Being friends with your boss

I met Shaina Cavazos my first night at Mizzou. She lived down the hall from me and, as it turned out, 20 minutes away from me back home in Chicago. In freshman year we really bonded, and this continued through sophomore year as we had classes together and went out with the same group of friends, “The Twainers,” who lived in Mark Twain Hall 2009-10.

When she announced she got the ACE position, everyone was super-psyched for her; ACEing is a huge deal and none of us could think of a better person for the job. For a moment, I was hoping that maybe instead of Vox I could get the education beat so we could work closely together and I could have a mentor like her leading the way.

Then I realized some of the complications attached to that.

There are several good things about becoming friends with your boss–I consider the ACEs as extensions of the faculty at the Missourian–but starting out with having a good friend who sorta-kinda intimidates you because she’s the epitome of awesome is quite different.

Well, I got the neighborhood beat in the end (yay!), which meant Shaina’s not my beat’s ACE. That’s actually a good thing since I’m already struggling a little. But on GA? Shaina’s right there at the desk.

There are some pros and cons to this that I came up with right out of the gate, before even starting a GA shift or going to her with a story.

Pros: Shaina is a very approachable person, she’s a kind person, and I know her already. I know some of the things that make her happy/unhappy, so I know how to avoid frustrating her.

Cons: Shaina is a very approachable person, but because we’re friends and I want to impress her as much as she impresses me CONSTANTLY, I hesitate to bring my work to her until I feel it’s absolutely perfect. This is an issue when working on deadline, obviously. Also, I don’t want her to feel she has to tiptoe around me when it comes to fixing up my work because we’re friends.

All that being said, I’ve had a few experiences editing with her, and almost all my cons have been destroyed like the protective dome over Hogwarts.

Everything about Harry Potter is epic, but this tops it all.

Shaina is a fantastic editor to work with, and knowing her she isn’t just being nice. If there’s a problem, she tells me about it. She makes me feel comfortable talking to her, and even though I know we hang out quite a bit outside the newsroom, “whatever happens at the Missourian stays at the Missourian.”


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