Monday, August 30, 2010

Didn't see it coming

"Mija, no llores enfrente de ellos."
That means, "My daughter, do not cry in front of them."
It was as if my mom came down from heaven and was standing over my shoulder when my former executive editor told me the news.
I have to remind myself of the last day I worked as a newspaper reporter, just so that I can gauge someday where I have been for when I arrive exactly where I want to be.
It wasn't expected, for sure, that I would be alerted that I was being laid off and my last day would be in a week.
In a way, that was really a godsend -- I was too busy writing stories to think anymore about whether or not my time was up.
I was a victim of the McClatchy policy -- last in, first out. My departure was their sixth layoff at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. There were no rumors this time, and only 15 of us walked out the doors.
I am thankful that I was busy -- too busy to really wonder whether or not we would have cuts again, so I am glad that I was so engaged in my job, which I loved.
Just coming off a two-story Sunday package on domestic violence, I immediately started researching another story that I had hoped to write and get in the paper within two to three weeks. (A luxury these days to have that much time, but that's a different blog post). So when I was called in Thursday afternoon, Aug. 5, I was shocked.
So, there were no tears, really, just a lot of anger. Whether it was my mom, or my dad, that's good, because six weeks of severance won't pay for a pity party. There's bills and a mortgage to be paid.
The outpouring so far from friends and former colleagues has been really amazing, astonishing, every possible adjective out there to describe greatness, really.
The best thing that has happened to me so far is to find out that there are lots, I mean LOTS of journalism jobs out there.
That's the best news out of all of this, that there's still journalism jobs out there for those of us who just can't and choose not to walk away.
That gives me hope for the free world.

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