Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

Have you ever seen the Lending Tree commercial where the loan officer goes into her boss at the bank to tell him what a great rate she just got on her home mortgage… through another company. He says, “But Joan, you work here.” To which she replies… “I know… awkward.” It’s one of my all time FAVORITE commercials, but I never wanted to live it. Unfortunately I have been for two weeks now.
Unless you live under a rock you probably know that I used to be the Communications Director for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Though there is absolutely no connection between the TBI and the Tennessee Highway Patrol… covering the story that’s been developing at the THP has been beyond awkward. Law enforcement is a pretty tight knit community. There’s a lot of respect between agencies, and I know pretty much every player involved personally. It’s the first time since coming back to Channel 4 a year ago that I’ve had to cover a subject I’m so intimately familiar with, and it’s been a challenge to say the least.
When I was growing up there was this cartoon that ran on Saturday mornings where a sheepdog named Sam chased a wolf named Ralph. I’ve taken the liberty of finding a picture of it on the internet for those of you who don’t remember it. Anyway, these two would go at it all day, but at the end of each episode they would punch out on a time clock and go grab a beer. Actually, all it showed was a mug, but given how stressful the situation is… I’m assuming there was some alcohol involved.
If only this were how things really worked. Unfortunately, the cartoon is fiction. When you’re reporting a story with this kind of intensity and potential for embarrassment, emotions run high, and the next thing you know you’re at a news conference avoiding eye contact with people you used to go to lunch with. The truth is… if journalists do their job they’re eventually going to offend someone especially if you do the kinds of stories I do. Let’s face it, if you see me out on a story it probably isn’t going to be a ribbon cutting or parade that I’m covering. So I guess I’ll have to perfect the art of feeling AWKWARD. As much as I wish there were… there’s no time clock to punch.


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