It’s one thing when your regular sources/acquaintances/friends/mom tell you you’re doing a good job, but it’s entirely different when a stranger does.
Set scene — Reporter talking to someone at a community meeting. A woman walks by and says something to reporter:
“Thank you for what you’re doing. You’re doing a great job,” the woman said as she tapped me on the shoulder.
I responded “thank you” and looked up at the woman, realizing I did not recognize her. She continued to walk down the hallway and I ran up to her and said something along the lines of, “Excuse me, sorry, I don’t remember. Have we met before?”
The woman smiled and responded “no” but that she had seen me at a recent school board meeting.
“You’re with the ——— paper, right? Keep up the good work,” she said and headed toward the door.
I replied “thanks.” I was surprised that a stranger not only took the time to thank me for my work, but allegedly recognized the value in the work that I do. Did she think I was hardworking because she has noticed the masthead of the newspaper only including one reporter’s name (mine) opposed to before when there were three? Did she think I was doing a good job because my news stories are well-written? Did she notice I have been attending even the study sessions of the school board and am therefore keeping them “in check”? I had no idea. But, appreciated the recognition.
End scene — Reporter drives home from the meeting around 9:30 p.m. but for once, in that moment, feels warm fuzzies from her job. — Cut.