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Recipes better than disgruntled employees

KATHRYN YARBRO

Guest Columnist

For about 40 years I have had the pleasure of being part of the recipe contest at the Lincoln Times- News.

I like it that I now know many of Lincoln County’s best cooks. We’ve become friends and I knew if one or all passed their recipes around, that this would be something that we want to share with others.

That’s just about how the cooking contest began long ago. Sometimes it’s called a swap, we call it a collection and many like me have said that they treasure their annual booklet.

These recipes have been tried and prepared in home kitchens by experienced cooks. They were tested on some very important people before being sent in for judging. Because most homemakers know that if it passes the family test, it could be a winner.

I was glad to be asked to return to the newspaper and see what the finalists had prepared for judging.

It was worth my time and I will be looking for my latest cookbook.

I left the offices and hurried to check on what I had left cooking for my family. Grandchildren home from Richmond and nearby ones would be looking to see what Granny had left in the pot.

I make cooking as easy as possible and I have learned that a pot of simmering vegetable beef soup on a cold day is always welcomed. Just pass chips, crackers, keep tea glasses filled and apple dumplings to finish it off.

Memories abound when I am around the newspaper offices. Some days it was good, some days I wanted to hide forever.

I am reminded of my time there and the many employees; some wanted to be there and work and some wanted to spend some of the time not working.

Some wanted to enjoy their job and some wanted to create a little trouble.

Many came and stayed and quite a few came and left for other jobs around town and beyond. I never felt that it was part of my job to make them happy; in fact, many times I thought that they should make life a little pleasant for me.

Sometimes I got a note thanking me for their time spent at the newspaper. Sometimes my superiors got notes about my behavior around the office. I took all this with a grain of salt. It was part of working with others. You can’t please them all.

I am reminded of this when I hear the dispute about the administration of the Lincoln County Public Library. One news writer called it a squabble. I liked this because it sounded like one when I read that one of the complainers had wrote about being “overworked, unappreciated and verbally abused” by the boss.

I’m sure many reporters felt that way when I gave out an extra assignment and told them to just call it work.

I am a devoted library fan. I served on the board when the current director was hired.

Several other directors had been hired after the passing of long time Lesley Levine.

They didn’t last long. The first one had a hard time getting along with the employees. He showed me a lengthy letter written against him full of childish complaints. He left under a stigma.

The next one seemed to be getting along pretty good, but decided to return home after several weeks.

And then came soft-spoken Jennifer Sackett who had visions of transforming a small town library into a more modern place for patrons who searched for books or wanted a turn at the computer.

Do the workers have a right to complain about some petty choices, or should they go about trying to make their work site a better place? Is the director hard to get along with, or does she expect more than she should from the employees?

These are some difficult questions that I’m glad I don’t have to answer.

I’d much rather talk about prize-winning recipes.

Kathryn Yarbro is former managing editor of the Lincoln Times-News.

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