It took me two tries to get hired at the Globe.
The first time, in early 2014, I lost out on the job to another reporter with more experience. I’d had a decent interview, one that I was confident I didn’t totally bomb, with then-publisher Joe Warren and then-editor Logan Jackson, so I was bummed when I learned on the follow-up call they were going to pass.
I remember that call. I was sitting in the sun on the steps of my parent’s deck when Logan said that he liked my writing, that he thought I had talent, but that he’d elected to go with the other candidate, who had more practical experience. With more newspaper-specific experience, Logan said, I’d have been offered the job.
I did something with that criticism. My dad had a contact at the Independence Examiner, the newspaper where I’m from, whom he encouraged me to contact. That led me to the editor of the paper, who kindly offered to set me up on my first assignments. It was mostly soft stuff, like the time I covered a local hotdog-eating contest.
Eventually, though, I got put onto some better assignments. One, a feature about an area Boy Scout whose eagle project repurposed old newspaper machines into drop-off bins for retiring American flags, landed on the front page. Another, a photo assignment capturing area foster kids learning to make cinnamon rolls, landed me an entire page in a Sunday edition.
I was learning and having fun and all the while keeping my eye on an online job board, when a job for a general assignment reporter opened up, just a few months after I’d been rejected, at the Atchison Globe.
It turns out, as I’d learn in my second round of interviews with Joe and Logan, that the person they hired over me found a different job, one that was apparently more appealing, pretty quickly after starting at the Globe. So he quit, and the job opened back up, and I was still in the market. The rest is history.
I started at the Globe on my birthday, Aug. 4, 2014, just a little more than three years ago, and I’ve always said that that was a great birthday gift. Now, though, my tenure here is coming to an end. This week is my last at the Globe before I begin again, this time reporting at the St. Joseph News-Press.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time living and working in Atchison. I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made, the things I’ve done and, most of all, everything I’ve learned. In short, I’ve done a lot of growing up here.
But, yeah, goodbyes suck.
I’ve learned more here about the “real world” than anywhere else ever before. I guess I attribute a lot of that to covering city government. That task has acquainted me with countless different topics, put me in touch with countless different people and challenged me to see more about how the world works.
There’s no way I could possibly thank everyone, so please allow me to offer a thank you to all of you. Whether you were a reader, a source or a subject of mine, know that I am deeply grateful to you for trusting me, an outsider, to cover the stories and the issues that matter in your hometown.
Atchison has provided me a sturdy foundation as I move forward with my career, and I’ll never forget it.