Tales from a Part-Time Sport Clerk

We don’t get much publicity, us lowly part-time sports clerks. The guys that get paid just a tad over minimum wage, answering phone calls from coaches before earning our stripes and actually getting an opportunity to cover an actual sports event.

You read articles from the full-time writers. They even have their own blogs, but what about us? Don’t you want to hear from us? Don’t you want to hear about the fun times we have covering games? Good! That’s why I’m going to share with you.

Last night, for instance, was one of those tough times. I was scheduled to cover a volleyball game that was scheduled to start at 7pm. The game began at 8pm due to the pre-game Senior Night festivities. The four-game match finished at 9:30pm, allowing me little time for interviews before I had to start writing my 18-inch (540-word) story by my 10:15pm deadline.

I was able to nail down the interviews and began the trek to my car by 9:50am, allowing me 25 minutes to write my story. After a short drive to an Albertson’s parking lot I turned on my laptop, jumped in the passenger seat (more room) and began writing my article.

The lights in my car lit up the notes I had taken. They’d go out and then I’d have to turn them back on, all the while hoping my car battery wouldn’t go dead. I finished my story by 10:15pm, and that’s when the fun begins.

Where do I send my story? I have wireless on my computer but I have to steal a connection from somewhere. I thought about heading towards Snohomish, about a 10-minute drive away, to sit in the library parking lot hoping to pick up their connection.

I began my drive, all the while refreshing my wireless connection hoping I’d steal some connection and all the while swerving in and out of my lane paying more attention to my passenger – my laptop – than the road ahead.

No luck!

I ended up at the library around 10:40pm. Past deadline but still ahead of the 11:15pm deadline the guys at the office have for sending out the paper. I couldn’t get a connection. I restarted my computer, the battery power slowly dying. When it restarted I walked up to the door of the library again praying for a connection. Nothing! I was running out of time so I decided to jump back in the car and head towards Mickey D’s. They usually have WiFi.

Not at this location!

I picked up a signal from Jack in the Box and darted over to their parking lot. I was able to connect, however, to get the connection I needed the free access code located on the TV screen inside the LOCKED doors of the restaurant! Time check: 10:52pm.

I made one last executive decision. I called my parent’s, who live about 10 minutes away in Monroe, and told them to unlock the doors I was busting through.

I broke the speed limit as I darted toward Monroe, thinking to myself, is it worth the time and money ($9.89 an hour) for the stress and non-family time? My computer lied dead in the passenger’s seat.

I arrived at my parent’s house, snagged the computer and my power strip and headed into the house. After a slow boot-up, I finally sent my story. Final time: 11:09pm or nearly an hour after deadline, though it was 45 minutes just driving around trying to find a signal.

I wrote an email to the powers to be apologizing and then telling them about my frustration. I’m expected to write a decent article, proofread and check for spelling but really I spend most of my post-game time trying to find somewhere to send my story.

This has happened in the past. The dart across the parking lot, sweating after not getting a connection, having to drive into the office at 10:45pm to try and meet the 11:15pm deadline.

Then there are times when I have to walk my laptop up to the library’s door, a darkened parking lot as my backdrop, to send my story in the middle of the night.

It’s fun to listen to these stories from the other clerks, and after it’s all said and done we laugh at how we have to do things. I wonder how they did it in the old times. I have more stories to share but I thought I would wait and share them later. For now, enjoy! I have to do it all over again tonight and tomorrow!

Oh to read my article click here.

One thought on “Tales from a Part-Time Sport Clerk

  1. um…couldn\’t you just finish it in the bleachers at the school while the janitors mop up the spilled popcorn & then use the internet that you as a state tax payer provide to submit your article on time?  Nah…that would be too easy and half the fun is in the adventure of beating deadline, right?


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