Friday, January 09, 2009


In Which She Says the Words...

The Chief, the top editor of the Really Big Magazine, called me into the conference room this morning. We were supposed to start our story-pitch meeting about an hour ago and now it looks as though we're finally going to get underway.

I bring my story proposals with me, stepping into the cool, dim room and sitting down opposite the Chief. But something isn't quite right: My supervisor, the executive editor, who always sits in on pitch meetings, is strangely absent. So is my department's graphic designer. Instead, sitting opposite me at the conference table is a big bear of a man, someone I've never met before. He sticks out a meaty hand and introduces himself.

"I'm from Human Resources," he says, a statement I find odd. I know everyone in our HR department. Then I look at the Chief, and catch the odd, guilty glint in her eyes, as she holds my gaze for a second, then breaks eye contact.

Oh, you have GOT to be kidding... I think.

"MM," she begins, "this is really hard for me…"

But of course, what she has to say next is hardest for no one so much as me.

She uses phrases like, "The company is having to make several hard decisions today," and "Everyone, even us at the Really Big Magazine, are being asked to make reductions," and "I think you know what I have to tell you."

I'll be damned if I'm going to be implied off the staff. "You know," I say to the Chief, doing my best not to sound angry or upset. "I'm not an idiot. When I started here 6 and a half years ago, my department ran up to 20 pages of content a month and I had 5 editors and two assistants reporting to me." I take a shaky breath. The big bear man from HR is leaning forward, apparently ready to act as a bodyguard and protect the Chief from me, should I decide to pull a gun or go for a jugular. I just shake my head and turn away from him, back to the Chief. "Last month, we ran 3 pages, and the department staff is now only me and one assistant. It's all been going in the wrong direction for some time now. So I'm not really surprised here."

I pause and now I'm the one having trouble making eye contact with the Chief. God, I've been busting my ass, taking on all kinds of extra work, jumping through hoops to make myself indispensable, and still it came to this.


"I just need you to actually say the words, okay?" I finally say to my boss.

The Chief is a pretty decent human being. She has always been kind to me. So her eyes are swimming with tears when she finally gets the words out:

"MM, we have to let you go."

Well, God damn it.

Eighteen years. Two trade magazines, a book publisher, and two large national consumer magazines. Assistant to associate to senior-associate to senior to senior-staff to deputy. Every nine years, I doubled my salary. I slept well each night knowing that I provided for my family, and helped provide for lots of other deserving folks too--my publication's readers; my friends in the business; new writers--some of them patrons of this very blog-- desiring a foot in the door, a single, first break into the biz.

I was pleased and not a little proud to think I had built up a career of distinction and value and accomplishment that was uninterrupted by the thing I had dreaded so much as a child, sitting at the dinner table in Goffstown, New Hampshire, and listening as my Dad explained to me what "laid-off" meant. He was at such pains to differentiate it from being fired, but all I understood was that, fired or laid-off, unemployed was unemployed.

And that's what I am now.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. There are a lot of people in a lot worse shape. A lot worse. I have no problem putting the situation in perspective for myself. I just didn't think I'd actually have to start finding that perspective right now, today.

So, now you know.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go to bed so I can get up in the morning and go sign up for unemployment benefits. Maybe I'll post something else later tomorrow. Maybe I'll be in a better mood then.

But don't count on it.

From Nowhere on the Masthead

UGH. I saw the notice on Poynter (I was checking about layoffs at newspapers in my state) when I saw the item about your firm.

I sent up a mental prayer you were spared.

Again, UGH.
(But good for you for making her actually say it)
I am really sorry about your situation. I have only just found your blog a couple of months ago. I really enjoy reading your pieces. Selfishly, I hope that perhaps you will now have more time to post here....
this really sucks mm... praying for you and your family
I don't even know what to say. I'm SO sorry, and you and your family (and all the others I know and love who are in your shoes) are in my prayers. :(
I'm so sorry.

