You don’t read the newspaper?

Shawn Magrath

• I’m a sucker for old buildings, so of course I jumped at a chance Friday morning to get a peek of the inner working of the Chapman and Turner clock that overlooks Broad Street at the main intersection of downtown Norwich. The clock, which has worked on and off since I moved to Norwich four years ago, is on again, thanks to the commitment of a few historians and the financial support of a generous local charity. I suppose for some, it might seem like a trivial matter. But I’d like to think that for most, having a downtown clock that’s right more than twice a day is welcome news.

• Now I don’t usually call out ’30 Seconds’ posters, simply because I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and the ’30 Seconds’ page on The Evening Sun website is a platform to express it. That said, there have been a few posts and phone calls this week regarding area sex offenders and a need for greater public awareness via the newspaper (i.e. where they live, their age, their offense, and their threat level). I couldn’t agree more. Anyone who regularly reads the paper also sees the number of sex crimes that go before the Chenango County Grand Jury each month, and the countless other sexually based offenses committed in this area. However, I would also like to point out that The Evening Sun is not the only source for such information. If you are a concerned parent or resident, there are resources to turn to (not to mention, if you aren’t being notified that you’re neighbor is a predator when you have kids to worry about, there is an obvious kink in the line of communication between you and local authorities).

• National headlines this week were dominated by stories of Edward Snowden, the man who revealed Monday that he was solely responsible for leaks of secret service operations to news media outlets in May. Feelings of whether this considers Snowden a hero or a traitor aside, what I find most surprising about this story is the surprise surrounding it. That is to say, I wasn’t taken back by information that the NSA was collecting phone records and conducting email surveillance. Like it or not, there’s a lot of information about everybody out there that, thanks to the digital age, has become increasingly easier for government officials to access. Fact is, that’s just the Orwellian age we live in. I’ll even wager that someplace, there’s somebody who know more about me than I do, and that’s a scary thought… though I do have a favorite sweatshirt that’s been MIA for a month. Maybe they know where it is…

• Shifting gears a bit, I stumbled across a somewhat interesting article written in Forbes magazine this week. The topic of the article: “13 Things You Should Never Say at Work.” According to the author, there are just some things that shouldn’t be overheard in the workplace. In order to take leadership in any company, the article says employees should stick to words and phrases that empower others. Included on the list of phrases off limits are: “That’s not my job,” “That’s not fair,” “I’ll try,” and “He’s/She’s a jerk” (admittedly, I’m guilty of saying that last one on more than one occasion; but to be fair, it’s never been about a co-worker). The list got me thinking of things I wish I hadn’t heard in The Evening Sun office, which in my mind are equally valid. Things like: “I don’t read the newspaper. I don’t like the reporters,” or “I’m glad I’m not in a profession that deals with people,” and the classic, “This milk has been in the refrigerator longer than I’ve been working here.” But I’d like to think every workplace has its own disclosed taboos.