Saturday, January 10, 2009
I was among many newsroom staffers laid off from my position at the LA Daily News on thursday. To be honest, I'm really surprised I lasted as long as I did. A staff editorial cartoonist is an expensive luxury in the small, feeble minds of corporate tightwads in newspaper front offices. After eight years of trouble-making The Suits decided they'd had enough.
All in all it was a good final day, I think. I said goodbye to the few newsroom staffers who are left at the paper and we had a nice lunch at the local pizza joint we've frequented over the years.
My trip to HR was uneventful. Got the forms in a sleek looking folder with Los Angeles Newspaper Group plastered on it. The woman who officially signed me out was nice enough. She had just returned from vacation. There was a stack of unemployment forms on her desk an inch thick. She gave me my severance check and I looked to see that the government had withheld nearly HALF in taxes. Uncle Sam always gets his. My portion probably paid for a toilet seat in Iraq or an hour massage for some pampered corporate executive with a big fat bailout.
Speaking of pampered corporate executives, it turns out Doug Hanes, the publisher of the Daily News, was laid off the day after I was. Finally! Someone who deserved it! After all he's done to destroy the newspaper I'm sure his severance package was a little better than mine.
After my trip to human resources I came upon the dumpy little man who has always wanted my head on a platter. He's one of The Dark Lords inside the company, reigning over his disintegrating fiefdom. "How are you doing?" he said as I walked by. "If there's anything I can do for you just let me know." If my hair and clothes were on fire and I was rolling on the floor screaming in pain and agony this guy would have watched with sadistic pleasure. I wanted to tell him that there wasn't anything a man like him could ever do for me. Someone who thinks it's intelligent to destroy other people's livelihoods could never be of any real service to humanity. I wanted to grab his double chin, put my knee into that fat tire around his old waist, slam him against the windows and scream at the top of my lungs "FUCKYOUMOTHERFUCKERCOCKSUCKERPIECEOFSHITASSFUCKWADPISSBITCHASS!!!!!!!!!!! IF YOU COME NEAR ME OR MY FAMILY EVER AGAIN I WILL REIGN DOWN A SHITSTORM ON YOU!!!!!!!!!" Instead, I smiled pleasantly, looked him in the eye and said "Oh, and if there's anything I could ever do for you...."