I hope and pray that the next chapter in your life is amazing, and that you can look back on this one day as a blessing in disguise.
I'm really sorry to hear you're going through this. the people "making the hard decision" never really feel the pain of people losing their income. They don't do anything to stop mortgage companies from demanding payments or supermarkets from requiring cash for food. Like foreclosures, layoffs add downward economic momentum. We need to demand solutions that share the pain on both sides of the financial fence, allow people to survive and have an opportunity to recover from economic hard times.

MM, you will recover. I have faith that good opportunities will present themselves. Your life experience shows this.
OMG, so sorry to hear it. My husband has been laid off since October. He busts his butt every day, stumping around, putting in applications, sending out resumes.
The only help is what I offer him and it's not much...the thought that it has to get better eventually, so hang in there as best you can. One problem with men is that they equate their jobs with their self-worth.
OH crap. I am just so sorry.

foolishly, I thought the words might be of the eclair, as she's talking up a storm or something.

I had never in a million years thought it would be your editor in chief. I am beyond upset for you.

There's nothing witty I can actually say right now so I shall just say that you and the Magazine Mansion are in my thoughts.
I'm not renewing my subscription to that magazine. Screw them.
Unfortunately, this is going to be an all-too common story in 2009.

I hope (and am pretty sure) you'll be able to find something else soon. Good luck, we'll all behind you.
Crap. I'm so sorry. If I knew what magazine you were at, I would call them up and give them a piece of my mind. Well, maybe not, but I would put a hex on them or something.

Unfortunately, three people where I work were terminated this week, with more to come on Monday. I'm just trying to keep my head down, but am pretty sure I'll be joining you at the unemployment office very soon.
My husband got laid off last January. It's a shitty thing to go through, as you know very well from your childhood (I do from mine, too.)

I'll send thoughts your way and keep my ears open.

Good luck, MM.
Crap. So sorry. I've been hearing about lots of layoffs in the publishing industry but was hoping that you'd be immune.

I really hope that this turns into one of those stories that begins, "I didn't think so at the time, but getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me..."

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you will find something even better.
Righteous indignation has its place , MM, as long as you use its power for forward motion and don't get stuck on the couch with the remote in one hand and a bag of stale SmartFood in the other.....Economy be damned, you're a talented man -- please don't look to simply replace your job; use this opportunity to make a serious MOVE to the next MM chapter.
Thinking of you,
Jack's Big Sis

So sorry to hear this news. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Ironically, I was reading the January issue last night and peeked at your name on the masthead. I'm sorry it won't be there any longer.
I am so sorry, and shocked to be honest.

I am such a fan of your writing, and I am sure you will find something else. Like others have said, you are in my thoughts, and I hope you are able to find something else that will challenge you and move you forward to the next exciting chapter in your life.
I'm sure words don't seem like much comfort. Just like grieving it takes time.
Being laid off sucks. No other way around it. I know another opportunity will open up for you. You are too talented for it not too.
Hang in there and keep us posted.
My stomach's in my shoes just reading about it. I'm so sorry.
MM, very sorry to hear the bad news. I went through a similar situation when one of my old airlines rather suddenly (and for the employees, unexpectedly) went out of business, in late 2002. I kind of miss the camaraderie we had there, but I ultimately ended up in a better place. Good luck on your job hunt.
That bites big hairy donkey balls.

Not so long ago you were pondering changes. Looks like the door has been opened for you.

I have no doubt my friend, you will take this lemon and turn it into a pitcher full of Margaritas.

No matter what the universe has thrown at you, you've triumphed over adversity, continually grown and moved forward.

No matter how unfortunate - this will be no different.

Sending hugs & mojo your way!
So, so sorry. My thoughts are with you.
What Sharfa said!

I had totally forgotten the other opportunities you were thinking of but it was not the right time. Perhaps now?

or perhaps now is when you finally start the first of the many many books that will be your legacy. I haven't read anyone lately who so very well captures stuff like family, small towns, fatherhood, childhood, owning a pet. You name it. You don't just write, you tell stories, spin yarns, entrance and involve us until it's like we're all old friends sharing a bit of a tale.

Someone once compared you to Mark Twain, and I don't think he was too far off.


