Weeks ago I posted about the downsizing at work. Tomorrow is the last day for five people who took voluntary buyouts.
There were nine positions to be cut. Two part-timers were let go and some proofreaders were switched to contract laborers, accomplishing some of it. Five people volunteered to leave and the rest of it was made up by asking and in at least one case requiring some to reduce hours. As it turned out nine full timers did leave. The announcement caused some to look elsewhere and a couple already had plans in the work. Four ended up taking jobs. They’ve all left already.
We had a little party for the main departing five tonight and at this event for a moment I had a sensation of real fear about what the newsroom will be like Monday. We’ve known this was coming for several weeks and have proceeded as normal. But life will be different Monday and it makes me kind of nervous.
One of the reporters who left had been with the company 38 years. I lose an editor who’s been a good boss. We lose a reporter who’s been a leader in standing up for the employees. And across the desk from me we lose an imaginative reporter and someone I would consider a friend.
The whole experience has caused me to take stock of my career choices. I’ll admit that one of the reasons I like being a reporter is I like being in the middle of all the community stuff. If I took on work elsewhere, I would miss that. The opportunity to get home earlier would probably more than make up for it. So would the money.
Today’s reality is there’s nothing in the works. And I still have an aspiration to oversee an editorial page one day. The whole point is I’ve had a moment to recognize that stability and security are largely mythical in terms of absolutes. I’m in a career I would love to do all the way up until the moment I die. Yet, I might one day, even soon, give it up voluntarily to discover joy in doing something else. It wouldn’t be just a new job, it would be a new me. And that might be, would probably be, OK.