I originally wrote this on June 20 and intended for it be a part of my intern blog for TH. However, due to the sensitive nature of the issue, my editors thought it best I not publish it immediately, and perhaps not at all while still working at TH. Now that my internship is over and I’m heading back to school, I thought it time I finally publish it. Here’s the original, unpublished intern post.
There was another first for me last week, but unfortunately, this one wasn’t very exciting.
ReadyMade, a member of the Meredith Magazine Family folded last week, and along with that, 75 employees were let go. Until last week, I had been lucky enough to never experience layoffs first hand, but last Thursday was something else. It was really sad. It was sad, as a print lover, to know that yet another magazine had folded, that, (while I will never call the magazine industry “dying,”) it is certainly a shrinking industry, and this is the reality of my future in the world of tangible print magazines. It was sad to think that 75 people, who had come to their jobs here for any number of years, walked in one morning and that was it. They were done.
Maybe these people saw it coming. If ReadyMade wasn’t doing so hot, perhaps its employees had the foresight that this day was approaching. I, as the lowly intern, living blissfully in my safe little bubble however, had absolutely no clue and was completely surprised by the news. It just didn’t seem fair. I wondered what those people were going to do next – what were they going to tell their families and friends as they went home that evening? What would they do the next morning instead of getting up and commuting to work? Were they sad? Were they happy? Were they relieved? As I was slowly catching wind of what was happening, my feelings turned from indifference to disbelief to sadness – sadness especially after realizing that two of the members of our own staff would not be coming back on Friday.
I realize that I have been working here for only a month, and don’t have the relationships and experience that the rest of the TradHome crew does, but the events of last Thursday were eye-opening for me and, as I went to hug one of our beloved staff members goodbye, a little too much for this little lady to handle – and I started crying.
That night, as I was recounting the days events to my parents over dinner, my dad told me that it was probably one of the best learning experiences I’ll have all summer. I suppose he’s right – nothing like a very real Real World Experience to give me a little more Real World Experience.
Last Thursday also happened to be the same day that we went to the Duravit product preview. While the presentation and the people were absolutely wonderful, Duravit is primarily a bathroom company and there was much discussion of the porcelain items that belong in the bathroom. Mid-way through the presentation, my senior editor Krissa and I looked at each other and decided that, between the toilets, bidets, and lay-offs, it was just a shitty day.