Driving to work yesterday, it felt like I was going to an execution -- it was the day everyone knew would bring the announcement. We've known for several weeks that it was coming, but it was still awful. Less an execution than a sad, reluctant divorce, actually — because when you spend your evenings, weekends and holidays with the same folks for years and years, they become a bit like family: the squabbling, hilarity, compassion, inspiration and brilliance, all on deadline no less.
Now begins the 10 days of speculation* and dark humor: Who will take a (very meager) buyout? Who will wait to be shown the door? Who will get the handful of new jobs that are supposed to blunt the hemorrhage? (Who thinks it will work?) Who is going to do all the extra work (for less pay, less time off and frozen pensions)? Who needs a cabana boy who would pour good gin and dark beer, but who would never, ever split a prepositional phrase in a headline?
Because this is a smart group, they will manage the change just fine and I hope that, next year at this time, they wonder why they didn't leave sooner. I offer them the shooting star I saw on New Year's Eve. Here's to possibilities.
*no whispering, please. that is rude.