Monday, December 29, 2008

Addendum to Tennessean series: Lesson learned from the good fight and passed on to daughter

I got the following e-mail comment from a former colleague, who like many of us have used the difficult lessons learned at The Tennessean to make our lives more meaningful:

Al Cleveland has left a new comment on your post "'We few, we happy few' grew to too many at gathering...":

My apologies for the lateness of this comment. I have been out of town and did not hear of the events at The Tennessean until tonight.

I was asked recently by my in-laws if I missed the hectic life that I left upon retirement from the newspaper in October of 2007.

I answered honestly. Yes, I miss it every day. It had been the best vocation I had ever been associated with and I miss it dearly. These were the best people I ever worked with in my life. I only regret I could not go full-time into the profession.

Ms. Sandra Roberts gave me the best advice when I told her of my retirement plans: There is life outside the newsroom. Go make something of it.

It's a challenge, but that is good advice for all of us. I still miss the smell of ink and the rumble of the presses at 10 p.m. But I confess that I have mostly moved on. Time does heal wounds.

Good luck to all of you out there. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

One of the worst/best moments of my post-Tennessean career came quite recently during a employee evaluation.

I was downgraded a number of points for "asking too many questions."

I wear that charge with pride...and I used it as a lesson for my young daughter.

She will not be a sheep...thanks to my Tennessean family (and that includes Duzak!)

Into the breech...

1 comment:

Chantal said...

I'm a former "Gannetteer" and worked for the Clarksville, TN Leaf-Chronicle as a reporter for 10 years. I used to read your column often and I am sorry about your situation. I'm glad you're making the most of it. I've heard the horror stories at the Tennessean and worked with some of the staff editors, writers and photographers on special projects. It's a bitter sweet fate that I'm not in the newspaper business anymore. I do miss the people and heartbeat of the newsroom. but I do not miss the hours, low pay and ridiculous demands placed on those who have remained. Then there's the massive layoffs. I knew it was getting bad but I had no idea it would go this far. I hate to see my comrades be raked over the coals, especially those who love the newspaper business, but it is a sign of the times. Gannett stock was at $7.50 a share today (it was about $85 a share in Dec. 2005). I'll be lucky if I still have my contributed funds in my 401K after Gannett stock runs dry.
Take Care,