Marci Alboher, the writer of the Times's "Shifting Careers" blog -- who for the last 18 months has been chronicling the ways Americans have adjusted to layoffs in the current economic crisis -- has herself just been laid off by the Times.
Alboher disclosed the Times's decision to let her go on her blog this morning. She didn't seem very happy about losing the gig, or about joining the ranks of those unemployed stiffs she'd regularly been writing about.
In fact, for someone who has recommended in the past that laid-off employees send their old bosses thank you notes, Alboher sounded downright bitter towards her soon-to-be former employer:
The morning I got the call giving me the news, I was shocked. A mere few weeks before, I received a very favorable “review” (inasmuch as a non-employee can be reviewed) and an increase in pay. Many of my articles had hit the most-e-mailed list and generated lively discussion in the comments. I was told my traffic was looking good (though I’d also been told not to be too concerned about my traffic). People at The Times seemed pleased that television and radio shows were calling regularly to book me for appearances.
By later that morning, I felt angry and frustrated. As I started making calls to share the news, many people were asking me why The Times had decided to cut a feature with so much relevance in people’s everyday lives. If I couldn’t answer that question for myself, how could I answer it for others?
Alboher, a freelancer who launched the blog for the Times website, acknowledged today that this isn't an official layoff, in that she's not a fulltime employee of the Times. "Yet I have been feeling a lot like someone who has been laid off," Alboher wrote. "For starters, I have tried to build a narrative based on the little information that was shared with me by my editors, who have told me they were nearly as surprised as I was about this decision."
Hmmm. Does Alboher recommend that laid-off employees write comments on public blogs suggesting that their bosses blindsided them with the news? Not a good example to set, Marci. Let's hope your replacement learns from the career mistakes you made in writing this regrettable farewell post.