Friday, May 14, 2010

Thanking the right people

I rarely go into the Chronicle office at Myth and Fission, as the late Phil Frank would say. I don't have a desk or a phone there. I usually work out of the house. When I show up without my badge, as I did yesterday, I have to go through a whole security rigamarole to get in. (Memo to the head of security: As much as I enjoyed the cavity searches, really? Really?).

I popped in yesterday to grab my mail and was stopped by someone I didn't know who just wanted to tell me how much he enjoyed my Giants coverage. I thanked him. This afternoon, as I walked into the ballpark, a gentleman my age who works in guest services stopped to say I was his favorite writer, that he and I had the same sense of humor and my game stories are the best way he relates to what is happening on the field.

That gentleman was my age. I thanked him and suggested he impart his message to his younger friends so we can keep this newspaper going for another decade or three.

Let me tell you, one encounter like this compensates for 20 of the other kind, when somebody sits at home with one hand on his schmekele and uses the other to let me know in the most vitriolic way possible that I am nothing more than a dingleberry. (Look it up. You'll be amused.) I'm not talking about just criticism of my work. That I can handle. I'm talking about people who have decided their lives are meaningless unless they demean the work of others.

You all can relate no matter what you do. I presume some of you work in the restaurant business and hear a lot of bitching about the food in your joint. You can tell the difference between someone who genuinely got a bad meal and merely wants it right, and someone who wouldn't be satisfied if the 15 top chefs in the world collaborated on his chili mac.

But isn't it wonderful when a diner calls you over to say he just had the best rack of lamb he ever tasted. (Sorry to those opposed to eating lamb. I was already thinking about dingleberry and, well, you know.)

When I had my house painted some years back by a man who took a month to do it right, I think he was happier with my effusive praise than the large tip I included with his payment. Either that, or he thought to himself, "That's a nice tip. I'm going to listen to this dingleberry for as long as he keeps his yap open."

Consider this a call to heap praise on the praiseworthy. There is too much negativity in the world. I know. I cover the Giants. Let people know when they do something right. It will make both of you feel good and, you never know, the guy busing your table today might be administering your Chronicle cavity search tomorrow.


  1. Cheers. Keep it up, Henry.

  2. You are the WORST! On OPPOSITE day (as my son likes to say). Thanks for the great coverage...

  3. I will drink to that! Cheers.

  4. Henry, as a member of the younger generation, I appreciate your delightful prose and humor. (I also knew what a dingleberry was, which also explains the age gap). Anyways, it's always refreshing to get the "inside story" your new blog provides. GREAT WORK!

    P.S. Does anyone else know who was "that writer" Henry was referring to during one of his blog detailing the '02 World Series/Santiago A.S.G. flap?

  5. I believe the writer he was referring to was "appropriately named"....

  6. "at" Myth and Fission. proofread. but i like your stuff anyway.

  7. The worst part is that the Chronicle building doesn't have a head of security...

  8. Sounds like security's Head might be up his own cavity search....