We work in the same field, same office, eat the same snacks, but our jobs could not be any more different. Here is a look at the vast differences between a Friday night for Clint Harden and Mike Mendez.
Clint Harden: What? A cookie within a cookie?
I consider myself to be a fairly odd person. What with the stupid jokes I find hilarious, the radio stations I listen to that are completely unrelated and the television shows I watch. My obsession with free food may be a bit unhealthy, too, both physically and psychologically.
This is part of why I’ve come to look forward to Friday nights at CatchItKansas.com. There is so much free food. In the afternoon when I come in, I’m usually greeted by the wafting of fresh popcorn in the break room and 10 minutes later, team mom Jenn Bates walks in to help everyone along in our quest of obtaining diabetes.
With her she carries the latest experiment in sweets she found on Pinterest or some other culinary-based website. Half the time I don’t even eat dinner. This all happens around two, when my workday begins.
After I finally get settled in to get to work for the day with a belly full of sugar and butter, I schedule out what not only my night is going to look like, but what (hopefully) the following week will look like. This rarely happens, though. I rarely have time to plan anything.
I communicate with freelance photographers that will be shooting for us that night. I double-check on where they will be going that Friday and how many photos to expect. Following the schedule talk, I create photo galleries waiting to be populated for later that night. This saves a substantial amount of time when I finally do get back to the station from covering games.
More goodies! And it’s free! ‘Clint, you really shouldn’t eat that,’ my little voice tells me. I have to apologize later not for ignoring, but simply not hearing what it has to say because I was busy chewing. ‘Sorry, little guy. Speak up next time. Hey, try this cookie-within-a-cookie-within-a-peanut-cluster-cake!’
From here, I go out to shoot photos of two girls’ and two boys’ basketball games, where I usually find a mullet (or two) made of gold and America watching basketball in a high school gym. That’s another ‘odd’ thing, people have tried interventions because I love America so much. None of them worked.
Anyway, I shoot pictures of the games between driving around the Heartland and finally get back to my desk around nine or nine-thirty after leaving at five in the evening.
Now my night gets a bit complicated. Well, at least for me it’s complicated. It’s probably a Wednesday for most of you.
I upload pictures and while the computer is working on that, I get started on the early version of the boys’ catch-all. These contain 10-15 scores that help entertain our servers for the time being. Once the photos are done uploading onto the computer, I select a cover photo for the boys’ catch-all and send one shot to the girls’ catch-all writer and another photo to whoever is posting on Facebook. I get the first-edition catch-all on the site around 10 and it is then that I begin selecting photos to populate photo galleries. This is the second-longest process of the night because I’m overly critical and there’s treats literally five steps away from me.
But I eventually get through it and begin to resize my photos to make posting photos exponentially quicker. Resizing is the longest process due to the fact that each one must be done individually. On any given Tuesday or Friday night, I individually resize anywhere from 100 to 200 photos. The first photo gallery is posted around 11:30. Four more to go, then it’s on to the freelancers.
As hectic and busy as my night is, I don’t wake up to a caged gorilla to start the day like a certain Mike Mendez.
I know I’m not a tough guy. I have a baby face and like to keep my hair somewhat short and presentable. Honestly, my biggest problem isn’t drinking enough coffee to have enough energy to taunt a gorilla, my biggest problem is which sweet to munch on to pass the time.
And on to a typical Friday for Mike Mendez.
Mike Mendez: Inter-species death brawls, cookies, Kevin Nash and football: juggling at its best
Published Oct. 28, 2011
My Friday starts long before I ever make it to the station. When I wake up on a Saturday through Thursday, I use an alarm clock like most other people do. It is set to kick on my iPod to serenade me back to consciousness.
But on Fridays, this is just not good enough. I need to be awake. Even if I crank the volume up as high as it will go and cue up Slayer’s timeless classic, “Raining Blood,” I would still not be Friday awake.
This is why I have a caged gorilla in my room with a time lock that frees the beast every Friday morning. This way, there is no time for rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. It is an instant life-or-death battle with a ton of furious wooly death, trying to rip my face off my skull.
I have experimented, but have found this is the only way to start a Friday. It is the only way to prepare me for the uncertainty, and the madness in gigantic personalities in this office on a Friday night.
Once I have successfully backed the snarling primate back into his cage for another week, I am free to continue on with my day. First up on the list is a large lunch. I like to shovel food down my gullet until I am sick on Fridays, because there really isn’t a concession stand here to get nachos or a burger.
I almost always get fried chicken and mashed potatoes on the buffet on Friday, and drink about a gallon of coffee. Again, I am wide awake by this point, but with the coffee, it is nice to come back to the gorilla with enough energy to taunt him and let him know he didn’t faze me.
That ought to make him good and mad for next week.
When I get to the station, it is an entrance that would make even Bill Goldberg jealous. Pyrotechnics, smoke machines, laser lights, and theme music are all just a normal part of the walk to my desk.
At least that’s how it is in my head.
Come to think of it, I probably look like a complete idiot when I come in here, dancing and pumping up a non-existent crowd.
I had never thought of that before.
After clocking in, my first order of business is to check out the bevy of cookies, banana breads, cupcakes, and various other goodies Jenn Bates has made and brought to the office. I mean this stuff is good. It wraps my soul in a toasty blanket.
When the six o’clock news is over there is a period of time in this office that is downright creepy. Photographers and reporters, anchors and producers have all left to either go to a game, or grab some supper. It is quiet.
It is the kind of calm I imagine a gladiator feeling, gathering his thoughts and enjoying the peace in the time leading up to a fight to the death.
At this point, it is just Clint “Bobby” Harden and I, watching a little TV and saddling up for a ride out into the untamed wilderness. We start monitoring games to put into the Live Story and into the stats database so that they show up on the website.
And just before the photographers start to come back and the storm hits, Bobby and I like to slap ourselves continuously in the face to get psyched up.
As the games start coming to a close, Missy Traskowsky comes over from the assignment desk in the newsroom to help bring the Live Story to a close and we start to find final scores for producer extraordinaire Greg “G-Mac” McFadden. There is nothing like trying to find a score for a game that is in the next segment while hearing, “10 seconds to air.”
We are also looking for little nuggets of information that can be used on the air. Was there a record-setting performance or streak broken?
Once we get through the nine, 10, and half-hour 11 o’clock Catch It Kansas Show, things slow down dramatically, and we have a ritual of finding the worst movie on television. We are looking for awesome terrible movies here. A movie made off the DOA video game starring Kevin Nash made for some good laughs.
At this point of the night, finding scores from every game in the state to plug into various spots is the priority. Scores go into the database so you can find them on the website, and into a system that both provides the ticker you see on the bottom of the screen and sends out Text Me 12 score alerts.
Once all the scores have been entered, and the video has been posted to the website, it is time to go home and crash.
But not before punching the cage to further reset the alarm for next week.