Who would want to be someone's deputy?
You get to do all the work - run around after the boss and pick up the pieces - without any of the kudos.
Well, sometimes. Depending on the boss.
My deputy and I have quite different jobs and I like to think she hasn't had to do too much running around after me, but I'm about to find out the truth because she left yesterday. She's off to Whanganui to work on a similar paper closer to family and old friends.
She is Anna Wallis, a name that hasn't appeared in too many bylines in the paper, although in the scheme of things she has done a lot of writing - and rewriting. She has a strong background as a reporter but most of her work here has been focused on helping other journalists with their ideas, and on production.
Newspapers rely on people like Anna - the people who make sure everything works and the paper comes out every day. When everything turns to chaos, she is the one sitting quietly in the newsroom, putting things together as usual while also suggesting what needs to be covered in the chaos.
She has also been a major part of our "community" papers - Midweek, Saturday Express and the Kaikoura Star. She has worked with the reporters on those papers on their story ideas, the illustrations and putting the papers together.
A year ago when we went through some major production changes, Anna went from working a 9-6 dayshift to a 1.30-whenever afternoon shift. We needed someone to do it and she put her hand up because she wanted to make sure the transition was as smooth as possible. Not everyone would have changed their lifestyle to do that.
Newspapers need people like Anna, who always have the reader in mind, especially during our daily meetings when we talk about how to develop stories and pictures and where they should go in the paper. She always has a clear idea of what readers want and expect.
She has been there when I needed an editorial written at the last minute, to give sound feedback on my ideas and just keep the place running.
She has been here for 5 years and has had a big influence on the newsroom. She has been the boss when I haven't been around and kept the place running between editors before I arrived. That's not an easy job.
And now she's gone.
We will miss her.
Who remembers the vice-captain? Often the same with the deputy editor.
But we will remember Anna because she has been an important part of the Express family. We wish her well as she boards the ferry, heading for Whanganui and the next chapter in her career.
Go well, Anna.
- The Marlborough Express