Mike Daly, Connecticut Post managing editor
For anyone who doesn’t know, today is my last day at the Connecticut Post. It’s a bittersweet departure, as I’ve been there about a decade and have come to think of it as home.
I remember my first day here. It was 1994. I was in my last year of j-school and I had snagged an internship on the business desk. I showed up in a pressed white shirt, tie, a pair of jeans and some Docksiders. I felt pretty spiffy and was still getting myself settled when the editor, Rick Sayers (who in those days looked a lot like Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly) walked up to me.
“Mr. Crowder,” he said, “we don’t wear dungarees at the Connecticut Post.”
He walked off, leaving the words to resonate in my head. Since then, I never again wore dungarees to work, even when I got stuck working on weekends or holidays.
Today, I wore dungarees to work. I enjoy the symmetry of that.
Now I start a new career, working as a communications specialist (i.e., public relations) for the local utility. It’s daunting to set out in a new career path, and a little ironic, since for most of my career I’ve seen PR folks as sellouts or professional adversaries. (I’ve accused many an exiting journo of “crossing over to the Dark Side“; those words have since come back to haunt me.)
You can bet that I won’t wear dungarees on my first day, which is Monday.
My conception of career has never been a straight line to a specific goal, but rather a meandering garden path replete with forks, bumps and the occasional rake threatening to rear up and whack you in the face if you step on it.
I never set out to be a journalist. I took one journalism course during my first attempt at college. When I decided to take a second stab at higher education, I went to an enrollment fair at the local state university and, having decided that I’m a pretty good writer and don’t mind reading, I filled out the enrollment form for would-be English majors.
I was on my way back to the English department booth when I spotted the much smaller booth maintained by journalism department.
“You know?” I said to myself. “That just seems so much more practical.”
I crumpled up the piece of paper in my hand and never looked back.