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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Layoffs, buyouts, bad morale

Today is a difficult day for me. Frankly, the morale in my office stinks. One of the reasons I choose not to work from home is collegiality. I like my co-workers and get lots of ideas, feedback and enthusiasm from the interaction I have with them. But just like in life, there's a plus and minus.

Yesterday, a large group of my colleagues, the most seasoned reporters at my paper, were offered buyouts. In their eyes, it was an emotional slap in the face. I likely would have been among them had I not gone part time years ago. Today, those who have stopped by to chat with grim face and sad tales, tell me they can't afford to take the offer. They all need to keep work in their work/life balance. And so, we all wait for the next move by our employer. In the meantime, the uncertainty about the newspaper industry, the future for family breadwinners and the career paths of workers who have been in this profession for decades weighs heavy on us all.

Part of me wants to retreat to my home, to hide from the disenchantment permeating my workplace. But is that fair? These are the co-workers who help me find the right word for a column, ask me about my vacation, share coffee cream and swap tales about our children's milestones. So, here I am. At my desk. A sounding board. A cheerleader for the hopefully good times ahead. Someone who knows that live is not all about work, but knows how important it is when your job is your passion, too.

Often, my colleagues and I complain about too much work. But today, it's the alternative that scares us more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fielding a buyout offer sure beats getting abruptly fired, down-sized, or laid-off. Where does this sense of entitlement come from, given that the newspaper industry has been on the slide for decades? Lame complaints of "I can't afford to take the buyout" indicate lack of planning and inability accept the inevitable.

8:46 AM  

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