Thursday, May 1, 2008
Surviving the layoffs
It was like a morgue at my workplace this week. Maybe 20 people from the newsroom were let go in the past 10 days and it was so sad to see folks trudging sadly from the personnel office, packing boxes in hand. We had all guessed at whom some of the laid-off employees might be but others were a surprise to everyone. People were wandering about the newsroom, giving the let-go folks hugs and commiserating with them. It was so sad.
Fortunately we had a large meeting in my newsroom today where it was announced the layoffs had ended and there'd be a huge switch in who reports to whom. I have a new boss to whom I will report starting Monday. I actually did well in that I will get a part-time assistant to help in the religion reporting. There's also talk of my getting a column, some weekly religion pages, more TV and radio time, etc. etc. So I have done well in this transition. It helps that the WTimes is very partial to religion, naturally.
A few highlights: Last Saturday, I got to attend - along with 3,000 other journalists, movie stars and politicians - the White House Correspondents dinner downtown. You can see here two views of the strappy sandals and strapless gown I wore along with my newly done hair. Fortunately the weather was quite warm. Veeka unfortunately looks a little spooked as she had a hard time getting into the spirit of it all. Perhaps she wasn't sure why her mommy was so dressed up. The two guests - both clergy - I got to invite were very charming and appreciated being there. One was a bishop and the other, I suspect, will soon be one. It was a $200/plate dinner, so it was nice that my paper allowed me to attend.
Other nice things: I just won a first-place award in a local journalism contest (can't remember the name right now) for my India series and am one of 10 finalists in another contest - for religion specialists - for best religion reporting in 2007. Considering I was on maternity leave for 3 months of that year plus had mono for another 2-3 of those months, that's pretty good.
About my home - STILL no contract. Every other place nearby that's on sale DOES have a contract, so I am a bit depressed. And all of those places sold for substantially more than I am asking, so go figure. Meanwhile, I am down to a final 2-3 choices for the home I want to move into, so it'd help if I could sell my current abode. I have already reserved a place for Veeka at her new daycare across town, so am just treading water.
Miss Veeka, newly 3, tries her best to cause trouble. I now have to lock the screen doors as she has a nasty habit of opening the door and running as fast as she can out into the street. Even tho the condo association re-did the latch on my back gate, she has learned how to un-do that and, again, tear into the back parking lot. She has learned to say "ouch" and loves shoving one finger up her nose just to bother me. Tonight she somehow got ahold of the Comet underneath the kitchen sink, brought it upstairs and poured it all over the hallway carpet.
Twice now when she's been in the bathtub, I've heard a surprised, "Poopee!" and looked down in the bath water to see...well, take a guess. That ends our bath time pretty quick. Potty training, unfortunately, seems more distant than ever. Her new love is Trader Joe's, because they hand out balloons. Speech lessons are going slowly because, as the speech therapists and I have realized, it's not that Veeka can't say all the words. She just doesn't want to. But when she wants to communicate, the words bubble up. Examples: "cookie," "balloon," and "no."