Anyway, enough of me trying to be all cheerleader. I'll be thinking about you,.

And maybe canceling a subscription too.
the Gator Mansion has been in financial trouble since before it was um, trendy isn't quite the word but I hope you know what I mean.

Fired means it's your fault. Laid off means it isn't. Simple as that, not that it helps much. Did you at least get a severance package?

I have no useful ideas but send love and karma flakes. And I pray you don't have to sell the NH forestland.

A Champion falls again...
I am very sorry. I have been laid off in the past. I am working now where we are down 76% from a year ago. It is a hard place to be. I have learned good lessons from it all though. Not fun, but good.

I found your blog several months, and enjoy your writing immensely. There is a reason you are in the business.

Let us know how it all goes.
sorry to read this, Double-M, and right when I am writing a justification for my continued employment, as requested from On High.

Might be time for you to call in a few markers, huh?
I'm so sorry to hear the news. Been there and done that! You are so talented I,m sure you will go on to bigger and better things. You, Lori et al are in my prayers. Love, Jack Fear's Mom
So sorry to hear that; they've lost a really talented, awesome person. Fingers crossed that something amazing pops up soon.
I'm a mag editor who's a big fan of your blog. We're holding on by our fingernails at my workplace. My message to you: Don't worry. You're too talented and too stand-up a guy to languish long. It will all turn out fine.
That SUCKS. Nothing but well wishes coming from over here.
MM, I feel your pain. My husband was laid off Tuesday. Its an awful scary feeling. I'll keep my fingers crossed for both of us that you find a job and so does my husband.

I am so, so, so sorry.

(big lurking fan)
That stinks. No, that is way too polite. It sucks. It..., well, I just don't know the words. I'm so sorry to read this.

My husband has been "downsized" three times in our 30 year marriage. It is hard. But somewhere in your mind, please believe that the end results of all these layoffs has been moving us forward to a better place in our lives.

But still, sh*t.
Not cool. Just...not cool.
"...who so very well captures stuff like family, small towns, fatherhood, childhood, owning a pet. You name it. You don't just write, you tell stories, spin yarns, entrance and involve us until it's like we're all old friends sharing a bit of a tale."
(well put, Melissa)

As I remember, you always did, even back to those "experiences". As one of those old friends who's been part of the tale, I say this is your opportunity. I'm sorry for the upheaval this may cause you and the family, but true to form, the person you will have become after this trial is over will be even stronger than who you are now. And, by continuing to share through this blog, so will we.

In my thoughts and prayers...
Mag Man, I'm SO sorry to hear that. I really am. I went through it 6 months ago and I sucks. My thoughts are with your family.

And I did award you the Premio Dardos Blog Award. I know that won't cheer you up, but it's another testament to your awesomeness.

Babs at Less Traveled By
This just happened to me too.

It blows. Totally blows.

Maybe it's time to write that book about recovering Blaze. Maybe you can guilt your ex-EIC into publishing it.
hi - this happened to me in april, so i know how you feel. at the time it was shocking and terrible, but now i do realize it was the best thing that could have happened, really! hang in there and wishing you the best on your search for something better.
While I'm really sorry this happened to you, this comment from me is really for your wife:

Dear MM's wife:

I, too, am married to man that recently lost his job. He told me that day that he never in his life thought he'd say those words, "I lost my job today." But he did. So we cried and hugged.

And then we got to work. He, looking for a job and me, being his support and chief cheerleader (to keep his spirits up). Within 2months he had another job! So we cried and hugged again.

It will happen for your husband too. Just remember to be there for support. He needs a lot of it right now.

a friend from the same circumstance
Geez, so sorry to hear this. Feel the way you feel, take some time for yourself, and then get movin'. You're a talented and resourceful person, MM. Something will turn up.

I remember you contemplating changes before, too. And I remember how much you enjoyed your experience teaching. Something good will come along when you're out there looking.

