The search for respectable employment begins

The sun will come up tomorrow.

And, like most days, I expect to be up first.

There will, however, be one very big change: I won’t be the editor of a community newspaper. Nor will I even be employed by a community newspaper — yet another victim of expense cuts, I was told.

And for the first time since boyhood,  I won’t have a job, or a class or anything else where my presence will be expected. I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I told my now-former boss I would meet him first thing Tuesday to clean out my office. And then I volunteered to teach a cycling class at 9:10 a.m. at the Muscatine Community Y. I don’t want to hide at home and mope.

Beyond that? I don’t have any idea.

The prospect of being 45 and unemployed scares the hell out of me. But I appreciate the many kind things I have heard from the many friends who have called, texted,  tweeted and commented on Facebook.

I guess it’s long past time to grow up and seek a real job. This has just forced me to do it sooner than I would have otherwise. While things seem very uncertain and scary, that now-former boss has likely done me a favor.  And he may very well be worse off than me. I like him and I wish him luck.

As for anyone who might see this — if you liked what I used to write in the newspaper, I will probably do it here for a while.  Writing has always been the way I could say what I really felt. It’s been a way for me to make sense of what happened around me and there will be much to wrestle with in the weeks and months to come.

Who knows? I may even use this blog to scoop that old newspaper from time to time.  How hard could it be? After all, it only took them 10 hours to report what was easily the biggest news to happen today to me.

18 thoughts on “The search for respectable employment begins

  • Your now-former boss looks like the arrogant ass I grew used to in Muscatine, one of the primary reasons I left town 25 years ago and never looked back. Will there be further explanation here for the switch, or is your silence a part of some severance package? If so, I will respect that but as a former journalist and current curious person (is there a difference?) I suspect there is far more to the story than is reported here or in the Journal fluff piece.

    • Thanks for the comment, Bruce. I didn’t expect anyone to find this so quickly. The former boss is definitely not an arrogant ass. In fact, more people would probably describe me that way than ever would him. And on some days, they may be right.

      If there is more to the story, I don’t know it either. I think I’m just another in the long line of newspaper people who have found themselves out of work. Its one of the worst things that has ever happened to me personally, but nothing remarkable in the grand scheme of things.

      There are many good people at the Journal. I think very highly of them and I only wish them well.

  • Thanks, Chris – it doesn’t surprise me to find you so big-hearted. I went through a similar situation once a long time ago and was devastated, humiliated, blah blah blah…but, even though it took a few years, I regained my confidence and joy in my chosen profession. You’ll land on your feet, too, but like I said on facebook earlier, I hope our community won’t lose you and Nancy!

    • I saw your comment on Facebook, Lori. Thank you. It was enough to make me forgive you for your Tweet about my homely pup.

      It’s only two people, but I have to say: I like having a conversation with people who have read my ramblings and are unafraid to respond with their real names. Maybe I need to try and grow an audience for this thing.

  • While I have no ties to Muscatine I always enjoyed reading articles you posted on Facebook. Unfortunately newspapers are changing and in my opinion not for the better. I’m sure things will work out for you and look forward to reading about it.

  • As usual Chris, well written. I’ve made it pretty clear on your Facebook page how I feel about this, but what I didn’t say is how in the past couple of years, we’ve gone from rarely reading The Journal to rarely missing it. I know you’re quick to give credit to a lot of other people when you hear something like that–that’s just your style. It’s not surprising either, that you keep on the high road here as far as talking about them. Of course we’ll tune I !

    • Thanks, Val.

      I’ve thought of a few sort of nasty and maybe funny things to say, but I don’t see that any good would come from it so I’m just trying to keep them to myself. It’s easy when hearing from friends. It will be harder when those who don’t think so highly of me hear about the news and begin to respond. I may just have to step away from the computer for a few days when that happens.

  • Chris, ever the Gentlemen but you know the old saying, “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must be a duck” hang in there. I know what it is like to be jobless, it happened to me at age 40 with a wife and 2kids.


  • With you and Lynda Waddington both axed, I would think there would be some creative outlet for your talents. Blogs might be good. Afterall, blogs are sort of the pamphleteering device of the 21st Century…. the place where people go to read what the Empire does want known. I wish there was a kind of statewide blog that people could go to for ongoing info. I guess Blog for Iowa would do. But I doubt that they pay anything….

  • Just remember, Chris, it happened to your father at the same age as you. It was a total life change for us, including our house. We survived it and so will you. You come from strong, determined stock and that is a hard to beat combination. I don’t like the situation, but I know you will come through it for the best.


    • Thanks, Mom. I haven’t forgotten. In fact, I’ve been thinking maybe I should use this time to take a stab at the book you and I have often discussed. As my old buddy Mike Augsburger would have said: It’s a thought.

  • Wow…your mom seems like a cool woman, not surprisingly. Something teachers learn pretty quickly is that the apple almost never falls far from the tree.

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