In my eight years of journalism, I have experienced many unexpected events.
There was the time I got so close to a police scene that they thought I was part of the call and began shouting at me to get down on the ground.
And then there was that one time I got my sweater caught on the fence outside a drug house and while I was trying to get free, the owner set his pit bull loose on me. I was fighting the bite of a dog with one leg and trying to free myself from the fence at the same time.
It was a comical scene, I’ll admit. Needless to say, no two days on the job are the same.
But nothing could prepare me for the event that took place last Saturday.
I had set up a meeting with the owner of a local food truck for 11 a.m. to do a photo shoot and business profile. I had a weird feeling that maybe I should just stay home, sleep in and reschedule the meeting for another day, but I always feel like that when it comes to a Saturday story.
So after reluctantly pushing myself to get ready, and after two cups of coffee, I headed out. Lucky for me, the owner was running late, so I had time to gather my thoughts and prepare my camera. Just three minutes later, a white van entered the parking lot next to the food truck and parked in a hurry.
The next thing the food-truck owner and I heard was a loud crash of metal. As I walked around the corner to see what had happened, I noticed the white van parked right next to my truck. I feared the worst.
I moved closer to see the van had indeed crashed into the driver’s side of my truck. White streaks of paint and a huge dent ran along the truck bed next to the gas inlet.
I wanted to cry out, “NOOO!” But I held it in and tried amicably to get through the insurance exchange section of the collision in a daze of adrenaline and rage.
The driver said she was running late for work and was in a hurry. She apologized, and for a moment, I was ready to leave.
I could tell the food truck owner was still keen to do the interview; after all, this incident wasn’t his fault. So I went back, camera and recorder in hand, and finished the interview as promised, trying my best to keep the looming accident in the back of my mind.
The show must go on, and besides this incident making my highlight reel of crazy situations, I learned to moved past myself and do the work. I guess the moral of the story is to put those who you are interviewing above yourself and your problems.
Others deserve your respect. However big you feel your problems are, they will be resolved later, so show respect now.