So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye

With heavy hands, I type this, my last column for The Independent (although I have offered to be the occasional pinch writer if a column falls through). In my tradition of filling many roles, I have decided to fill the position of associate editor at a company in Chicago and will be embarking on a new path in the city.

In my last couple weeks at the paper, I’ve been mulling over what I won’t and what I will miss working at the paper.

If you ask anyone working for The Independent what they think I emphatically will not miss, one of their first responses undoubtedly would be our printer. The Konica Minolta bizhub c250 or, as I call it, Satan. For years, the printer has served as my personal nemesis, spurning many attempts to print something as simple as a double-sided 8 1/2-by-11 sheet of paper. The printer has been the subject of my numerous verbal and, in a few instances, physical attacks.

But, in a somewhat apropros twist of fate, several of the most expensive components of the printer broke several weeks ago. It was as if the infernal machine knew of my imminent departure and decided to admit defeat, frying its own brain.

Going along with the copier, I also will not miss my work computer. The graphics chip has slowly been eroding during the past several years, so different areas of the screen will become warped or turn to static or remain frozen in place while other areas are unaffected. Trying to work on a graphics document is like trying to put together a puzzle while the pieces constantly are moving — and you’re being spun around in circles.

I also won’t miss our office bathroom — where anyone inside can’t hear what’s going on in the office, but everyone in the office can hear what’s going on in the bathroom. I won’t go into further detail.

While most of the things I won’t miss are technologically based, most of what I’ll miss is the people.

I’ll miss meeting people from all walks and professions in life and writing about them. Nothing is off limits when it comes to being a journalist — we can write about someone who’s built the world’s largest sand castle and someone who’s fought in Vietnam. I’ve interviewed both Santa Claus and bartenders. One of my most memorable projects was staying up all night with Mike Neumann and interviewing people who work the late-night and early-morning jobs.

Without a doubt, what I’ll miss most about The Independent is the friendships I’ve made during my three and a half years here. I’ll miss the inter-office rubber band fights. I’ll miss dressing up as an elf for our Christmas parties. I’ll miss Photoshopping Jay Schulz’s head onto different bodies for his birthday (although I may continue to do that after I’m gone).

So readers, I hope I’ve entertained you with my columns and informed you with my news stories — I’ve enjoyed the feedback I’ve received throughout the years. And I wish The Woodstock Independent the best of luck in the post-Leland-Humbertson era. See you out there.

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