Tuesday ranked as best day yet at new job

A moment late in the day Tuesday stands out in my first month at Muscatine Center for Social Action.

I had published a blog post Tuesday at mcsaiowa.org about Derrick Zornes, a relatively new resident I had met with last week. Derrick is working hard and seems sincere in his efforts to turn his life around.

Anyway, Tuesday was his 20th birthday and he stopped in the office of MCSA Executive Director Maggie Curry to visit with both of us. Maggie gave Derrick a birthday cake and a bit of a pep talk, urging him to keep up his hard work. And she showed him the blog post I had written.

Derrick got a little emotional and immediately called his mom. He had her read the blog while they were on the phone. He then put on his speaker phone so Maggie and I could visit with both Derrick and his mom.

It was an emotional experience for me, too. In 23 years of newspaper writing and editing, I wrote thousands of stories. I know some of those stories touched readers because they would often call or send an email to tell me. But I don’t ever remember being there when someone read a story and was touched like that in front of me.

I left work thinking maybe I really was meant to land at MCSA. The time I spent Tuesday with Maggie, Derrick and his mom on the phone made the eight months I spent in between jobs and worrying about my future seem pretty insignificant.

In those 23 years as a newsman, I mentored more interns and young reporters than I can count. It was always the most fulfilling part of the job and I still hear from many of them. I call them my kids even though none of them are kids any more.

But not even the joy in seeing them do well feels any better than what I experienced Tuesday. It was a good day.

5 thoughts on “Tuesday ranked as best day yet at new job

  • Chris,
    I truly believe that the culmination of all your life experiences have made you the person you are today and that you’re exactly where God wants you to be right now. Great story…glad you got that wonderful confirmation yesterday.

  • Chris is a wonderful asset to MCSA. He has the understanding, the compassion and heart for the work we do. We are so glad to have him on board and a part of the team. He is so talented at telling the stories of our daily work. Thank you Chris.

  • Chris, I have always believed that nothing is an accident. Each experience in life, whether it brings incredible joy, or monumental grief, (and even the ones that might seem insignificant at the time)…gives us something. It’s a lesson, a blessing, an epiphany. The thing is, it isn’t always recognizable, and that lesson or blessing doesn’t always present itself right away. But something will happen, maybe years down the road, and you will immediately reflect on an earlier experience and see how they are connected. I know that you, and many that know you felt bad when you lost your job at the newspaper. Throughout your unemployment, a time that was probably not the best of your life, you kept it positive, you kept working (even if not for a paycheck), and you connected with people you might not have met before. I have no doubt you are where you were meant to be, and your work with MCSA will touch many peoples’ lives in a way no newspaper job ever could have. Welcome home, Chris ❤

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