It couldn't have been a more perfect September day. The sun was high and warm, but not hot. A perfect day for the farm market.
And so I left the cottage and headed uptown, looking for some end-of-summer veggies, early fall fruit and a bakery treat to take to a potluck when I would meet Rick as he continued his four-day ride.
But when I hit town, the farm market wasn't there. In its place was an antique show -- a divine antique show, where it seemed every booth had something nice to offer.
And that was when I saw this.
I wanted it desperately, but it was a tad pricey. I suspect it came from a doorway and was now framed in distressed white wood.
But I knew precisely where I would put it (if I could afford it). I would hang it in my office. I would prefer to hang it elsewhere in my building, but that would do.
Things are tough for public television stations everywhere these days. When I attended my conference in January, there was a notable decrease in attendance, with travel budgets cut across the country. The digital transition desperately hurt stations, and the economy has been none too helpful either.
Face it, if you're going to be laid off, probably the items near the top of your scrimp-and-save budget will be donations and subscriptions. You can look at public television either way, and either way, we are in a bad position. (I suppose this might be a good time to remind bloggers who enjoy PBS that the March pledge drive will soon be here.)
Things have been rough at our station, too. In January, four of my colleagues received layoff notices. Another three found other jobs. One took an indefinite leave of absence.
And all that makes people a little crazy. We all have certain anxiety, knowing the layoff situation is far from over. Some departments, due in part to layoff plus voluntary departures, are really strapped. Prioritizing has become key, and will continue to be so.
Oh yes, and don't spend any money, either.
It sometimes seems as though we're all walking about in a bit of a fog, caught up in a web not of our own making. We have a multitude of emotions: sadness for colleagues, stress with increased workload, concern in knowing this is but step one, anxiety as we look at our obligations -- mortgages, college tuition, medical bills. My colleagues face it all. For that matter, I deal with some of those things, too.
Today was the last day for some of our colleagues. I worry and hope they'll be all right.
The layoffs are one part of our stress. Another is the reorganization of the station in general and my work group in particular. I don't know who my boss will be; we know we will probably have to move offices (and if you've read the Gypsy for awhile, imagine my office as an extension of my home art room on a bad day!). Actually, moving could be a very good thing for me!
But it's still stressful. So we get a little crazy. A little insane.
And yes, the inmates are running the asylum.
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