Don’t Be A Nit Wit
I just finished reading my e-mails for the week. As most everyone knows, there are always some that aren’t worth a response. They hit the trash; some are just spam. Some come in and need no response, but are worth keeping. However, one in particular this week needs more than a response, so I think it will work well in my column.
Did you ever feel like you just spoke to a “nit wit?” Did it ever cross your mind? I think that is what I felt like after reading one e-mail in particular.
My great-grandfather once told me his secret to getting people to work – not driving them to the job site, but how to make them perform well on the job. Do you understand?
Grandpa used to carry a bottle with him at the old pottery and glass house. He worked directly as a supervisor for Charlie Ray, one of the early developers and business men in Paden City. He said Charlie gave him the idea to keep the men happy. So he would meet them on their lunch break, talk a while, and let them all have a nip from the bottle. He swore it worked.
I don’t believe that would go over so well today, although I do see many of the out-of-state workers lined up at Wal-Mart – waiting on 7 a.m. to buy their booze. And yes, I am usually there or nearby to see it. You see, these nasty e-mails I receive really does cause me to lose a lot of sleep.
On average, I receive around 15 e-mails a week pertaining to my sports column and articles. Many of them are positive remarks, thanking me for mentioning their children and being fair. One reader told me he liked the way I “tell it like it is.” Not all are so nice, and that’s OK too. One lady told me this week that I don’t know anything, only she used a different word I’m not allowed to use. She also said, “Don’t ever put my child’s name in your column,” and she then criticized my punctuation.
What many people don’t realize is the newspaper business often requires wearing different hats. I’m not talking about sports apparel, but in other ways. Getting around to many of the sporting events is one thing, but covering the court news, council meetings and board meetings requires a different look. It also requires a lot of time. Go spend a few hours at a ball game, and then go write the story. Make sure you download all the pictures and get them processed, and don’t dare misidentify anyone. Don’t forget the travel time and time spent talking to people and interviewing coaches.
Now back to the “nit wit” story. For those of you who don’t know, the definition of a nit wit, is “A silly or foolish person.” In this particular case, I will go with the foolish part. Foolish implies lack of common sense or good judgment, or sometimes weakness of mind.
I use the word nit wit when someone sends an e-mail that is downgrading to the local youth, that openly criticizes all the coaches and athletic directors at the school where her child
use the word nit wit when the e-mail speaks in a crude manner about the educators at the school and tells how her child is being bullied by other students, but she’s afraid to say anything for fear it will get worse. I use the word nit wit when she says sports are a joke and not needed. When she says, “I know you won’t write about any of this because I didn’t sign my name to it, and you don’t know who I am.”
I know who you are. Your name is in the e-mail.
I will say this: Coaches, keep on coaching. Athletic directors, stay on top of things. Athletes, keep playing, and work hard to improve. Your incentive will never be a nip from the bottle. But coaches, a pat on the back and a word of encouragement can work just as well.. Reach out to every athlete on your team. You may be the incentive they need to get you a win. Any kid who is on your team deserves the same treatment as long as they give the same effort.
One thing I do know for sure: no one, including high school coaches and athletes, respond well to such hateful criticism. And last but not least, always sign your name.
Ed Parsons. firstname.lastname@example.org