Hoping for the best, planning for the worst
Fifteen years ago whilst freelancing, I was hired to do a maternity leave fill-in for an editor whose baby had arrived seven weeks early. After a short stay in the NICU, the baby (and mother) were fine, but the editor’s stories were in shambles. She hadn’t done anything to prepare for her leave, assuming she had more than a month left to get things in order. Picking up her responsibilities from an unorganized pile of papers and the managing editor’s vague idea of where projects stood (we didn’t even have access to the new mom’s email!) was one of the hardest temp assignments I ever had.
The experience made me prepare early when I was pregnant with my son. I was borderline obsessive about planning how things would run in my absence. Each night when I left the office, I tidied my desk and updated a document with the status of every one of my stories. I took things perhaps a bit too far, but I wanted to do the best for my colleagues when I would be gone. Read More
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