Column: Give thanks for it all, even work
by Will Heath
Nov 23, 2010 | 1569 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I was going over a list of things I should say “thanks” for this year: my church, my wife, my family, my house, my dogs (even the one that broke my leg) and my job.

Wait … my job?

Who gives thanks for a job? Most people spend their time complaining about their jobs. Every other Facebook status in the history of Facebook is an employed person complaining about having to wake up for work, having to endure some laborious aspect of work, wondering why they have to work when it’s so pretty outside or dreaming of weekends, whether the upcoming one or the one that just passed.

(Important note about Facebook: We are quickly approaching a point of critical mass in human history, in which Facebook will be all anyone does all the time. I am attempting to retire from such a fate, but the site haunts my every move. I’m telling you.)

So, whatever — let’s buck the trend. Here are some reasons I’m thankful to have this job.

• First, anyone in my position should be thankful to have a job of any kind. Newspapers, ladies and gents, are the dying art form of all dying art forms — barely a day goes by when I don’t hear about someone with way more talent, ability and education than I have, looking for work (Facebook again … gah). The fact that a hack like me continues to draw a paycheck is worth a great big “thank you” to everybody who’s reading, advertising and commenting (yes, even those who occasionally e-mail to invite me to drop dead).

• Let’s be thankful for St. Clair County. It’s easy to poke fun at politicians and government, particularly in a state with so many troubling ethical stories as Alabama. On the other hand, St. Clair County consistently receives credit as an area that “gets it” when it comes to economic development and forward thinking. You may not believe this, but it’s way more fun to be a newspaperman in a place where things go right more often than they go wrong.

• I’m thankful for my co-workers. The truth of the matter is, I’m not nearly learned enough to do this job without help. I’m fortunate to work alongside people who are, without question, the very best this area has to offer at their individual jobs, people who can cover virtually everything, and do it without ever patting themselves on the back or attempting to hog the spotlight. Everybody should be so fortunate.

• I’m thankful for our company. Look around. Corporations everywhere are either folding or drastically cutting back. Not this one. And that says a whole lot.

• As always, I’m thankful to my family for allowing me to do this. Being a local newspaper guy isn’t so much a “job” as it is “a lifestyle choice,” since everybody has stories they constantly want printed, or want to complain about stories that were printed (or weren’t). So thanks to my folks who allowed me to go into journalism in the first place, thanks to my wife who lets me keep doing it, despite long hours and very little gratification, and thanks to everybody in my extended family who pretends not to be disappointed when I tell them I can’t go out or come visit because … ya know, I’ve got to work.

It’s the best life a cynical hack like me could ever ask for.

Contact Will Heath at

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