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La Donna Wengert

Michael Wengert, the OutQ News morning anchor, can be such a diva sometimes. Usually, at the end of my shift, I have an Instant Message conversation with him detailing what I’ve left behind for his morning newscasts. Well, yesterday I didn’t contact him because he wasn’t online the last time I checked and he often doesn’t come online Friday evening because it’s early Saturday morning for him.

When I got home and looked at my work email, there was a note from him asking why I had signed off without a word. Was I mad at him for some reason? If I was, I should just confront him, he said. So I wrote him a mollifying email with the handoff information.

But that was nothing compared to what happened one morning a few weeks ago when I corrected his grammar (AP Broadcast Stylebook says don’t use ‘pled,’ use ‘pleaded’). Oh, the drama. If you don’t like my writing, perhaps I should look for another job. He threw a real snit that went on and on, with numerous threats to start looking for employment where he is appreciated. Lordy, lordy. In the end, I’d had enough and said, “Do what you want, I don’t care that much ‘cuz both are technically correct.” And then I signed off.

Hours later he IM’d me and apologized for being ‘cranky.’ And I apologized, too, for forgetting that it was late at night his time and he was probably very tired.

God knows what would have happened if I told him what I really thought of his writing (lazy, plagiaristic, ponderous, tendentious). But he’s the only halfway competent person I know of who’ll work those crazy hours (though they’re pretty good hours on the other side of the world) for so little money, so I’m kind of stuck with him. Plus, he’s a good guy and I genuinely like him. But some days…

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