In this job, you get used to stick, abuse and criticism pretty much on a daily basis.
Angry phone calls, trolling on Twitter, Facebook rants, shouty emails – I’ve had them all over the years as a journalist in Doncaster.
After a while, you tend to develop quite a thick skin and shrug off the complaints - the majority of which are generally unjustified anyway - wherever they come from.
However, the other day, I had a rather rude awakening (quite literally) when an email dropped into my inbox.
It’s heading was ‘lazy journalist’ and here, dear reader, I present to you its contents, as written exactly from its sender, who goes under the name ‘Donny Spy.’
“i always knew you lot were lazy cut and paste jounalists (sic) who just go round stealing news off facebook and stealing a living with the LIES you put out there,” my fan wrote.
“well how does it feel that you have been caught and i have PROOF of how lazy you lot are.
“Donny Spy is watching you and I saw you sleeping on the job today. Ha ha ha ha.”
I scrolled down and realised there was an attachment on the email. It was a photo of my good self taking a brief nap on a train.
Quite where, when and how it was taken and who by, I have no idea. All I can say with any certainty is that it was taken at the end of a tiring and busy working day.
Rather than being shocked or upset by someone taking a rather unflattering photo of me (could have been worse, I could have been dribbling) in a public place (or the fact that it had been copied in to my editor and all my colleagues), I actually laughed when I saw the picture.
The fact that someone had gone to the time and effort for the snap or the thought that I’d incensed someone so much, for whatever reason, tickled me.
Is there someone out there that angry with my handiwork that they really have nothing better to do than take a sly snap on their smart phone and whizz it to my boss?
It brought to mind the words of former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, who I don’t profess to be a fan of, but whose advice to journalists when drafting stories was as follows.
“Make them laugh, make them cry...or make them angry.”
It seems that Donny Spy falls distinctly into the latter camp and I’m sure by calling out his or her bluff and publishing the said email and picture that I’m likely to provoke even further ire, either from them or others, keen to have a say on the matter.)
But next time, make sure you get my best side when I’m catching a few zzz’s won’t you?