Category Archives: Surviving the Layoff Massacre

Busy Bees in the Newsroom

So, if you  haven’t noticed, I haven’t written a post in quite some time. But, fear not readers, I have not turned my back on this blog! I have just been extra busy.

With the layoffs in the newsroom, the workload has been more than some can handle. The newspaper has to go on, the news doesn’t stop, the stories don’t stop pouring in and the people don’t stop reading (hopefully, for now).

So the work is being redistributed adding extra responsibilities to everyone’s already cumbersome load. But, what else can we do?

So, with that said, I am still continuing to write for this blog, however it may not be as often. But don’t tune out, check back every now and then because I am learning how to better manage my time and will be able to write a little more frequently once I am completely adapted to this new heavier workload

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Silver Lining

While I still remain pessimistic and depressed about the recent layoffs, I can’t dwell on it, since I survived.

I was just given the dream schedule I originally would have had to wait for at least several months. My hours resemble normal business hours, which makes life easier and I have more responsibilities—so I guess I’m a little more important.

However, I know my new found importance is due to the layoffs. It’s hard to feel like I deserved this when I am only benefiting from the loss of others. I know it wasn’t my fault and the work has to go on but it seems a little hollow.

How am I supposed to feel like I deserve a congratulations when it might have not happened if newspapers weren’t struggling.

Either way, I know I shouldn’t let anything get stop me from doing what I am passionate about and that’s writing. I’m happy for the change and can only hope that it keeps coming my way.

Update in the Newsroom

So apparently the half of my job that has been moved to advertising will remain there and I will not be dragged down with it. I did have some holiday shifts that are still up in the air, but hey, at this point as long as I’m not a hybrid newsroom/advertiser I’m fine with what little kinks need to be worked out to make the transition smoother.

Needless to say I had to work this past weekend and unlike the newsroom, there are absolutely NO people there on the weekends. It was a little eerie, I had to turn on all the lights (took me a while to find them) and I was hearing footsteps and freaking out every now and then.

It wasn’t bad as the first day, during the week when everyone in advertising were around and I had “helpers.” I didn’t have to deal with their incompetence, just my own, which is manageable.

A Journalist Drowning In Ads

As I have explained, half of my duties have changed departments. I don’t want to be too specific, but on the weekends I had a whole different job other than my main job of writing for entertainment. I was still writing on the weekends, it required someone with knowledge of AP Style and a less creative writer’s mind.

However, my weekend job has been moved to advertising. The woman who does this during the week has been permanently moved to advertising. She has the next few days off so I am covering her shift. The corporate company that owns my newspaper felt it necessary to cut out the end of the assembly line. I used to turn in my work to copy editors. Now that is considered unnecessary. Bad move. Corrections have to be run more often and that takes up costly space.

Anyway, about my first day in advertising. (If you are in advertising, please do not take offense, this was just my experience in my specific office, I am not trying to stereotype or offend.)

The advertising and classifieds department is on a whole different floor. When I walked in, I was stunned immediately.

There are four times as many people working in the same amount of space as the newsroom. Too say the least, it was a bit crowded. Every desk was half or a quarter the size of the desks in the newsroom. Almost every single person had on a headset and was talking rather loudly (to be heard over the others) and typing fast and nonchalantly. I asked a question to a random stranger with a headset and got a blank stare then a response of, “Pitbull puppies ready in time for Christmas?” I asked what that meant and stood there for longer than I want to admit before I realized he was looking right through me, as if I wasn’t there.

Several minutes later I find the desk/cattle trough that is now my new location. The woman sitting there was apparently waiting for me. She hands me some papers and attempts to explain how to do the work. I looked at her and feigned interest for what seemed like forever before I could get the word in that I already knew how to do this.

She told me there were two others that are being trained right now, they have some of the workload and walked away.

I tried to organize my desk, pile papers together and figure out what the hell was going on in the middle of this noisy and rude environment.

I worked for about an hour before I decided to find my “helpers”. I wish I hadn’t. These helpers are designed to work in advertising, where you leave everything the way the consumer wants it. Not so, in my work. Corrections for grammatical errors and more needs to be done.

I peeked over the shoulder of one of my helpers and couldn’t hide my gasp. They were actually making my job harder. I would have to go through their work as well as double-check mine at the end of the day (since there were no copy editors anymore.)

One of them turned around at the sound of my gasp and I smiled. I asked them politely enough to finish the one they were working on and give the rest to me. They looked relieved and obviously had other work to do. They turned back around without another look at me for the rest of the day. The day got worse, with the combination of another paper’s work now done at my desk.

Then it got better. My co-worker, another writer from the newsroom came down to help. We were out of there 2 hours after the deadline, attempting to straighten out all the kinks.

No one in advertising knew what they were doing. To be fair, this was sprung on them as much as it was us, with little time to prepare. But what a God-awful day. I can only hope Saturday will be less eventful.