Good luck to you and everyone at the mansion.
Oh, MM, I'm so sorry. I'm in the same boat, unfortunately. It's a hard time. :(
And you're not Nowhere on the Masthead. You're Somewhere Off the Masthead. NOt a big improvement, but the4re it is.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry about this, MM. Hope you find a break from this situation soon.
Oh man, I'm so sorry... I'm looking down the barrel of the same here at The Four Letter Company, and it's no fun. At least we all know it's coming, and I'm not so foolish to think I'm immune.
I'm already yanked my samples, downloaded and backed up all my music and personal files... Even went so far as to take all my cube toys home.
Now I'm just waiting. And everyday it doesn't happen send me one more day closer to crazy.

Kudos for calling her out and making her say it. I'll keep that in mind for when my number comes up.
- K.
Bad things happen to good people--sort of the story of your life. May you live in interesting times is something of a curse. I have great confidence in your power to land on your feet and I believe you'll make the next chapter in your life amazing and one day look back on this experience as a blessing in disguise. And maybe a bestselling book.

Long time lurker - I am sorry for your news. It is very hard news. You are an extraordinarily talented man. You have a wonderful wife, beatiful children and even an amazing dog. You will survive this, you will conquer it and you will find other employment. (You know all this, I'm sure.) You will be okay (you are okay) but I am really, really sorry.
What the HELL!? You are too valuable and talented and wonderful to let go. I know it's not about that. I know they know they're losing an incredible asset and there's nothing they can do. But for the LOVE, this just isn't fair. My thoughts are with you and the family.

Listen, MM, you've built up quite a following here. I don't need to tell you how fantastic your stories are. Maybe it's time to think about how you could turn this blog into a bigger project. OR--start a separate bigger project that generates ad revenue.

Or... publish a book!!!
oops... I mean to be let go.
Well bloody hell.

I'm so sorry MM. You and yours are in my thoughts.

We won't go into what thoughts are being aimed at your former employee... >_>
Dammmit. M2, this news sucks and I've been there so I speak from personal experience.

When I got booted from my "dream job" I was totally unsure of what I was supposed to do with myself at first, but I finally opened my mind to possibilities and ended up doing something totally different that I adored, for more money, and with a LOT less stress than that so-called dream job (subliminal message to M2: write a book).

I'm sending lots of positive thoughts that this means something bigger and better is ahead. Hang in there.
Oh man, this is not cool. I know things will turn around for you soon though, you're a resourceful guy. I wish you well.
wow, so sorry to hear that. We'll be praying for you & your family.
Oh man... I'm so sorry to hear that MM. I will be praying for you and your family as you come to terms with this and figure out where your path in life will take you next. I know you'll be writing some amazing stories about this adventure somewhere down the road, and I look forward to reading them. God bless you MM!
Oh, MM. I'm so sorry. What a crappy turn of events. As hard as it may sound, please don't be disheartened. You're an incredibly talented writer and editor, a compassionate coworker, and a hard-working employee. All these things will serve you well. (And remember, your alma mater can help in the search.) Wishing you the best, as always.

I've been reading for quite a while and have maybe commented once.. I really can't be sure, to be honest. I just wanted to say that I enjoy your writing... Your stories and your humor. I am so sorry to hear this news. I guess there isn't much I can say to help, but I do know one thing. If DOOCE can make a living writing a mommy blog, you can bet your ass a nice living can be made with the talent I've witnessed in you.

Dust off those britches. There is more than one way to skin a cat!
Talent is not fleeting. Only the medium is.

Words, MM, will never go out of style. You just need to tilt your head sideways and find a different way to apply them.

I wish you the best in that next journey!
Like many who commented here, I am usually a lurker/reader who greatly admires your postings. As we say in my "sorority" (lots of widows who have blogs and use it to comment on the hand that was dealt us), it totally SUCKS. No two ways about it. Like us, you did nothing to cause this - I guess we can consider ourselves collateral damage? No one wants to be a statistic, not one of us.

Your talent will not go unnoticed, and look how much support you have here. Right now, that is NO help at all (I am surprised at how much this parallels sudden, unexpected widowhood). Everyone will walk away, figuratively, leaving you to cope all alone. But you are really not alone, and we all will continue reading and hoping and praying that an opportunity presents itself.
That really sucks. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Shit, man.

