“This was a triumph. I’m making a note here… huge success. It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.”
The line above is from the video game ‘Portal’ and I used it in the e-mail I sent to my coworkers. I really feel it applies here, as well. I owe so much of my success from my six years at WJAC to you, the viewers. I came to WJAC in 2005 and had a really hard time in the beginning because I didn’t have a lot of interaction. I quickly found a way to combat that… social media.
It started with the Severe Weather Team Blog and quickly grew to Twitter and Facebook and even live web streams via Ustream.tv. This is when I really started to feel a special connection with all of you. Not only did you welcome me into your living room every night, but you talked with me as if I was a member of the family. Some people questioned my reliance on social media to connect with you, but I truly believe that it is what made this the ‘huge success’ as I quoted above. Not only did you get your watches, warnings, and forecasts, but you got to see a personal side of me and I got to see a personal side of you… so much so that some of you shared your most upsetting, personal moments. It’s these connections that build your trust in me as a meteorologist.
I came into this just out of college and was a nervous wreck my first day on the air. Just last night, I commented to Corey, my weather intern, that I wasn’t sure when I had more butterflies… my first day or my last day. You don’t realize how hard it is to say goodbye until you have to do it. Then, when you realize that you’re saying goodbye to ‘millions across the Alleghenies,’ it gets even harder. I made it through it, though.
Again, I just want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support throughout the years and in the past 24 hours after my announcement to leave WJAC for Weather Central in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m going to do something else that I think I will absolutely love. I’m going to be a trainer, traveling across the country teaching people how to use the weather systems and make awesome graphics. This is an exceptional opportunity and while I’m young and without roots, I figured I should take a shot and see the country. I’m excited to get started on September 26th.
Now it’s time to take the batteries out of the microphone and turn off the studio lights as this chapter of my life comes to an end. I am hoping to continue to contribute to the weather blog from time to time and even comment on the Facebook page. I’m in the process of uploading my final show, but for now, I’ll leave you with a simple line and a short video message.
Stay classy, (insert your city name here)!
Update 12:08 Wednesday: This is my final weather and my on-air goodbye. Thanks again, everyone!