Saturday, April 04, 2009

Dropping the Pilot

About six months ago, I came to the Upper Valley to edit a weekly paper. Made some changes, tightened some things up, helped to mentor a young, inexperienced and, to that point, somewhat undisciplined staff. (As writers, I mean -- their professional decorum was fine.)

However, editors serve at the pleasure of publishers. Thursday, my publisher told me he wasn't satisfied with how things were going and will advertise my position. It's basically a case of a bad fit rather than any actual professional shortcoming. I'm welcome to stay on board until a new person is interviewed, hired and ready to start, and it was a cordial meeting. But I figure I've got six weeks or perhaps a bit longer to find another gig. And I was told I could take time off for interviews without being penalized, so my paycheck is secure for the moment.

At this stage, I'm not sure what I'm headed for. I won't move for an uncertain job, and I'd like to stay in the Northeast. Newspaper work isn't so reliable that I feel the need to seek only newspaper jobs. At the same time, it's a little late in life for this old dog to start a job with an entirely new set of skills, so I'll be looking for something I already kind of know how to do.

Between drawing unemployment and being old enough to take from my 401k for immediate needs, I should be okay for awhile and there's no need to jump into something stupid.

And, hey, it'll make for some interesting blogging. What else matters in this world?

(Discreet inquiries and suggestions may be emailed to me here.)


Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Sheesh! They seem to be going through editors rather fast. Well, it's good to have some breathing room. Finding the right fit is worth taking the time.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Loss of a job at any age is unpleasant; at our age I find it frightening, even way over here on the other side of the continent. Our best wishes to you from Ft. Harrington, Mike.

Christopher Baldwin said...

Good luck! I wish I knew someone in the industry in the area I could point you to.

Meanwhile, fun from G&S:

A life not bad for a hardy lad,
Though surely not a high lot,
Though I’m a nurse, you might do worse
Than make your boy a pilot.

I was a stupid nurserymaid,
On breakers always steering,
And I did not catch the word aright,
Through being hard of hearing;
Mistaking my instructions,
Which within my brain did gyrate,
I took and bound this promising boy
Apprentice to a pirate.

A sad mistake it was to make
And doom him to a vile lot.
I bound him to a pirate – you –
Instead of to a pilot.

Brian Fies said...

As I commented elsewhere, I'm sad because this job seemed like an ideal fit for you. In many ways, editing a small-town paper that's truly the heart of a local community seems like one of journalism's higher, better callings.

Do you think you could take a run at freelancing? I wish there were a way to "careerize" your Newspapers in Education or Weekly Storybook gigs, because you clearly have a passion for them.

Best of luck.

Gwen said...


Dann said...

Sorry to hear that things are working out that way for you, Mike. I hope you find another position that provides enjoyment as well as employment.



Sandra said...

Sorry to hear about this, Mike. I'm glad to hear you have a little time to catch your breath and not have to jump into anything without having a chance to give things a good look. Sending best wishes your way.

ronnie said...

Very sorry to hear about this! I agree that editing a small-town paper seems to fulfill you personally and professionally. I hope you find a satisfying gig soon and, if not, I wish you a lot of interesting opportunities while you explore options.

Jean said...

Thanks for visiting my blog...

Am sorry to read about your job - join the gang :) I am in the same state and have no clue how to go forward.

Do update us (I am sure you would).
I am looking for ideas myself :)