Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ed Bark on aftermath of job cuts

Ed Bark, the former longtime TV critic at the DMN, was present at both the 2004 layoffs and the 2006 buyouts. He took the latter, survived the former.

The layoffs were far more painful, from a personal standpoint. I wept with some colleagues in full view of the newsroom. Very unusual for me, but hardly an uncommon sight that day.

Those of us who survived felt fortunate -- and lousy as well. Colleagues who had done nothing except excel were suddenly past tense at the DMN. What could we say to them? I'm glad I said something, because saying nothing just wasn't an option. There's no point in worrying about appearances, I found. Just let it all out, because that's what friends are for.

In 2006, I simply kept packing and packing, day by day, putting dents in my infamous landfill of an office. I couldn't make myself attend the official farewell gathering in the conference room right next to my "cave." I was the only who didn't. In retrospect it was a graceless way to handle it. But many of us did later share drinks that evening at the hotel bar across the street. Those memories are still very vivid, and very much cherished.

In the end, there's no easy way out, or proper way to say goodbye. I'll never enter the DMN building again because, well, I'm still a stubborn mule on that particular promise I made to myself. But I will be thinking of my former colleagues as history sadly repeats itself Friday.

In the end it's another beginning for those who are "let go." The crustiest among us -- guilty on all counts -- have found ways to gradually accentuate the positive and temper the bitterness. I had a helluva time for most of my many years at the DMN. And that's what will always stick to the wall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear.
You are still missed, Ed.