1. One or two paragraphs of most stories are enough. (And that’s all you’ll read. Why do they write such long stories?)
2. Art is often more important that text. (You mean, I should have cut words to get in more photos?)
3. What was once fast technological change to you is now glacial. (How long does it take to make a decent mobile site?)
4. People take long holiday weekends. (Wait. What?)
5. People play golf on Fridays. (But what about the Sunday copy? Oh. Right.)
6. Rush-hour traffic really does suck. (You’d never experienced it because you were in the office.)
7. It’s amazing how much you can get done at home between 5:30-7 p.m.
8. The city budget isn’t nearly as interesting, after all.
9. You don’t curse for no reason in everyday conversation nearly as much.
10. Anticipating criticism, you don’t inwardly cringe when someone refers to something they read in the paper. (Hat tip to Madison Taylor.)
11. You don’t care about whether blogs or Twitter or Tumblr ”will save newspapers.”
12. You don’t have to eat meals from the vending machine. (But your skill at rocking the machine to free selections that are hung up is still useful.)
13. Your computer’s homepage is no longer your paper’s website. (Because who really uses a homepage any more? Note to newspapers: who really uses a homepage any more?)
14. Your “old” news judgment was wrong way more often than you thought. (No, that wet weather story shouldn’t have been on the front page. Nor that shooting. Nor that zoning story.)
15. You don’t wake up at 3 a.m. in a panic that you spelled someone’s name wrong. (Or forgot an assignment. Or failed to include a key fact. Or libeled someone.)
16. You don’t have to be polite to the trolls. (Yes!)
17. When someone tells you that they’re having problems with the delivery of the paper, you take great joy in saying, “That’s too bad. You do know that I don’t work there any more.”
17a. When someone tells you that they’re having problems with the liberal editorial page, you take great joy in saying, “That’s too bad. You do know that I don’t work there any more.” (Added by Kathryn Hopper.)
18. Stories with attitude and a strong point of view are more interesting to read that most straight news. (Why are those relegated to the editorial pages?)
20. Getting it right is better than being first. (You knew that already, but damned if others do.)
21. You really can get much of what you need from Facebook and Twitter. (Who knew Amanda Bynes is such a twit?)
22. You miss your snarky, funny, charming, passionate friends in the newsroom. Non-newsroom people are, well, different. (Overheard in the Newsroom.)
23. “My readers know more than I do,” you believe…except when it comes to what the Founding Fathers thought of religion and the press.
24. You have a voice. (Objectivity, schmobjectivity. Now you can say what you really think.)
And from commenters:
25. You can slap a political sticker on your car/sign in your yard and not get in trouble. (Doing that for the first time was one of my favorite post-newspaper moments.)
26. My children recognize what I look like, and I see them when they are actually awake.
27. I haven’t had to apologize for missing a school play or program because a “big story” broke.
28. On Saturday night, I can go to dinner or a movie without having to excuse myself to check in on Sunday’s 1A.
29. You realize how expensive it is to travel without filing an expense report.
30. You walk outside every morning blissfully ignorant what’s on — and eager to see — the front page.
31. You miss the sarcsam, gossip and dark humor that reporters throw around the newsroom like parade candy when there’s an AP News Alert about a politician.
31a. You wonder if they still call them AP News Alerts.
32. Two-hour lunches with Ben. At The Village Tavern. Realizing maybe we didn’t have all the answers for saving the industry after all.
33. Lunch hour isn’t a myth.
34. My deadline is in TWO WEEKS?! Who does that?!
35. You stop referring to the newspaper as “we.”
36. You abbreviate “Drive” when you write an address. Also Road, Terrace and Circle.
37. You get a job where you are surrounded by people who find it dazzling that you actually meet deadlines.
38. You still follow firetrucks to see where they’re going.
39. You still e-mail tips to your friends and family who DO work at the paper and are thrilled when something makes it in.
40. You get really ticked off that you have to buy your own pencils and Post-its now. (Clearly Post-its are what caused all the layoffs.)
41. It’s embarrassing when you watch the news or pick up the paper and haven’t heard about a big story that’s going on.
42. You wonder if the rumor you were told, or that feature story idea you discovered accidentally is worth letting the paper know, The longer you’ve been out of the biz, the harder it is to make that determination.
43. When it snows and everybody else gets to stay home, I do too.
44. You don’t feel the need to read all the back issues of the paper that you missed when you were away on vacation.
45. You may once again say “just over 50%” instead of the clunky “just more than 50%”
45a. You can put that period outside the quote mark, where it belongs, without the copy desk changing it. And you can start a sentence with “and”. And you can put that period …
46. You can ignore Monday’s paper because you know none of the stories were good enough to run Sunday, or even Saturday.
47. So THAT’S what a sunset looks like.
48. You realize that continuous cable news disaster coverage really is bad for you.
49. You automatically notice the number, direction and speed of passing police cars, and can tell the difference between a busy night and a big story. If you still know the guy on the night desk, you might even call it in.
