by Anand — April 18, 2010 @ 03:42 | Reply

    • @Anand: Like that last line :-). Yes, all true. Sales people, and those poor girls from mobile service companies who have to call and make offers everyday and subject themselves to a generous outpour of scorn and swear. It is not half as bad for us. Still it is embarassing sometimes. And about relationships – low expectation and distance, I guess both are good.

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 02:25 | Reply

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