With the economy in such poor shape, it’s no surprise that we have been seeing layoffs nationwide in all industries. But few have been as hard hit as newspapers.
I was an intern at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch when a round of layoffs swept the newsroom. No one knew what was happening. I walked in the building and was stopped with many others at the security desk. The guards had a list of names of people they weren’t supposed to let back in. Veteran journalists were held at the counter while I was let through.
On my elevator ride to the newsroom, I started to put the pieces together. I told my coworkers what I had seen. Others’ stories confirmed the rumors of a layoff.
It wasn’t long before you could sense the fear in the building. The company high-ups were going around cherry-picking people one by one. In a grim reaper fashion, they were tapped on the shoulder and escorted out. This went on for hours.
My internship was finite so I had no real fear of being terminated. But I was just as nervous as the other photographers that were huddled together in the photo well.
Just like cancer, no one ever thinks they will be the meat hitting the floor after the layoff axe comes sweeping through. Today, I learned that lesson the hard way.
While the door in New Castle, IN may be closing, I am optimistic for the opportunities that may present themselves.
Wish me luck as I once again take those bold footsteps into the unknown.