I didn't know about your company downsizing specifically, but I know that media in general is taking huge hits, and media companies are making hard and often stupid decisions while trying to stay afloat. Every time I got my copy of Really Big Magazine, I'd check to make sure your name was still there.

But even so, somehow I didn't really believe it would actually happen.

Truth be told, I think you're far too awesome for a mere deputy position. If you end up at a magazine again, you should be the chief.

And maybe you will be. Or maybe you'll follow a different path. (It will have to involve writing, of course, because it would be criminal for you not to use your gift.)

Whatever it is you end up doing, I know you'll amaze everyone around you. You always do.

MM, I am so terribly sorry. Our main magazine started layoffs a couple of months ago. People were very quiet or cagey about what was going on, and I finally found out via a headline on Gawker. I've been thinking of you and hoping the best throughout this season.

I'm sending you and your family every good wish. A man of your skills, talents, and experience should be snapped up asap. I know this is really small stuff in the big picture, but have you considering putting advertising on this blog or making it a subscription site? Ponder it. You have a loyal and dedicated following that has been getting amazing writing for free.

Again, I'm so damn sorry!

So sorry to read this. I hope along with the other commenters that this is an opportunity for better things for you and your family. Do look into advertising and/or subscription to this blog. I would gladly pay to keep on reading.
I am so sorry. I truly look forward to your posts and look forward to seeing you "Somewhere in the bookstore" or where ever else your journey takes you.

Sometimes life sucks.
congratulations! welcome to the club! we've been members for the second time in as many years, and so far this go around has been 3.5 months and counting. yay!

there are upsides, like daddy getting to go to the zoo with us on a tuesday, or co-op-ing at nursery school, or coming to music class. even doing cheap but annoying how repairs like scraping old paint off the foundation and repainting it with something pleasant and un-peeling. or crown moulding. nice that he had the 2 weeks it took him to do it. still, it sucks. and i know my husband has issues dealing with how to support his family (thank god i work part time from home) and feelings of inadequacy as a man and father and husband. hey, at least they kept youthrough the holidays.

just another voice of support saying "hang in there, you'll make it." you are nothing if not motivated, perhaps there is something even better out there for you that you wouldn't have looked for had you not gotten laid off.
I've been in your boat - worked through the ranks, got to be the sidekick on the newsdesk of a UK national, had written three books, was getting well involved in digital and thought the only way was up - and then I got chopped.

I got through it. I'm on better money now, though some things are more uncertain, but I got through it and I have no doubt you will too. But it will involve change - some good, some bad. You may even have to dump some sacred cows you've held on to.

You'll find friends from your past that you least expect to pop up and help; some of the people you thought would help will vanish in the woodwork.

You'll get through it. The trick is to keep your options open and look far and wide.
Looks like it's about time to finally write that book....
MM, I am so sorry. ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh. that really, really, really sucks.

I'm with the others though-- 'ole Gorry is trying tell you something---- write the book.
oh no! i'm sorry! my brother just found a job, after getting downsized in june. it's so scary right now.

i hope your options are wide open!
I think the only other time I've commented here in the million years I've been reading and appreciating every post was when Blazey went missing. That came good in the end and I hope this does too. Dammit - I really thought you were doing your usual trick with the post title and the opening setup and that the sting in the tail wouldn't be the one we were expecting.

Thinking of you and your family. Which is weird, since I don't know you. We have a saying in Scotland: "what's for you won't go by you" - in other words, everything happens for a reason. Here's hoping this is your big chance to write the book, make your fortune, and live happily ever after.
Well, shit.

I'm speechless.

Except I'm not.

First of all, it sucks - as noted by about 70 people before me. There is nothing else to say.

Next, I fully expect you to pull yourself up by your clippings, and get out there. Dog Hell, man - you know everyone. Network your skinny little ass off, and tell everyone you know, everyone you meet, everyone you see. You never know where the next gig will come from.

And remember that you aren't "Nowhere" - you are just temporarily not where you want to be.

