Thursday, November 29, 2007

Take half an hour off

I had a very nice lunch today with Margaret Santjer, a friend and former colleague from the P-I. Margaret was the night city editor when I started at the P-I as metro editor, and I immediately appreciated her skills: careful, concise, precise, ethical and completely unflappable; especially welcome qualities in a night editor, and just what the place needs even more of.

Last year, when I became an assistant managing editor and, as part of the same reorganization, the position of business editor came open, I persuaded Margaret to take the job. It's a tough gig, and both of us were new to editing business coverage, so we helped each other through our steep learning curve. We had a great working relationship, and I think we both regretted that I bailed out of there before we could sharpen our chops together. Plus I just like her; she's one of those great people who's very easy to take in doses small or large.

Today we talked a little about work and health, gossiped a bit and got caught up. It was nice. She said she has forgiven me, most of the time, for steering her toward the biz job. I can tell she's working as hard as ever, putting in long hours and probably taking on too much herself. Even so, she's so conscientious she felt a little bit guilty taking a longish lunch (about an hour and a half) today, and after a quick cup of coffee following our Than Brothers pho, she headed back.

That's OK, I said, I've got a busy afternoon of doing nothing I need to get back to anyway. It was great to see her.


Earlier this week, I also lunched with my old P-I boss (and, later, co-AME) Rita Hibbard. We had a very enjoyable meal at my favorite little Sicilian place in Belltown, La Vita e Bella. I like Rita too, and I think she and I have come to appreciate each other even more since I stopped working there. Funny how that happens sometimes. She's a good person and a good editor, and she promised to secretly forward me the secret cherry-rhubarb pie recipe that she wheedled out of our boss, the excellent (but secretive) cook David McCumber.

Here's Rita:

1 comment:

Michelle said...

today I had heated up Matassa ziti. I ate it through a meeting about the redesign of some part of our site. I never leave the office for lunch. Most of the time, it's a bowl of lentil soup or a packet of oatmeal or even a can of black beans, all eaten over a keyboard.

Anyways, back to the ziti. MMM, it was good.