Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I love my new job. I hate my new job. I love my new job. I hate my new job. I love my new job. But I don't think I'm good enough for my new job.

And so life goes on but certain things about my personality, it seems, remain.

I went to the local coffee shop, where I get a discount because the counter guy knows I work at one of the businesses on the street. Today he asked me where specifically I worked. I told him and his eyes got big and his jaw almost dropped. Then he stammered that he has editing experience and if the paper ever needs any help...*

It's occurred to me before that I seem to have scored a job that many people in the town would covet. My editor is tough, but I don't dislike her. I almost like her more for being tough, except when it pushes me to the edge and I start to feel like the shittiest loser that ever crawled into the building. But perhaps that's a sign of self-improvement? Because my editor has exacting standards and several of her former staffers have gone on to bigger and better newspapers, including a guy who now writes for The New York Times. I like the fact that this newspaper I've landed at has an emphasis on actual news, not just arts and entertainment like the alt. weeklies in Albuquerque.

I've been trying to explain to myself what I think makes a good editor or boss but I can't put my finger on it. The last great editor I had, a guy I really enjoyed working for, was nothing like my current editor. He was loyal to a big corporate newspaper chain, but he never micromanaged. A stream of people would flood his office with complaints. He'd sit there and listen and then say something like, "Do I look better with my glasses on or off? On? Or off?" or "Would you like a V8? What? You don't drink V8? It's healthy." Eventually the flood of people would leave, in lighter spirits, and solve whatever mishap had occurred on their own. I think people just liked talking to this editor and found excuses to end up in his office.

I imagine my current editor would solve the same problem by slamming her door on the flood's face, so no one really bothers her unless it's a real crisis and instead everyone just solves their little mishaps on their own.

However, if either of the aforementioned editors ever found out about a crisis that you tried to hide from them, watch out.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is: I love my new job. I hate my new job. I don't think I'm good enough for my new job...And blah, blah, blah.

*Maybe next time I see the coffee shop guy I'll tell him that working here can be rewarding, but it's not always as fun as he might be imagining.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Wal is never the answer

According to an article in The Honolulu Advertiser, Wal-Greens is planning to open some 200 stores in Hawaii -- most of them next to or across the street from Longs Drugs stores. The Wal-Greens regional manager was quoted as saying Longs has 73 percent of the market share, a percentage so high it's "unheard of."

Of course, if you're from Hawaii not only is that percentage not "unheard of", you're probably surprised it's not even higher. We can thank Wal-Mart for that. I swear, there was always someone I recognized at the Longs, and if I was with my grandma she always bumped her cart into the cart of some other old local lady she knew.

I remember going to Longs one Sunday with my dad. We decided to pick up something inconsequential, like soap or shampoo, but when we got to the cash registers there was a long line and my dad said, "Shit. It's Sunday. What kind idiot goes to Longs for buy shampoo on Sunday?" In front of us in line was my driver's ed. teacher, Mr. Abalos. He was holding his Sunday Longs catalog and telling the person in front of him, "My friends go church every Sunday but I tell them this is my church (shakes his catalog) and this is my bible."

I remember Mr. Abalos best as the guy who taught me never to assume anything while driving because when you assume you make an "ass" out of "u" and "me." I also got pulled over by the police while in the driver's ed. car with him. The officer told us that the car's registration had expired but he let us off with a warning. Mr. Abalos apologized and explained that we were borrowing the car from the school in Lapahoehoe (or somewhere) so it wasn't really our fault. I guess we shouldn't have assumed that our car was legally registered.

I'm kind of bummed about Wal-Greens. I just can't imagine it will engender the same kind of stories/memories/nostalgia that Longs has. I mean, I live on the mainland now and there's a Wal-Greens on EVERY.SINGLE. CORNER. It'll always be generic to me.