I wear a few hats at The Post-Journal - family/features editor, occasional features writer, phone answerer when the switchboard operator doesn't know where else to transfer the call, all-around nice guy who brings cheer to faces in the newsroom.
One hat that a lot of people don't know I wear, however, is one that sounds pretty important ... but actually holds so little relevance to the state of the world that I probably should be embarrassed to even admit it.
I am the mayor of The Post-Journal.
Every morning when I arrive at this desk, I set down my newspaper, open my email and allow it to begin downloading, and then pull out my phone to check myself into my mayoral post on ''foursquare.'' According to the location-based social media application, I have checked in at this desk on more than 150 days since I registered my account back in early September - more than enough to solidify my status as the building's ''mayor.''
I still am not exactly sure how mayors are determined, but I check in every day to maintain my position. I've been running uncontested for almost all of that time, anyway. There was a reporter who checked in a couple times, and an ad salesperson who I noticed checked in once, but other than that, it's a one-party system.
As far as I'm concerned, foursquare is a fun game that allows me to keep a running tab of where I've been, when I was there and how many different locations I've visited. I've checked into 18 different gas stations in five states since I started participating, for example. (I'm mayor of the one I frequent in Jamestown.) And I've logged my stops at 17 different fast-food restaurants during my travels as well. I'm happy to say I am not the mayor of any of those.
Others, such as my wife, call this a complete waste of time. Others still worry that allowing the possibility for people to know where you are at any given time opens you up to the potential for crime. I have my foursquare account linked to my Twitter account and will sometimes post check-ins I think are interesting - which some equate to ''telling everybody on the Internet you're not home.'' I have 67 followers on Twitter. I'm not too worried. And the application doesn't constantly broadcast your location: after a couple hours, my face disappears from The Post-Journal's page and, for all anyone who isn't here knows, I could be at home on my couch.
I like to think that life is about having as much fun, in whatever ridiculous way you define ''fun,'' as we can in the short time we have. Being at work, a lot of the time, isn't necessarily my definition of fun. Being able to say I'm the mayor of my workplace, however, and having the documentation to back it up - now that's a good time.