Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Busy Hands

What? Where? Who? Why? When?

That was the first lesson I learned about newspaper reporting. It also can be applied to writing a radio or TV commercial. I know from experience because it was my introduction to working continuity in the first radio station I ever worked at.

On my job interview these words were my guide to writing my first commercial. What? saving money. Where? Berkshire County Savings Bank. Who? The friendly staff of the biggest bank in town, Why? Someday you'll have a real nest egg. When? Start saving today. A similar thing happened at one of my announcer interviews -ad lib (talk off the cuff) for five minutes about a spot on the ceiling of the studio. This was more valuable than you might realize when I was doing a newscast and a friend (?) set fire to my script half way through the program and I had to ad lib my way out of the newscast.

So, what about the picture above? It was a picture of several young women. Where? In a Cairo, Egypt mosque. Who? The carpet repair crew. Why? The prayer carpet in the mosque was getting frayed. When? Probably in January of 1988.

Notice that there are smiles. They don't appear to dislike their job. They probably are highly skilled at what they do. It looks like it might be a menial job by our standards but they are earning a living rather than drawing welfare. I don't know if Egypt had (or has) a welfare system but to me it seems evident that the ladies enjoy the opportunity to do something constructive. I like to think of this as busy fingers at work and that is good. But would people of our society be happy with work like this? Possibly not if it paid minimum wage. In the end the real story is (1) that the Egyptian women are working busily and (2) they seem happy to be doing whaat they are doing.

Is there a lesson in a picture of busy hands?

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