I got a first in physics so I ought to know if your fries are for here or to go

Loving journalism is a little like having a pet tiger. Sure it's different and exciting, but in the back of your head you know it's only a matter of time until that sucker bites your arm off. Often it's when you least expect it.
Well, last week I finally got my arm bitten off.

A little more than a month ago, the paper that I've worked at for more than five years announced it was having layoffs. As the weeks passed, names started to come out. I didn't feel entirely safe, but as the deadline got closer I was heartened by the fact that I hadn't heard my name bandied about. Then Tuesday it happened. A call into an office, a few minutes of discussion, a few hugs and a zombie-like drive home. The worst part is I didn't see it coming.

I've spent the last few days taking tons of calls from friends and meeting others for drinks and dinner. It's been nice having such support from my friends and family, but I don't think it's truly sunk in yet. It still feels like I'm just on vacation.

I know I'm not alone in getting laid off. Hundreds of thousands were unemplyed last month and more than 34,000 were laid off along with me last week. Newspapers have been hit particularly hard. There aren't many jobs out there for newspaper photo editors anymore. So it looks like I'm faced with not just finding a new job, but a new career.

I will admit that I find all of this a little exciting (just a little). I've always known that I'd probably have to leave journalism someday. I just didn't think it would be so soon or so sudden. Now I have a little time to figure out what else I can do. Who knows what the future holds?

In the short term, the future holds a road trip. I'm leaving late next week to drive down to see my parents in Tucson for the holidays. It'll be me and Tippy and the open road. I think it's just what I need to clear my head and start figuring out my future. I plan to post updates from the road so check back here to see how the trip is going. In the meantime, drop me a note if you have a job for me!


AE said...

Eileen, I'm so sorry. Laying you off was an incredibly dumb move even for paper with such a good track record of dumb moves. Good luck figuring out what to do next. If your travels take you to LA, Mike & I would love to buy you a beer!

Kelly said...

I wish I had a job for you, Eileen! But next time I see you, I totally have a drink for you.

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Kelly said...

Those spam commenters are getting clever.

Eileen said...

I know. I decided to leave the comment anyway, just because it was so polite.