Friday, January 29, 2016

And So Today, My World It Smiles

I would just like to take a moment to acknowledge the extraordinary acts of kindness and decency I have witnessed this week. As many know by now, this week was a difficult week for many of us in the publishing industry, yours truly included.
This week saw the layoffs of roughly 4,000 Pearson employees around the globe, many of them here in Indiana, some in Boston, others in New York, and still more scattered around the country. I was one of many Pearson people whose job was eliminated this week during a massive corporate restructuring.
I'm not here to whine about that though. I am here to recognize the outpouring of love and support I've received since learning the news Tuesday. I've been contacted by people from all areas of my life, offering love, support, advice and even possible employment opportunities. To all those who have reached out to me, I give you my sincerest thank you. It's people like you who remind that the world has far more good than bad, even if the bad gets the bigger headlines.
I spent 19 years of my life with Pearson (originally Macmillan Computer Publishing). I grew up at Pearson. I met and married the love of my life at Pearson. I became a father, twice, while at Pearson. The people I work with there are more than coworkers. They're extended family. To them, I give my love and unending admiration. We are a tough bunch of publishing people who know the industry and pack more editorial punch than many working in loftier trade publishing positions. If your company is lucky enough to hire a former Macmillan/Pearson employee, you know what an asset you have.
I also want to acknowledge Pearson itself. While I disagree with many of the more recent business decisions - decisions that ultimately led to this week's bloodletting - I respect the company and wish those I'm leaving behind the best of luck. Pearson is operated by kind and caring people, and thanks to their generosity, I don't need to break my neck finding a new job. I have time (and the financial wherewithal) to take my time and find the right job, not just the available one.
I would also like to thank those who had the unenviable task of delivering the bad news to a lot of good employees, and who now are tasked with charging ahead in a company that looks radically different today than it did on Monday. I thank you for your professionalism and kindness during what had to have been a nightmare for you, too.
So, I will close with saying if you know anyone who needs a great publishing professional (editorial, marketing, management, name it) hit me up. I might just happen to know a few dozen top notch people who could help you out.
While I am still a Pearsonite until February 26, I am starting my ZZ Top beard now, and shopping for a VW bug that I can hippy up. I'm also thinking about converting it into a taco truck so that I can travel the country, playing guitar (I'll learn along the way) and slinging tacos. I might even start my own Mariachi band. This business model can't fail. Trust me.

Peace and love to all of you, including my soon-to-be former coworkers. I think I'll miss you most of all, my fellow scarecrows.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Happiness Is a Fish You Can Catch

The first day of our lake vacation might be gray, cold and rainy, but I am in good spirits. I might not be sitting in the bow of my boat, catching fish, but I remain thankful.

I am thankful that I live in a country in which people less fortunate than me can get medical care. The system is far from perfect, but absent a better solution from those who oppose it, it will do.

I am thankful that I live in a country in which people may marry whomever they love. It's been a long time coming, but this is a significant victory for civil rights. (The rainbow spray on social media and in our nation's capital were nice, too.)

I am thankful that I live in a country in which people of all religions are allowed to pray as they like. Okay, so maybe we're not quite there yet, but we're better off today than we were 10 years ago.

I am thankful that I live in a country in which despite the petty political differences that divide us, most of us are pretty decent people. We still live in a country in which party lines don't necessarily separate the good people from the bad.

I am thankful that I live in a country that is finally beginning to weed out racism, stem and root. We still have a long way to go, but my spirits are buoyed by the fact that some of the mostly deeply entrenched symbols of racism are being stripped away, and those who cling to old predjudices are being exposed.

And most of all, I am thankful that the sun will come out tomorrow - literally and figuratively. The fish have been given this reprieve, and for that, I suspect they are thankful, too.