I know how you feel Richard Hatch.
I intended on taking this week off to recharge my batteries following a long, yet successful, high school football season. Then I got a call from my boss Monday afternoon.
Boss: Joshua, are you coming in today?
Me: No, I’m taking a few days off to relax.
Boss: Well I was hoping you be in the office today. I have some bad news.
Boss: We’re having to make more lay offs today.
Me: Uh huh.
Boss: And you are one of them.
And just like that, my 4 ½ year stint at the GCDN was over. Certainly not the way I imagined it all going down.
I always thought there would be some going away party and a farewell column. Instead, I got locked out of my email, was asked to come pick up my severance check, and didn’t even get the courtesy “Joshua Buckley is no longer an employee of The Daily News,” email sent throughout the building. And two days after Christmas no less.
I had been warned about a month ago that lay offs at the paper were a realistic possibility. However, I was given no clue that my job was one in jeopardy.
In fact, I believed my job to be one of the most secure in the building. If they got rid of me, or my sports writer Evan Mohl, then they were giving the middle finger to the sports section. Well, that’s exactly what happened.
Evan is left to run the show by himself, except it’s gone from a successful, entertaining musical to a one-act coffee house play. He now has just 1 ½ pages on most weekdays, and no longer has a sports section on Sunday — that’s been reduced to three pages in the back of the A section.
So pretty much, Evan doesn’t have the manpower to cover all of the sports in the county by himself, but it doesn’t matter, because he doesn’t have the space anyway.
Looking at the situation now, they may have done me a favor by executing me now instead of letting me stand there with a noose around my neck waiting for the drop.
Despite what everyone may think, I’m not bitter about being laid off. Newspapers are still a business and with the current state of the economy and print media, this isn’t entirely surprising.
My (former) boss said my lay off had nothing to do with performance. It was 100 percent about money. Such is life.
However, I am quite irritated with the way this went down. This isn’t Survivor — I didn’t need to be blindsided.
My boss knew what I have been dealing with lately (single dad, new car payment, etc.). For him to not give me a heads up that it was a possibility I would get laid off was pretty sorry. Now I have to scramble with a process I could have had a head start on.
I told my boss as much when I picked up my severance check, and he said I had every right to be mad about that. I could hear the sad trombone playing in the background.
So anyway, no time to mess around — I have to find a new job. I think I could find a sports editor/writer position in the Houston area fairly quickly if I wanted. However, it would almost certainly be for less money, which isn’t a realistic option for me.
That’s why I think it’s time to try something new. My hope is to get some kind of normal job like a public relations manager or something. If I can do that, I still might be able to be a stringer on high school game nights for the Houston Chronicle.
Everyone knows my skills — writing, sports, snarkiness, hydroplaning vehicles, overall stud, etc. With those in mind, I am open to hearing any ideas on what type of career I should pursue. Real and humorous career choices are accepted.