If nothing else, make like Waiter Rant - he published, gave up his persona, and wound up on Oprah before it was all over... If this blog isn't a book waiting to be published, I'm a monkey's uncle.

You'll be fine.

My heart goes out to you and your family. I cleared out my cubicle last Friday. I can smell change and it's coming quickly.

I spend every moment of every day waiting for that axe to fall now.

You'll land on your feet. We believe in you.
Ugh. No fun. You of all people will be able to synthesize this experience for the rest of us. Please, show the way. And best of luck.
That sucks. I hope you find something great really fast.
Yikes! This brings things closer, into perspective...

Life being what it is, you will use this experience, even though you'd rather not......

A touch of irony.... I love a good mystery and one that has been mine since finding your blog has been your complete identity and that of the magazine..... How unfortunate that this gave me the clues to solve that mystery..... for your sake, I would have rather still had the mystery......

Please, please keep us informed if you can...... Those of us who read this blog care......


And yeah, you're smart enough to think about this rationally. But don't be too smart, eh? You get to be pissed off for little while, too.

Looking forward to reading your next chapter,
Part of an editorial I read this morning about the Seattle PI being put up for sale. I agree that the Internet has probably had a lot to do with the decline of print media.

"The industry, having given itself away for free for years on the Internet to the point of bankruptcy, is desperate for a new way of doing business. If ever there were a place where private wealth, invention, technology, emergency, opportunity and desire are in abundance for a new idea, it is here, now.

Even in a profound recession, some things cannot be surrendered."

P-I columnist Art Thiel can be reached at 206-448-8135 or
Ok, so we all want to read MM's books, starting with the story of Blaze. Anyone know of an agent or a publishing house in need of a best seller?

Come on, if Marly and Me can rank a Jennifer Aniston movie, what does Blaze deserve? The possiblities are endless.

Just jumping in here to continue to be a cheerleader and maybe make MM smile.
I sure did wonder about you when I heard about that big company reducing it's workforce. If I hear of any openings....but around here, it ain't likely.
Godspeed, dude.
Dammitalltohell! You totally did not deserve this. After the hell you've gone through over the past year-ish, 2009 should've been a good start to smoother sailing. Good luck, my invisible internet friend. As with so many other times in the past, you're in my thoughts and prayers.
"In Which All My Blog Readers Buy My Book." (I look forward to it!)
I'd buy a book about Blaze. I would SO buy a book about your October moments. I agree with everyone else; this is a huge shock, and you need some time to get your head around it. But this is an opportunity, too. Put your head together with HLS and what arrangements the two of you might come up with for the next few months.
Reading your words here ... I can't help but to be optomistic that your time on the unemployment line will be short.

Best to you MM!
Shit is an understatement.

Cindy in CO
Well, Hell, MM. Here's about 80 folks who will buy a book of your stuff. If they're like me, they'll buy 3 or 4 copies to give to other people as presents. That's 300 without even trying; maybe 400.

Get those manuscripts out there, keep plugging, and I'm of the firm belief that, someday, you'll look back on this as one of the best things that ever happened to you.

You truly are one of the best writers I've ever encountered. It's only a matter of time before someone in a position to make you rich does so.

I'd give serious consideration to Thimbelle's advice. I know who you are, aside from the Magazine Man, but it might help your chances to drop the alias now that you might not have as much of a reason for hiding behind it. Just my two cents (worth about 1 and 1/4 cents in today's economy.)
I, for one, would appreciate if you would blog this experience about unemployment. Especially the process you must go through. Not only for your always hilarious take on everything in life (except for things that are definately not hilarious), but also because many of us will be following in your footsteps.

Just a request, not a demand. I have faith in you.
First, my condolences.

Second, your confidence is what will light the way. Trust in that.

Third, keep your anonymity. You've got a good thing going here with this blog.

