May 17, 2007

Editor Betrayal

Our yearbooks have arrived, but it’s a secret that they are even in the building because our party isn’t for another week and a half. Of course, I had to go look at the book, and my principal couldn’t stand the excitement either. I haven’t even told my staff because they can’t keep secrets that well, and the next thing you know I’ll have all their friends harassing me to look at the book, too.

My yearbook students, who are basically past wanting to do anything, are begrudgingly making posters to put up all over the school advertising the release party. The truth is we’ve only sold half our books, and we will be able to sell most of the rest in the next week. Students either buy them at the beginning of the year when they are less expensive, or they wait until the last minute and pay a premium price. It’s frustrating, but our rep says it’s that way all over the city.

Today I implored my staff members to use word of mouth to advertise by asking every single student they meet if they have purchased a book and tell everyone how cool the book is going to be.

I was so close to passing on the compliments the principal gave and maybe even showing them the book when my editor piped up, “That’s not truth in advertising.”

“Are you serious? You don’t think our book is good?”


I was instantly angry at her betrayal. Nice way to support the staff and our efforts, little miss snotty editor! I did not agree with the theme the class chose this year, but I told them--and especially the editor--that if they could work it out, we could do it. These were her ideas! What didn't she like? I’d be the first to admit right here if I thought the book wasn’t good. It is good—better than last year—with a lot of special little details that I’ve not seen in other middle school yearbooks. I overreacted in anger and told her to leave if she felt that way. She didn’t leave, and now I will be irritated with her the rest of the year because she was being such a brat.

(I’ve been disappointed with her and the other editor all year long. They aren’t the hard-working, creative students they were last year. My relationships with my editors have always been this way. It’s like a marriage. You think you know a person, but then you make a commitment to each other… I could do a whole series on yearbook editor nightmares I’ve lived.)

If the rest of the staff could not see my anger, they are blind and deaf. I tried to regain some positive stature:

“For those of you who take pride in the work we’ve done this year, please tell all your friends to buy a yearbook.”

Then I recruited help to do some last minute party planning from the enthusiastic staff members who will probably turn on me next year when I give them leadership positions.

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