Sixty days. One hundred days. We’ve been unable to say exactly how long I would have a job; the paper is for sale for sixty days, but then how long after that process does the whole operation shut down? And for those of us in the IT department, do we have to stick around and check in laptops, unplug equipment, etc?
Today I got the official letter, and it answers the question at least a little more specifically.
On January 9, 2009, Hearst Communications, Inc., the parent company of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, announced it was putting the P-I up for sale and that, if a buyer is not found within 60 days, publication of the P-I as a six-day-a-week newspaper will cease. If that occurs it is anticipated that all jobs at the P-I will be eliminated, including yours.The facility closing and loss of employment will be permanent . . .
It is difficult to provide an exact date of closure, but permanent layoffs will not occur any earlier than March 18, 2009, and may extend to April 1, 2009.
So there it is. In black and white, addressed to me. Poop.
At least now I have a target to keep in mind: March 18.
Filed under job, money, seattle
If you had asked me a week ago what I would be doing on this particular Sunday morning, among the last things I would have guessed would be skipping church, staring down a table of job-hunt career-path books at Barnes & Noble.
Yet that’s exactly where I found myself this morning.
I’m not buying, because there’s nothing in those books that’s going to help me right now — the shock of what’s happening here in Seattle is too fresh, too thought-process-blocking, too . . .
I don’t know where I’ll end up when this plays out. I’ve been feeling restless for a long time, like some big change was coming, but I expected it would be gradual and I would have some input on the timing. Instead, the rug was yanked out from under me and I find myself alternating between knowing it’s going to work out and just plain freaking out.
I’m bouncing around the stages of grief like they are bumpers in a pinball game, but I also recognize that this is an opportunity to take my life in a completely different direction. I’m working through the best way to spend the next 58 days, and I hope to be posting my thoughts here as I work through this.
In the meantime, I ask for your prayers — for me, and for my colleagues. The P-I is just a cool place to work, with so much talent and history and class (not to mention the neon globe and the fantastic views), and it’s really a huge loss for Seattle if it does go away, as seems the most likely option at this point.
This is going to be fun. Weddings are fun anyway, and this couple is very relaxed about the whole experience, which would make it even more fun anyway, but there’s a unique twist to this one. Let me explain:
Last August I did a couple of weddings (as I blogged then, I’m Totally Legal(TM) in the state of WA), and shortly after the second one I got a call from the bride that her brother was looking for someone to do his wedding. They had initially planned on doing just a small wedding later this year, as his fiancee is in medical school so time and resources are limited.
It turns out that her brother and his fiancee won a contest with a local television show in which the prize was a $50,000 dream wedding. So cool!
I’m excited to be officiating and look forward to being part of this day. I didn’t know the bride and groom before they asked me to do the wedding, and I don’t know any of the other couples that entered the contest, but even so, I’m pretty sure that it couldn’t have gone to a nicer or more deserving couple. I’m honored to be a part.
And the groom tells me that the cake is going to be awesome. [/happy cake dance]
Things in the newspaper industry have been pretty dismal the last few years, but I think I have figured out how to solve our woes: Elect Barack Obama more often.
Newspapers all over the country are reporting how long the lines were/have been/are today, how early they sold out, and how many additional press runs were ordered. I haven’t seen anything yet, but I’m curious to see what our circulation was. Early reports said they were “flying off the shelves.”
Our front page today was pretty classy; if you want to look at other front pages from around the country, there’s a roundup here.
Just went out to get lunch, only to find — on my way out of the building — the street blocked off by police, EMTs and 4 fire engines, with crime scene tape all over the building entrance. It seems nobody in the evacuating newsroom bothered to tell the IT guys there was an anthrax threat.
Feel the love.
Life, illness, and just plain procrastination kept me from getting this up any sooner. I apologize to those who helped me with these thoughts, and hope you find this at least half as interesting and inspiring as I did.
Wait. That title doesn’t sound right. Let me explain.
Right off my exit from the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle is an area where migrant workers gather in hopes of being picked up for day jobs. It must be a pretty good gig, because in the mornings the area’s always packed with day laborers.
This morning I saw something new. The Art of Getting Your Attention has grown over the last few years to include having people stand outside your place of business with a sign and wave it around with varying degrees of enthusiasm. It may be a good idea when your furniture store is really going out of business this time, but I still question the effectiveness of having someone stand out in front of your tax filing office in April dressed as the Statue of Liberty.
But I digress.
This morning, as I was coming off the exit ramp, I noticed a man standing off to the left, wearing a flannel shirt, a tool belt, jeans, and a baseball cap. As I sat waiting for the light ahead to change, he extended his tape measure about six feet, then kind of waved it half-heartedly, kicked one leg up to about waist level, and then turned himself around (that’s what it’s all about. dun. dun.), his tape measure hanging flaccid and dragging on the ground following his movement. The Rockettes it was not.
It was an odd sight, but at least he’s trying a little bit harder than many of the guys there. If I had the cruelty to actually follow through with some of the disturbing thoughts my little brain comes up with, I suppose it would be interesting to slow down a little and see how many people come running toward your car. On those occasions when you do see someone pull over, you’d swear it was either a)the ice cream man; or b)Paris Hilton and that wrinkly white-haired guy in the same car, and these guys were the cameraless paparazzi.
My friend Chad Canipe (. . . moment of silence . . .) used to pretend he was yelling out his window as we drove through, “Anyone here type 70 words a minute?”