My job isn’t normal.

It’s not like many others. The name of the game is variety – no two days are similar, let alone the same.

The range of subjects, topics, and situations I might become involved in on a given day is about as wide as could be imagined, and the possibilities can in turn be virtually limitless (even on an hour-to-hour basis).

One day might be about covering a horrendous automobile accident (which might mean actually viewing death on the pavement, and then having a hard time sleeping for the next two nights), while the next day it could mean enjoying getting to know people who pamper pooches or turn chunks of wood or metal into astounding works of intricate visual artistry, and then attempting to share the “who knew?” aspects of their daily lives through the pages of a newspaper.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison

I go from learning how a greenhouse works, to finding out what makes a tall fescue operation tick. I bounce from kids learning about shooting guns, to law enforcement personnel learning how to shoot guns better.

I talk to farmers, veterinarians, salesmen and educators. I discuss matters with old-timers, newcomers, historians and politicians. And along the way, I’ll photograph everything from animals, machines, food and faces, to vehicles, signs, projects and places.

I also have the pleasure of dealing closely with men and women whose jobs require carrying guns on their hips, and I respectfully do my level best to portray in a puny set of paragraphs or sentences their immense, often unappreciated efforts to enforce law.

By occupying desks in the newspaper office, my cohorts and I inevitably become party to details surrounding arguments between individuals and groups around the county. We hear both sides, and I can’t help but be fascinated by observing the starkly human aspect of it all.

Basically, my work days are chock full of dealing with a cornucopia of human nature.

There’s a constant need for flexibility in what I do, too. Change – both minor and major – can occur at a moment’s notice via multiple sources, like a tone on a scanner, a ringing phone, or a voice asking if I’ve “heard about” so and so.

But that’s just fine. I like not knowing what’s coming next – or not even knowing what there is to not know.

To say I like the diversity of my work would be an understatement, and I don’t take for granted that it allows me to see things and meet people there’s no doubt I otherwise wouldn’t. I feel blessed by that reality, and I’m glad my routine doesn’t really involve much of a routine.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t for a moment take what I do lightly, and I can’t imagine approaching it in any manner other than being 100 percent focused. So as long as I’m doing this, I’ll be all in, and I’ll always try to share the knowledge I gain in the best way possible.

Yep, there’s nothing regular or normal about my line of work. Kind of like me – irregular and abnormal.

I wonder what today will bring. There’s no telling, so I’d best be ready for anything.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. His columns are posted on the blog page at http://www.houstonherald.com. Email:  ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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