Saturday, June 21, 2008

At Least I Wasn't Working There This Time.....

In 1998 I accepted what was supposed to be my "dream job." I left a perfectly good job and many friends to take a position with the Free Times. Leaving my other job was a hard decision and there was one hell of a going-away-party. The FT job had the potential of being a career and I had to make the move. I worked at that "dream job" exactly one week and a day. On day-on-the-job #6 I arrived at the office on Coventry Rd. (a totally cool place to work and the Winking Lizard was right downstairs) and discovered the computer system was shut down. When I tried to call the IT guy, discovered the phones were down as well. As people trickled in, rumors were flying. An hour later we assembled in the center of the writers room and the news was delivered. We had been bought out by the parent company of the Scene and we were, as of that moment, jobless. The Scene was "happy to interview us", but of course they could not absorb a whole staff, especially someone who had only had 6 days to prove her worth. According to the publisher, he was completely blindsided by this and would never have brought on new people knowing what was coming. Talk about feeling devastated. Now it has happened again. The shoe seems to be on the other foot since the publisher of the Free Times will take over the Scene. I'll be interested in seeing how the staffs blend. I still know some of the people at the FT. Hopefully they will all come out on top. Being a print writer these days isn't exactly a lucrative career move with every paper becoming smaller or disappearing. I'll be especially interested to see how they blend the food writers. Both pubs have very decent food writing. One, a Beard Award winner. If they both can't stay maybe one could take over the Wednesday Taste Section of the Plain Dealer. It leaves a lot to be desired as of late. In the end, the first buyout of the FT probably saved my life. If things had stayed the same I'd probably be in liver failure and would definitely not be married. Reagan and Nolan wouldn't be on this earth and chances are good that I wouldn't know most of you. In the 6 days I worked there I was out 3 nights. That was a slow week. I was having a great time and would have easily fallen into that scene. I'm not a country music fan or a religious zealot, but I did spend some time in Texas. When I think about what happened to me and my "dream job" I always hear the line from a Garth Brooks song ...."some of Gods greatest gifts are unanswered prayers."

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