I pick up the phone, “Hello?”
“Hi this is Nathaniel Archibald, from the Boston Review, I’m calling for Ms. Bolton.”
“This is she.”
“Good, we have some good news about the job you interviewed for the other day... You got the job and we would like you to start on Monday.”
“Oh that’s great! Thank you so much!”
“You’re welcome, Ms. Bolton. We are looking forward to seeing you Monday morning.”
“See you then.”
My alarms are set for 6 am. I have to be there by 9 am. This gives me three hours, it takes a half hour to get there. If I take the bus and leave by 8:15 I will have time to spare. I take a shower and blow out my hair and put on makeup. I spend 20 minutes picking out the right outfit.
I have never been so excited to start a new job. It has been a while since I worked at job I liked. The last time was probably when I was in high school and I got a job a the pizza parlor where the cute senior worked. This new job is better than the best. I’m the new writer for the Boston Review. This is what I have dreamed about since I was a little girl.
I have my coffee and am out the door. I’m so ready for this day. I couldn’t sleep at all last night. The Buses are packed with men and women in their suits and nice shoes. Everybody is on their phones reading the latest news. I see one guy reading the Boston Review. To think in less than a week my name will be on these people’s papers, they will be reading my articles, that I wrote. The idea almost made me miss my stop. I jump off the bus, the streets are packed, but I nudge my way through. I see the building. I stand and stare. 36th Floor, suite 309.
When I get up there the receptionist calls someone and tells them I’m here. He tells me to sit and wait. I people watch. I watch people running around with clip boards and binders filled with papers. Everything is so energetic. It’s so alive. I snap out of my trans when I hear someone calling my name. It’s a tall man wearing a suit and tie, he gestures for me to come with him.
“Hi Ms.Bolton, I’m Tom Bradshaw, you can follow me this way.”
I feel like a little kid in a candy store. Looking in all the offices. Seeing all the people hard at work. This is me. I am a part of this. I am this. For the first time in a long time, I’m really motivated to do the right thing. We stop in front of an office with my name on it. My name, is in gold letters on a black plaque. It was mesmerizing.
“This is your office, Ms. Bolton.”
It had a window and everything. It was picturesque.
“And I believe your first assignment is on your desk. You will be covering the school shut down in Cambridge.”
“Thank you so much, I will get started right away.”
Mr. Bradshaw walks away. I sit down at the desk and look through the file. I look through my new @bostonreview email. I have an email from an unknown name telling me that the rental car was waiting for me outside and that I should pick up the keys from the secretary. I assume that they want me to go get a closer look. I call the school to set up a tour. The most important thing they tell you in journalism classes is to never tell the people that you are interviewing that you are a reporter.. When people know they are getting interviewed it makes the whole experience a lot less realistic. So I told them I was a prospective parent.
When I get to the school it is almost empty, there were maybe 10 kids per class. Every student in a black blazer, girls in skirts, boys in slacks, both in white shirts with red ties. It was a very classy school. After the half hour tour, we were taken to a large bulletin board with all the students biographies. I couldn’t help but notice that every single one of these kids that went here were children to either famous or political parents. I thought I had enough for my story. I sat down and started to write.
Many have heard of the school closings in the city and country but some of the schools making the biggest noise maybe should be the ones to be shut down. I recently took a visit to the 2nd most prestigious K-12 school, the Elizabeth Banks School. It is one of the many getting closed in the Boston area. With an annual tuition of 24,000 a year it does not seem like such a tragedy if it does get closed down. There are currently 100 kids in the entire school, the smallest school on record for this area.
The piece goes on with the many reasons why the school should be closed because they don’t meet the requirement for students, so on and so forth. I dropped it off on the editor’s desk that night before going home.
I had slept easy that night. Proud of my achievements. I had written my first article. The next day I woke up proud. There was a different kind of bounce in my step that day. I got to the office and started researching my next article.
There was a knock on my door, I look up from my computer. It is the head editor of the paper.
“Oh. Hello Mr. Smith”
“Hello Ms. Bolton”
“Please come in, sit down”
“Thank you, but I won’t be staying long.”
“Is something the matter? Did you not like my piece on the clossing of the schools?”
“It’s not that I didn’t like it, it is just that I’m not sure this is the right message we want to send to our readers.”
“I’m sorry I don’t think I understand. You told me to write an opinion piece and I did.”
“Yes and it is a great opinion, but I just think that maybe you should write for the opinion of our readers… not your own.”
“Are you telling me you want me to lie?”
“No not lie. Never that.”
There was a long pause.
“This company was started by my family years ago. It was passed down from generation to generation. It started off as just a little paper nobody would ever read, but then it blossomed and it was sold by the hundreds everyday. But the times have changed. People aren’t reading the newspaper anymore, it is all about the online stuff. The only people that read our paper are old men who drink their coffee and read their paper every morning because they don’t know how to work a computer.”
I couldn’t help but laugh, he smiled.
“Do you know what I mean? We have to keep our readers happy.”
“You want me to tell them what they want to hear.”
“Exactly! I knew you were a smart one, that’s why we hired you.”
It boggled my mind to think about what Mr.Smith had just said. When I became a journalist it was because I liked to write about current events. I wanted people to hear my opinions, but now it seems like that isn’t actually what is going to happen. I have two choices, quit and try to find a job that will let me write what I think is true but the chances of that may be slim, or keep my job and twist stories for the rest of my life into what the upper class of the Boston area wants to hear.
I would have the power as someone of the press that would be able to change the way people look at things by giving bias information just so they would buy and read our paper.