Absence makes us all grow fonder

We never really appreciate how much someone does until they aren't around to do it.

In most cases we don't really know what they do until it doesn't get done. We ask around for the person "who usually does this" and get a bunch of blank looks.

It has been a bit like that round here this week. Our editorial assistant Megan has been on leave all week and we've noticed. At least I sure have.

She is one of those organised people who just gets on with the job, doesn't make a fuss, sees all sorts of other things that have to be done and does them, and makes sure everyone has what they need when they need it.

We've struggled through the week without too many calamities, and she's back on Monday so we'll be OK.

They say the real test is whether a business can survive without a person for more than three weeks without changing. We couldn't.

Megan does most of the loading and updating on our website, and that has taken a slide this week. If you're an online reader, you will have noticed the basics are there but not much else.

She also does most of our feeds on Facebook and Twitter.

Those have pretty much gone by the wayside, so sorry if you're one of our regular followers or "friends".

It's fine in a bigger organisation where there are several people to delegate to, but in a small operation like ours there are a limited number to share the load.

I always look forward to newsed Bill going on leave  not because we can do without him, but because I enjoy filling in for him. It's a hands-on job I did for about 10 years, although in Blenheim the job has a big twist.

Bill starts at 5am each day to get the pages through the system by deadline and then moves on to sorting out copy for our community papers  Midweek, Kaikoura Star and Saturday Express  later in the morning. Tuesday mornings are a challenge, going from the Express and then dealing with both Midweek and the Star.

When I'm on the news desk in the morning, I struggle with the three-papers-at-once thing. The subs who deal with the copy I send through are polite but I can imagine the speech bubbles above their heads. And I know they are pleased when Bill comes back.

Yet I don't tell these people how much they are appreciated until they aren't there.

Some people are good at giving positive feedback all the time. They see the best, even when they know everything's not right. They praise and they suggest.

I've read the books and listened to the lectures but it still doesn't come naturally.

Maybe next week once Megan and Bill are back ... 

The Marlborough Express