What I did on my furlough…

At the Denver Post, where thankfully, I was offered a job as the Rocky was sinking like the Titanic, the employees chose a 7% pay cut AND a 7-day furlough without pay, plus other reductions – no 401K contribution from MediaNews and a higher cost for the “benefits,” so we could avoid some of the massive slash and burns that the Dallas Morning News experienced early last week.  At first, I was very freaked out at having my pay dwindle, considering that I am the main bread winner for our family while Peter is in grad school.  I was equating pay with worth and really struggled for about a week.  But yesterday, as I sat at the Taco Joint in East Dallas, with my dear friends Randy and Christie Grothe, and my new found friends, Mel Burford and Courtney Perry, I was hit upside my dense head.  Thank GOD that we chose to dock our own pay vs. having to watch someone as dear and as valuable as Randy Grothe get laid off.  I could not bear it.  

Ethical and moral considerations – these were the words that apparently Bob Mong used as he talked to the skeleton staff left at the Dallas Morning News the day after the last round of layoffs.  I was not there so this is not first hand.  They used “ethical and moral” considerations to determine who would be cut.  Ethical and moral.  Ok.  So let’s get this straight, everyone should feel better because the people who were cut did not fit the definition of ethical and moral employees at the Dallas Morning News?  That it was ethical and moral to cut Randy Grothe from the Dallas Morning News photo staff after 34 years?  That he did not contribute to the visual report, in their opinion, so the decision to cut Randy was ethical and moral?  WTF.  What a stupid thing to say.  And as the numbers dwindle even more in the coming year, how is the administration going to morph and shape what they deem ethical and moral to make even more cuts?  

And then there was the statement about “ranking” everyone together on the entire staff and those who were at the bottom were cut.  OK.  Hmmmmm.  Randy Grothe is a Dallas Morning News treasure.  Not just for photo, but for the entire paper.  He is a delight to work with, has always been open to changing with the times, had found a new love for video (which has now been classified as the “non” saviour of newspapers, in case you did not know), and basically, was a positive force in the newsroom.  Sure, he did not edit as quickly as the younguns, sure, he has been known to wreck two rental cars from different agencies in one fail swoop, but once again, in a place that is getting darker and darker, people like Randy Grothe, who would never say anything negative about anyone without feeling deep guilt about it, serve a purpose far greater then just slapping up quick video clips.  They hold the space for the light.  

And that job needs to get a higher ranking.

 

Theo goes down the long slide with the help of his cousin, Sophie.  She grabbed him and jumped after he remain paralyzed at the top for five minutes.  Thanks, Girl!

Theo goes down the long slide with the help of his cousin, Sophie. She grabbed him and jumped after he remain paralyzed at the top for five minutes. Thanks, Girl!Theo's cousin Maddie tickles him while Sophie plays in the dirt at Cottonwood Park in Richardson, TX.

Sophie gives Theo a piggyback ride along Cottonwood Creek.

Sophie gives Theo a piggyback ride along Cottonwood Creek.

Maddie jumps first...

Maddie jumps first...

Second time was a charm.

Second time was a charm.

I guess if all newspapers close, then I could always become the manager for my gorgeous and brilliant niece, Sophie...

I guess if all newspapers close, then I could always become the manager for my gorgeous and brilliant niece, Sophie...

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4 Responses to “What I did on my furlough…”


  1. 1 Kelly Stahlman April 15, 2009 at 1:41 am

    DAMN you’re good! I love your thoughtful insights – and the way you share Randy’s story within the story. Yes, moral and ethical have been historically been used to do immoral and unethical things. The “elders” or “statemen” in a community lend grounding, balist, integrity and repsect that has been EARNED to a given organization. Without which, the credibility is tarnished.

    As the world continue to spin down the Rabbit Hole, I cling to any sanity I can find!

    Thanks for today’s tree with deep roots,
    Kelly

  2. 2 Courtney April 16, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Cheers to Randy Eli! Our lives are better for having him in them. I look forward to the “next big thing”, whether that comes within newspapers or without, and regardless, I know Randy will be on the cutting edge.

    See you in Vegas in June, Judy! I’m definitely going!

  3. 3 Don (Donnie) Boyd April 23, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Judy,
    This is amazing, I wish you and your family all the best. Many thanks to your dad for helping keep my dad alive for many more years. We talk about your dad all the time and what a great man he is.

    Take care,
    Don

  4. 4 Ellie April 4, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    hey aunt judy I have a question for you, by the way this is ellen, can you put a picture of your chickens on here because poppy, beth, my mom and I would like to see them! I hope I can come see you soon! ❤ Ellie P.S. tell hans, peter and theo that my family said hi and we love you!


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