Fourth, this tuna sandwich walks into a bar...
I am really, truly sorry this happened to you. I don't know you but I feel as if I do sometimes. I echo all the high praise in the other comments, and will be praying with many others that this turns into a great story about getting that big break. You said yourself that luck plays a large part in every big break, right? You are a superb writer, very engaging and dynamic, and someone's foolish decision (to let you go) will become someone else's fortune--perhaps your own. Lick your wounds, and then seize the opportunity to crank out your very best words. And make certain you tell us on here when you have something published--because I still have no idea who you are/what your real name is!
Here's one more person telling you how much I enjoy your writing and humor. Hang in there. My husband and I have both experienced what you're now going through, and we can also say that although it was hard, we ended up in better places. I know things will work out for you, even though it may take a while. Take care of yourself, and keep us posted.
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This is such a shame.

Still. I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I know you'll do some serious conquering out there.
Damn. I'm so sorry MM. Times are tough all over. My husband has been self employed in a service business for 21 years and its scary as hell to think/know this is the end. God help us all! My prayers are with you!
MM, I just read this today, and I am so sorry. I know a little bit about how you feel. A few months after I had Monkey, I walked into what I thought was a meeting to discuss my annual bonus, only to walk out without a job. Better things were around the corner for me, and I know they are for you, too. Positive vibes being sent your way.
This is a stupid thing to type, but I am truly speechless.
My husband got laid off from her "secure because he was best friend's with the president of the company" job of 9 1/2 years on 11/7

Our house was foreclosed on 11/10 and I've been out of work totally since July

Thank God we do not have small children.

My husband is on unemployment and that's quite an experience. You lose your job you have busted your butt over for years and the Unemployment office treats you like a lazy scum at every chance...

I hope and pray you, MM, get a WONDERFUL new job asap!

Hug the kids for me

Cousin Diane
OH! Now's maybe the time to write that book!!
My heart fell as soon as I saw "I'm from Human Resources." I gave one of my employees a review Friday and he asked if someone from HR would be present. I told him that when you walk into a meeting and HR is there, that's not a good sign.

I hope this turns out to be just a bump in the road. You have lots of fans pulling for you.
Oh MM!!!

My thoughts are with you!
I don't know what to say. As this hasn't happened to us but could.
I have just recently found your blog and having enjoyed reading it.
I hope that you go to sleep tonight and wake up with an entire book in your mind and the ability to write it asap.
Well, Obama's been sworn in. Do you have your job back now?

Sorry. Just want you to know that I'm still thinking of you, and praying for the best.
I have nothing to say that hasn't been said already here in the comments. We all believe in you, Mystery Man. Keep us posted not just to satisfy our curiosity, but because we can be a safe place to vent, a sounding board, and because we do care.
You are not alone and though things seem bleak, you have strength and determination on your side.
Blessings to you and the family.
Hi there MM, I'm just dropping in to check on you. I've been thinking about your and your family. I hope you're all well and coping. And, while I'm here, let me add to the chorus of people who hope to buy a book of yours. All my best.
I am so sorry about your situation, they are absolutely out of their mind to fire such a talented mind as yours.

I have read (and thoroughly enjoyed) your blog for over a year now. I hope you will continue to blog and keep us updated.
Duuuude. I'm so sorry. Not only am I unemployed after just submitting my PhD thesis, I got dumped on 2 January. I feel your pain...
Ok, it's been a couple weeks. Time to post an update!
yes please. If you can't cope with a regular post, at least give us a quick soundbite(textbite) so we know how bad it isn't, if you know what I mean.
Come on MM.....the blogosphere back in the Granite State is worried about you....flash us a sign....pleeeease?
MM, seems I'm late... I didn't know. I'm so very, very sorry :(

Living for years where one day my hubby has a job and the next, go home, your plight made my stomach hit the dirt.

My son-in-law who was hired this summer at the same company is on unemployment as well. Needless to say, he is not too happy about it. Especially since my daughter is expecting their first baby in July.

In my heart I know with your tough Yankee spirit, you will thrive. I'm sending good thoughts your way~ and if you need anything else, let me know. I will do my best to help you. ((HUGS)) to all~
uh Hello? MM? So I figure that either you're super-busy looking for a job OR you've been hired abruptly and have no time to blog OR you are following in Jack's footsteps and interviewing for Jeopardy OR you have decided that we, your fans, just don't deserve to know what's going on.

