The Newcomer

Now you see him, now you don't!

In our busy office, I haven't had time to really get acquainted with any of my co-workers in the few months I've been here. Seems there is always a deadline looming that makes visiting in the office impossible for me.

It's my nature anyway, when at work, to work and not visit, because I like to meet or beat deadlines, which is less stressful for me. So, my contact with co-workers has been limited to a hello or goodbye and whatever exchange is necessary to get the job done. But recently my little work-a-day-world got a jolt.

The reporter at the desk next to mine decided to pack Sunnyside in and move on to Port Angeles where he will copy-edit for a larger daily newspaper. Of course, one wishes a co-worker well as he moves onward and upward, but I think his empty chair is going to take a little getting used to.

We came on the job about the same time, and I had grown accustomed, if not to his face, at least to the very top of the back of his head. (He's quite short and the back of his chair is extremely high.) Sometimes I wasn't even sure if he was at his desk. When I had a question for him, I'd have to sneak a peek to see if his shoes were showing.

Even though our contact was rather limited, I will miss Ben Davis, who was the youngest reporter on this staff. Now, I wonder, who will tap into the internet to get information when I need it for a story? Since my computer does not have the capability of accessing the internet, Ben would do that for me. He and Google have provided me with tidbits of information from the scoop on a hospital in India to data on a specific grape for a story on which we both worked.

And tag-teaming on a story was a first for me. I had always covered an assignment on my own until our managing editor teamed Ben and me up to work on a winery/vineyard story. After 20 years in the business, I finally had a partner!

I thought we worked well together, even if he didn't stay around at the end of the day to share a bottle of the winery's best.

I liked Ben's work ethics. He never complained about the weekend work, never refused an assignment and-as far as I know-never bagged out on a story assignment. And I appreciated his quiet demeanor at work, especially since his desk was situated so closely to chatter coming from that quarter. Just two people working, and that's the way I liked it.

We did our jobs and then we went our separate ways. That's not conducive to making friends or really getting to know a co-worker, but it worked for me and seemed to work for Ben.

I know change is inevitable and people do have to move on. I know that Ben's chair will be filled soon, if it isn't already. Still, I'll miss the top of his head now that he's gone.


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