A prayer for those left behind

You know, those who talk to me on the phone/chat with me know that more often than not I am gleeful about now being able to highlight my old paper’s foibles (especially after being muzzled). I also am quick to point out the good stuff my old paper does, by sending stories to my station’s assignment desk, since likely none of them see the six-day-a-week daily that’s only delivered folded into the LAT within a very restricted circulation area.

But, having been at the other end of a layoff, my glee has been sort of tempered. I feel so bad for those I’ve left behind and have begun trolling job sites again – not for myself, but for my friends I left where I toiled so long. I spoke to one friend today, who got my Christmas card yesterday, who worked an abominably long day. Shall I say who it is? Or will they get laid off/taken aside and given a talking to/told to “organize their time better?” How do you not work that long when there’s a skeleton staff?

The other end of it is at the downtown LAT. Now, when I was a recent college grad, the lore about recruiter Randy Hagihara was legendary – there were stories about how mean he was to students, that he won’t even give you a second glance if you’ve only got one internship, etc, etc. And, actually, yes I know some of those stories are true – someone I knew on my college paper had his resume lined out with red ink by Randy. Others raved about Randy and how he was so nice. But as the years went on and I progressed, Randy and I became cordial at AAJA events and I began to see how nice and cool Randy could be.

Each time there have been layoffs, I emailed Randy a “you still there?” note. Each time, thankfully, he has not been part of the layoffs. But, he emailed to me in a short note recently, the LAT is a “much sadder place.” And I can only speculate as to how he feels, through this one comment he made on Joe Grimm’s JobsPage.

All I can say is hang in there, guys, and know that I’ve got you in my prayers.

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