Well I survived my first week back in full-time employment.
Things that have changed since I left The West in 2007.
*The side gate I used to use as a shortcut to the foyer is now locked. Padlocked and covered in cobwebs, in fact. I felt pretty daft marching around to use it, then marching right back again.
*There’s still next to nowhere to eat. Maybe I should buy a Jiffy food van?
*Sky News has a reporter in residence. I wondered who the pretty girl was who was talking to herself; then I realised when I stuck my head past the partition she was doing a piece to camera. It’s amazing the set-up she has and apparently it doesn’t pick up all of our noise.
*For a whole day I wondered why they had only hand sanitiser in the toilets, the stuff you don’t use with water. Then I realised the soap dispensers were built-in next to the tap. Like they had always been.
*It’s not a good idea to go to the loo around lunchtime. That’s when they are closed for cleaning.
*The editorial computer system is far more user-friendly (though some users found it hard to believe I’d said that) and the internal message system has gone.
*You need to dial 0 to get an outside line, not 9. Or you end up ringing random people in sport by mistake. I think.
*That it’s a good idea to tell switchboard you’ve returned to work, or they accidentally tell people you don’t work there anymore.
*Home -baked goods are embraced and encouraged – although I was a bit shocked to overhear one colleague saying my Chocolate Crackle Top cookies looked like dog poo circa when dogs ate bones. She thinks I didn’t hear her because I was on the phone several rows away. Ha!
*Travelling reporters can borrow a Dell netbook and wireless USB modem. Amazing! I’m testing one out tomorrow.
*I received mail from a movie company on my third day, before I had changed my address with them. I realised that mail had probably been coming in and going in the bin since 2007. I hadn’t realised because I also get their mailouts by email.
*I could spend several weeks explaining how long I was gone for and why I am back.
There’s nothing quite like a newsroom, especially when you started working in one aged 17. Only newspaper people really understand newspapers and newspaper people - to this day I’ m pretty sure 75 per cent of my non-media friends have no idea what I actually do. Actually some media people probably don’t either, since my round is TV but I’m not on it