Two entries in one day. Wow!
Couple months ago, I'm on my way to work, my customary 20 minutes late when Ab calls me and says everybody from my department just got called up to a meeting upstairs. Before she even tells me what it is, I know. We're being downsized. I've kind of been anticipating this for a while now.
It actually turns out to be not quite as bad as I thought. They told me I could keep my job but I have to move to Monroe. Something I really do not care to do, so I declined with the consolation that I could draw a substantial amount of severance pay (one week for every year of service, which is 9 weeks for me).
It's a sobering thought to know that soon you won't be going the same place you've been going to 5 days a week for the last 9 years. I have no idea what I'm going to do.
I have to be honest, outside of newspaper work I really have no useful skills. The things I can do really only translate to a very narrow field of jobs. So I'm a little scared, honestly. I've tried not to worry about it too much, because everybody tells me "don't worry, you'll find something better", but will I really?
It's been hinted to me that I could stay on at the paper in another role. That would be the safe thing to do, at least until the next round of layoffs. But maybe this is my opportunity to get into something else. There's certainly no future in newspapers, especially anything owned by Gannett. So right now I'm leaning towards the 'take the money and run' option.
It really is sad to see what's become of the place. The few people who have survived the onslaughts of pay cuts and layoffs are either completely bitter and angry, or have just been pushed to the point they don't care anymore. And there's NOBODY left who's not trying to get out.
I know the newspaper business as a whole is dying, but it's really sad to see this one in particular. I grew up reading The Town Talk. It was once a great place to work, respected, a pillar of the community.
I'd like to see somebody buy the rights to The Town Talk name, after Gannett's through sucking every bit of life and money out of it. It deserves better than to be left behind like a dead hooker in an alley in a bad film noir. The paper has served the community well for a long time, and in the right hands, with a good business plan, it could do that again. I truly believe that.