North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 20, 2013

Danielle Cater: Here’s to many more columns for you

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Next month I will be celebrating my ninth year with the North Jefferson News, and that means I have been writing this column for almost that same amount of time.

When I was first hired on at the newspaper, I was given the title of office manager. That sounds fancy enough, although the only person I was manager over was myself. The first few weeks felt like I had dropped right into the lower belly of hell, in my mind. It seemed that there was way too much work than could possibly be done in an eight-hour period, and my co-workers were less than accepting to the “new girl.”

After a few months, things really started to settle down. We had a turnover in the office and the new employees were much nicer, I was no longer the new girl, and I started getting the hang of all of the jobs I was hired to do.

I guess I made my job look pretty easy, because one day my editor asked me to fill in and write a column because he couldn’t come up with anything. At that point, I had only written one thing for the paper, and even correcting the language in an obituary made me so tense that I shook in my chair. I accepted his challenge, and to his surprise (and mine) people seemed to like it.

Most reporters aren’t big fans of writing columns because they aren’t actually news; they are just opinions, and that’s not what they like to spin their wheels on. So as the years have come and gone and I’ve watched editor after editor walk through the doors, I still write this little column and I absolutely love it.

In nine years, I have gone from being the office manager over no one, to office manager and sales at the same time, and now I am the general manager, but I still do all of the office work and some sales. But one of my favorite parts of the job would have to be this column.

Over the years, I’ve written about everything from sports, politics, marriage, parenthood, hardships, vacations, holidays, food, faith and community events thanks to this little spot of the newspaper.

 Some people absolutely hate this column, and to those readers, I apologize for keeping it running for so long. The good news is that there is an editorial and another columnist in every edition, so you aren’t forced to read this little section of the paper if it doesn’t suit your fancy.

But surprisingly, there are people who like to read this column, and to those folks I say thank you. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to laugh or cry or make fun of my writing. I try not to make them too serious, and most of the time I try to leave you with something to think about or laugh about.

If you can’t tell, I love my job, love my family, love my friends and I love the life that has been given to me.

It’s not always easy to come up with things to write about every week, but it does keep me on my toes. I look at most of the circumstances in my life and wonder how I can apply them to this column and use them to touch other people’s lives. So whether you love this column or you hate it, thank you for reading it. And I hope that in the next nine years I will be writing another column reflecting back on the last 18 years that I’ve been blessed to share my thoughts with our readers.