Friday, January 20, 2012

Riding out the storm

Ever since 9-10-11, the glorious day Teri and I got married, and even before, I've been riding waves of change at work. Just a few weeks before 9-10-11, my boss of more than 15 years announced abruptly that he was quitting as editor/publisher of the newspaper. That was not long after the company announced it was filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which resulted in pay cuts and pay freezes, and my boss announced he was on seven different blood pressure medicines.

Fortunately, Ted stayed long enough on the job so I could enjoy a honeymoon trip to British Columbia. Then, not long after we got back from Squamish, I had to fill his shoes for seven weeks while we hired a replacement editor. There was no plan. There was no direction. There was no new arrangement to share responsibilities. I worked like a dervish for no extra pay to just keep the lights on and the door open, while dealing with some humorless co-workers.

Then, in late November, the new editor arrived. He's a good guy. Extremely smart. Laughs a lot. Still, there were many more changes, and even though I was already overbooked, I was given even more of the mundane jobs formerly carried out by my editor/publisher. I was OK with that. It all pays the same. As long as I can set boundaries, come in at 7 a.m., go home at 4 p.m., remained reasonably healthy, kept the blood pressure at a good spot, it was fine.

Then, just when we were getting Glen's system down, the company brings in a new computer system. We are moving from Quark, which we have used for 15 years and I know all the shortcuts of, to InDesign. That's fine. I look forward to learning the latest thing. But I am the guy tasked with building pages fast. Now I need to learn new shortcuts. And the people teaching seem scattered. Very smart. Yet prone to go off on tangents and tell us about many features we have no need to know and will never use.

Teri, too, had to fill in for a co-worker gone missing from right after the honeymoon until mid-January. She too got no extra pay for a lot of extra work.

All this work stress has only strengthened our relationship. Teri gives me support, and I give her support back. We will carry on and use this as an opportunity to show just what we are capable of when times are tough. Love endures, forever and a day.

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