8 a.m.

via carrottspc.wordpress.com

I have developed a rule that I don’t call anyone until 8 a.m. I’ve broken it several times, Sandy included, but I’ve stuck to it pretty well.

It may sound a bit odd, but I’m going into my tenth month at the Chronicle and so far it has worked for me.

For one, town halls don’t open until 8 a.m. usually, so leaving a message before then isn’t a very smart idea. Your message will get thrown in with others that could be in the queue from overnight. You don’t want your message to get lost. (That’s a bit paranoid, I know)

I do it more as a common courtesy to sources and the random people I call. I really don’t like waking people up. Many people’s work schedules don’t mesh with ours at the paper, so it’s sometimes a struggle to get in touch with people.

I mean, who would want to get a call from me at 7:30 in the morning?

I do have several sources that like to talk in the mornings, before 8 a.m., on their drives to work. It makes my life easier and helps them from getting calls on their cellphones from me while they are at work. When you can find a source who agrees to that, keep them. You never know when you’ll need their help down the road.

Being in so early in the morning isn’t always ideal, but you can sometimes catch sources before they go off to work. Those same sources may not appreciate it, but, I think, they will respect the fact that you are doing your job.

For town officials, it’s kind of nice because they are just settling in at 8 a.m. or a bit later and aren’t busy, in meetings or distracted.

If you know the right times to call, it all works out.

Jonathan

I apologize for not posting yesterday. I had to take my Dad to the emergency room after work for his hip. He had neck surgery in May and, during the surgery, doctors took bone marrow from his hip to put into his neck. Last Thursday, he decided to mow the lawn while I was at work and aggravated his hip to the point where he could barely walk.

We made a judgement call to bring him to the emergency room and, as it turns out, he’s fine. They think it’s a muscle strain and he has to keep himself limited to his couch. He’s not happy about it, but he’s okay. I’d go into more detail about our three-hour visit to Rockville General Hospital, but I won’t.

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