Doesn't matter, ya know. You don't get to choose whether we care about you or not. But pls. check in.
Love, Jack's big sis
Just stopping by to send some good wishes your way.

Looking forward to reading your writings again when you're ready.

All the best to you and your family.
I have never posted but keep looking for your next news - whether good or bad, funny or not - it is ok but there are people out in cyberspace who are hoping you are coping ok and waiting for your next update.
That just sucks..i sick reading this!

I ahve read you blog for years and love it..just love your use of words and your love of family. Most of us have walked every step with you, felt your pain and shared in your joy..

I would honestly pay to read your blog..cant you publish it or something.

You have such enormous talent you will make this experience work for you in the most positive of ways..
much love
My brother got laid off Friday. My heart just sinks. I'm at work today with a cold because I'm afraid to stay home sick.

Bad times we are living through. My brother always lands on his feet like a cat. You will do the same.
To MM ~ if you do publish (the old way, hot metal setting ~ wooden blocks to hold the type ... you know, the real way), could you please let us know? I have two teenage sons, and I want them to know what bringing up children was like. But I'm dyslexic ... so not too good at the word thing. Yours would definitely be an improvement!
Regarsd, Nick

I'll start you off: "In Which We Pound the Pavement..." or "In Which Life Sucks..." or "In Which Life is More Satisfying Than I Ever Realized..." or "In Which There is No Hope in Sight..." or "In Which I Vent..." or "In Which Things Look Up..." or "In Which Life is OK for the Moment..." or "In Which I Receive the First Check..."

C'mon. Update? Please? Pretty please?

Hope all is OK or at least as good as can be expected given the circumstances even if you don't feel like blogging about anything.
Damn, but the economy can be nasty.
Its the same tune every where.
Have already gone through retrenchment 6 months back.
Am waiting for the next round to happend in another month or so.

This is what things are now.
Hopefully we are all able to pull through soon.

Your in my prayers.
Wherever you are, I'm still flogging you:

That and $1.75 will get you a small coffee - maybe - but prayers are still being said and perhaps those count for more. Hope so.
Wow -just looked at the number of commenters ahead of this -117! Good job there, maybe one of t hem will open up a possibility for you. Never can tell, ya know.
But now, first things first. First, yes I do firmly adhere to that grief theory. I've seen how it worked with me on a couple occasions but those were losses of people -family, friends -all irreplaceable, obviously. Having been down the unemployment path on at least one or maybe 10-12 occasions, But seeing how you are coping with your own scale and how you are still writing with some truly great wit, that definitely gave me a huge lift as I sat here reading this and laughing at your woes and hopefully, I was laughing with you too as you keep surveying your situation. Keep the humor it there -always -as it will surely do well by you then too!
Cheers and Peace. Hope you find something way better than the last job though. One door cloese, another opens -a whole lot of truth to that!
Sorry to hear you were let go.

I too was let go a few years ago. It was a dreadful experience. Like you I had worked really hard for them and that didn't count for anything in the end. It took me a couple of months to find another job and when I did the pay wasn't quite as good - but a few years on I haven't looked back. My current employer is a thousand times better than the one that had let me go. I hope that something comes along for you soon.
MM, my husband got laid off from his journalism job in November. It's been hard for him because he knows there's no going back to newspapers, at least, and he's been doing this since his college days.

The funny thing is that, despite 10 years in the business, they didn't even pay him enough while he worked there for him to be eligible for the full unemployment compensation...

Anyway, I am sorry to hear about your situation.
Sorry to hear this. I commend you for making him say the words.

Newspapers have been going down the tubes for years and I saw my department being slowly decimated until there were only two of us left. I knew what was coming and they did absolutely everything to make our lives miserable and get us to quit. I refused to play that game and was determined to stick it out until they personally did the deed. After all my work I was determined to at least collect unemployment for awhile. (For the first time in my 40 year career).

I hope you find new avenues and new challenges to channel your talents.

- Suzanne
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