Saturday, December 31, 2011

I want my joy back in 2012

When I started this blog a little more than a year ago, I did so with several goals, one of which is reflected in the second half of the title: Seeking joy in change. In the past week, I feel I’ve lost that.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 ending nearly as painfully as it began

I was reminded this week what a tremendously disappointing, disheartening and generally sad year this has been, and I suppose it’s only fitting that what started in disappointment should end that way, too.

That’s not to disregard the abundant blessings throughout 2011 — the encouragement and support of family, friends, former colleagues and new professional acquaintances online, to say the least — was beyond anything I would have hoped for or imagined.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas wish

A message to my family, near and far,
friends, colleagues and former co-workers

The past 12 months have been tough, in many ways far tougher than I would have imagined. Yet, through it all, there have been some very good, joy-filled moments that have lifted me up in the times I have struggled most with despair.

That is the spirit of Christmas, as I mentioned in my post a week ago. The spirit of Christmas comes in a savior, Jesus Christ, who made such a great sacrifice for one like me who, in spite of the good I try to achieve, ultimately is undeserving of His grace, His love and the sacrifices he made to offer each one of us redemption.

It is in that spirit which I write today, for so many of you have blessed me in ways I do not deserve.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The dawn of the dread

Is sale hope, doom for Sun-Times Media?

The last time my former employer was sold, it was cause for hope, even as it rankled the rank-and-file union members. They were the ones who bowed to James Tyree’s pressure to make a number of key contract concessions to ensure Tyree’s investment group would close on the purchase of the former Sun-Times News Group.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just a touch of Chrismas

The young man manning the red kettle outside the Jewel on Elgin’s West Side was ringing a bell in each hand. For every person entering or exiting the store, he flashed a big smile and offered a very warm “merry Christmas.”

I do not know his name, in fact had never seen him before, but his smile seemed warm and genuine as I walked out. I had been running a couple of errands and had stopped to pick up a bottle of water. It cost me my last dollar and some change.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I was wrong

They say it takes a big man to admit a mistake, but over the course of my life and my career, I’ve never felt particularly big when owning up to an error. Certainly I’ve felt responsible enough to do so, and a heartfelt apology is a good thing. But it does little to erase the mistake.

Owning up to a mistake is a necessary step, particularly when the error reflects badly on someone. It should be part of a process not only of acknowledging the wrong, but in establishing or re-establishing those steps needed to ensure it is not repeated, toward restoring credibility.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Seeing possibilities again

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An apartment in the reddish-pink stucco house at 606 W. Cedar St., Rawlins, Wyo., was the first home my wife, Lisa, and I shared as husband and wife, the first place that we, as a couple, called home.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sun-Times Media spills more blood

Tally hits 16

This will be a short post.

Crain's reported earlier this week that Sun-Times Media had laid off three more employees in Chicago. I learned that same day another employee had been let go in Tinley Park.

Today, the Aurora office was hit, another friend who had been a loyal, hardworking employee for years was let go. I have no idea yet if there were others.

Update: I just learned there were two people let go in Aurora today, My sympathies to both of you. 

Update 2, 4:53 p.m.: The swathe grows. I just got word at least one sports reporter and four designers were among the casualties, bringing to six the number of people let go this afternoon. All are editorial employees.

Update, 9:49 p.m.: I have not been able to confirm the comment added to this post that four people, including two copy editors, were let go in Joliet. If I can verify this, I will post another update.

Update, 12:16 a.m. Dec. 9: I have it from a reliable source that the bottom line was five people, not six who were cut in Aurora on Thursday. I spent a chunk of my afternoon and later this evening trying to track down the sixth name to no avail. I finally ran into a source who had the information. Five people's lives were shattered in Aurora on Thursday, not six. Nonetheless, people were hurt.

Update, 9:47 p.m. Dec. 9: It seems that in all, Sun-Times Media this week laid off at least 16 staffers, including:
  • Chicago Sun-Times: three (reported Monday by Crain's), and a photographer was cut in Tinley Park;
  • Aurora: five people a copy editor, a sports writer, three  designers;
  • Joliet: two copy editors, two advertising;
  • Less specific: There were sports positions cut in Waukegan, Pioneer Press and one in Tinley Park. I am still trying to pin down numbers on these, but it would be at least three people.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pain, potential and paywall at Sun-Times Media

Several developments this week were mixed signals for me about my former employer, Sun-Times Media.

The first was that the company had cut three more employees in the Chicago office, according to a Crain’s Chicago Business story posted Monday, Dec. 5. My count stands at four — Tinley Park lost one person as well.

Friday, December 2, 2011

1 year later, ready to work

Today is the day: One year ago today, on Dec. 2, 2010, Sun-Times Media said goodbye to just one more in a long string of employees the company laid off over the past four years in an effort to stave off its own extinction.

Only time will tell if the company’s strategy ultimately will succeed. I doubt it, but I would certainly be glad to be wrong — I have friends there still.