April 05, 2009

The End of the Affair

Those blues I lay low,
I'll make 'em stay low,
They'll never trail over my head;
I'll be a devil 'til I'm an angel,
but until then -- hallelujah!

-- Frank Sinatra

Like the sailor said, quote, ain't that a hole in the boat.

-- Dean Martin

ALL GOOD THINGS come to an end. In my case, the particular good thing that came to an end was my great job working as a reporter. It was interesting and engaging work, tough at times but also a lot of fun, and it was made even better by the great people with whom I worked. Plus, the pay and benefits I received were fantastic for the field, which made the work even better.

It wasn't entirely a surprise that I lost my job, of course. Since journalists love writing about themselves, the papers have been filled with stories about the troubles facing the media industry. So it's not as if I'm the only reporter to find himself studying up on rules and regulations about his unemployment benefit. Rather, I'm simply U.S. Media Sector Casualty No. 36,012 of the Global Economic Downturn. Business is business, and when you're at the bottom of the seniority list, these things can happen. So I certainly don't have any hard feelings about it, particularly since my employer kept me on as long as it could in my job.

That's not to say I don't feel any sense of loss, though. For a while yesterday -- yesterday being "the day after" -- I was feeling a bit lost, and a bit down about the whole thing. Fortunately, thanks to the Power of Technology, I can kind of show you how I felt for a few hours! Let's roll the clip:

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Kepple! You don't look anything like Joey Bishop!" Well, this is true. I just love that scene; the final contemplative walk in defeat. But I've got that out of my system and now I can move forward.

This is, of course, what one must do in a situation like this.

The way I see it, one has two options. You can feel sorry for yourself, and let the gloom drag you down into a deep funk, even though that leads to a variety of unfortunate things -- like growing a recession beard*, and watching daytime television, and lying on the sofa, and not showering regularly. Alternatively, you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, spend a few days relaxing and then develop a plan to get back in the game. Personally, I think the second option is the better one.

This goes especially when you think about the great run I had over the last eight years. I mean, my God. When I think about what I was able to do, what I was able to see, who I was able to meet and interview -- I couldn't have asked for anything better. I hit more than one home run in my day and I'm proud of the work I did. Not only that, I went into it pretty darn green -- but when I came out, I came out with a whole set of new skills and experiences that taught me a hell of a lot.

So I'm grateful I had the opportunity to work there for eight years. I'm grateful for the chance they took on a wet-behind-the-ears kid. I'm grateful I was able to work with a lot of great people. Now that the experience is done, I'm older, wiser, tougher and richer. With the possible exception of the aging part, all those are good things. Now it's time for me to go conquer the world.

Finally, though, I would be remiss if I did not profusely thank everyone who has shown me their kindness and support over the past couple of days. That goes for my former superiors who agreed without hesitation to serve as references, my colleagues who gave me a round of applause as I left for the last time and have offered their support in so many ways, my family and friends who have offered their support and assistance, and my professional contacts who have taken time out of their own lives to offer me advice and assistance, and point me in the direction of finding work.

You see, if there's anything that got me emotional over the past couple of days, that's been it. When you realize -- really realize -- how many people care about your well-being, it's a very humbling thing. Being a bit of a stoic type, I'm not the best at expressing my emotions in person, and so to receive this outpouring of support has been a deeply moving experience for me. Thank you to everyone. And for the love of God, don't worry about me. I have plans!

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* What's that? But Bennnnnnnnnn. You already have a beard! Not for much longer, I don't! Keeping routines are important when you're out of work, so I'm incorporating daily shaving into mine.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at April 5, 2009 05:45 PM | TrackBack
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