Anniversary

Last April 7, I was up against an issue I’d never dealt with in some 17 years as a professional journalist: What is it like to make news that almost nobody expects?

I knew my job was cooked a good month before I announced the news here–and after months of increasing uncertainty. Reading the Wikipedia entry for “ejection seat” because the metaphor suddenly appeals to you? Not a good sign about your contentment with your workplace.

But before I could go public, first I had to tell my wife, then my mother and brother, then old friends, then a few close colleagues and some tech journalists I’ve known for a long time.

It got progressively easier to surprise people with the news. But I still didn’t know what to expect when I clicked “Publish” on that post and quickly fired off links to it on Twitter, my Facebook profile and my public Facebook page: boom, boom, boom, there goes my job. I mean, the people on the other side of the cubicle wall didn’t even know the news. In retrospect, I’m amazed that nothing leaked… maybe I do know a thing or two about PR after all.

(Other people have taken longer to find out. It was somewhat awkward a few weeks ago when a neighbor asked how my writing at the Post was going.)

I shouldn’t have worried about the reaction. It felt immensely liberating to come out of the closet–to stop pretending that things were going great at work and, instead, finally hit that ejection seat.

But I should have taken a screen capture of my phone showing 200 or so notifications from Twitter, maybe 50 from Facebook, dozens of e-mails and a round of text messages.

It’s now one year later. As I began writing this post, my Q&A column for USA Today about the Flashback drive-by-download Mac malware had a prominent spot on that paper’s home page and was listed as its most-read story. I think I’m doing okay.

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6 thoughts on “Anniversary

  1. Hi Rob!

    I’ll always miss you at TWP, but I follow you and your columns regularly and with glee that you are doing so well in other venues.

    I knew you would. You might have been concerned a year ago, but those of us who know you, your knowledge base, and capabilities weren’t worried.

    Thanks for posting on the anniversary of your announcement. Made me think back to how shocked I was that The Post would let you go, but also how I knew you would be so successful elsewhere.

    Thanks for everything!
    Linda Burchfield in VA (also a former TWP Postie)

  2. I was devastated when you left the Post, and am so happy that you have found new work elsewhere. You left a sinking ship.

    ~ Jane

  3. I also left a job a year ago, as “CIO” for a nonprofit org. I put “CIO” in quotes, because the leadership had no interest in IT as a strategic input to the organization, so the title came with no authority or even an audience. I felt insulted every day I walked in there. This is just to say that I get why you felt you had to leave the Post. Life is too short to work for and with people who don’t value one’s contribution. I miss your writing at the Post very much. It is indeed a sinking ship. Not sure how much to blame the management, given the economics of journalism today, but just the same, it is hardly a publication worth reading.

    I’m glad you are fulfilled by what you are doing. As for me, I have one semester to go for a second master’s degree. The goal after that is to find a job where my presence is desired and I can make a positive difference.

  4. I’ve wondered why I kept missing your posts in my emails from TWP. Finally decided to hunt you down since I have a question and respect the tech info you have shared over the years. Then I saw you just celebrated your 1st anniversary away from TWP. Man, am I slow but hey, I found you! Congratulations on a good move for you!

  5. Pingback: Mike Musgrove | Rob Pegoraro

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