50. You watch election results in your pj’s….
51. You actually READ the ads.
52. When a hurricane bears down, you head out of town instead of to the office.
53. You can drive by an accident without calling the city desk.
54. When the phone rings in the middle of the night, someone really has died, not just the presses.
55. You still have your pica pole and proportion wheel, but don’t know where they are in your house.
56. Professors ask you for advice instead of you calling them for quotes.
57. When someone you used to know interrupts you at your daughter’s dance recital to spread a bit of gossip they think would make a good story and you can politely say: “I don’t work there anymore. And I don’t care anymore.”
58. “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” is no longer prime-time TV.
59. Eating an entire bag of microwave popcorn after midnight (see: Craig Ferguson) no longer seems like a reasonable thing to do.
60. You don’t have to change three passwords every 90 days.
61. Since you no longer work nights, you don’t have to tell people that no, you are not a nurse. Or a vampire.
61a. Or a stripper.
62. If you were a copy editor, you no longer have to face the question that follows “I work at a newspaper” = “So, what do you write?”
63. You can get up from a desk (or couch) to pee when you DARN WELL WANT TO.
64. You don’t go to work every day wondering if it’s the day when YOUR position is eliminated in the latest round of layoffs/buyouts.
65. You can actually root for your favorite sports team.
66. It no longer seems as if 8 a.m. is WAY TOO EARLY in the morning. (And you can capitalize words like WAY TOO EARLY without getting grief from anyone.)
67. You never believe a rumor until it’s been officially denied.
68. You probably work in PR or marketing. There’s a good chance you don’t subscribe to or even read the paper any more.
69. Sadly, disasters and tragedies are no longer leavened by the world’s worst jokes.
70. You have to tell the whole joke now, not just the punchline.
71. (For those of us on the copy desk) You can no longer brag about getting the 10 Commandments down to six.
72. But you do write 10 as a numeral and spell out six.
73. You no longer have to defend the serial comma, and then change your mind and your argument when your paper does.
74. I have the scanner app on my phone, too. Sometimes I play it in the background instead of music.
75. The sweet smell of printer’s ink doesn’t linger like smoke in your conscious or send a chill through your neural net when detected.
76. You appreciate fully the value of letting a story stew a day or so before hitting the keys.
77. Your spouse, who still works at the paper, has to eat cold left overs because you’ve begun to see a 7:30 dinner time as too late to eat.
78. Your spouse, who still works at the paper, has to eat cold left overs because you’ve begun to see a 7:30 dinner time as too late to eat.
79. You still don’t’ trust that your mother loves you just because she told you so. Verify, verify, verify!
80. You have to spend Christmas with your in-laws because “Sorry, holiday rotation,” is no longer a valid excuse.
81. You can watch your favorite TV show when it actually airs instead of DVR’ing it and trying to avoid spoilers.
82. You can eat real food on Election Night instead of the cold pizza/questionable cold cuts the bosses ordered for the staff.
83. You begin to question the wisdom of drinking three cups of coffee between 5 pm and midnight.
84. You look at the weather ear first - and not for the weather.
85. I can actually enjoy watching a ball game. I don’t care if it goes into overtime.
86. Two letter state abbreviations still make you stop and shake your head.
87. You get a bonus check instead of furlough leave.
88. You go to vote on election day and the candidate shaking people’s hands outside the polling station has no idea who you are.
89. You go to vote and you can’t distinguish one school board candidate from another, just like everyone else.
90. You don’t have to explain that, as a writer, you do not write the cutlines for the photos.
91. Your ability to spell decreases every week.
92. You are so relieved not to have to cover municipalities that are so unappealing because of their drama or their political leanings.
93. You’re not entirely sure who the lieutenant governor is, and you don’t really care anyway.
94. You finally meet your mailman. (OK, postal carrier.)
95. You notice all the typos in the paper and you wonder who is copy editing this stuff. Then you remember: No one!
96. You don’t schedule getting pregnant so you’ll be out on maternity leave during the next election cycle and won’t have to write voter-initiative summaries. (my friend the editorial page editor used to do this.)
97. When you run across a feature idea, you realize that even if you wrote it as a freelancer, the newspaper would only have 12 inches to put it in. So you move on.
(Please add your observations in the comments and I’ll pull them out onto the post.