Thursday, October 18, 2007

No, I said I wanted to get LAID

I'm sitting in the Apple Store in Clarendon right now, waiting to find out about a bump (on the trackpad of my new MacBook -- it's shiny), so I figured I would do some catching up.

Yeah, I got laid off from AOL on Tuesday. I was prepared, but I wasn't expecting it. I hadn't gotten an ominious e-mail by the time I left the office Monday night, so when I got in at around 10am, I still wasn't too worried for myself, even though I saw that our team got whacked pretty hard.

Checking my mail, I skimmed past a subject line about a mandatory meeting at 11am. I just figured it was the usual post-layoff survivors' meeting and went about IMing other folks. "You okay? Yeah, I'm okay." I also did a call with one of the folks over at Mapquest to talk about some blogging stuff.

Eventually, I talked to my boss, who suggested that maybe I should read my e-mail.

Okay, so I got whacked.

The rest of the day was pretty non-extraordinary. I did spend my own sweet time packing up my stuff -- just about my only regret was that I didn't get a chance to make sure my last e-mail got to everyone I wanted. So I will include it here:

Subject: They Finally Got Me
Hi folks -- apologies for multiple recipients and anyone I missed -- some folks never made it in to the new address book, and I'm in a rush, since I still have to pack 11.5 years worth of crap.

Speaking of 11.5 years of crap:

I had a Web page. Someone liked it. I came in for an interview. There was a marching band on Westwood Center Drive. I started on April Fools' Day, 1996, went through Internet Connection and There was a bubble. I went to Community. Somehow along the way, they started paying me to blog. It was a pretty good gig.

That's about it. (Special to and IC alumni -- looks like you'll need to find someone else to turn out the lights.)

Anyway, it was great working with you all -- you can find me just about everywhere as Joelogon (though sure I'll keep, why not?)

Best of luck, everyone!

-- Joe

Other concrete impacts of the layoff:

* The AOL Journalers have found me. (Welcome.) Since my personal stuff comes up directly after my (former) work stuff in Google, I never tried to hide it, but I (almost) never called it out (and I didn't mention it in my farewell post).

You'll find here that, while I'm basically the same person, I'm not the same blogger, so I suspect that many of my former readers will probably stay my former readers. Which is fine.

* I still have to get this laptop up to speed, restore a bunch of my files, and do a lot of housekeeping stuff. Most tellingly, since I don't have Photoshop right now, you'll get to see just what a hack photographer I am.

* I'm going from being Windows-primary, Mac for messing around, to Mac-exclusive. (For now, anyway, I'll probably need to get a Windows system to mess with.) So I'll have to re-acquaint myself with the Mac way. For my penance, I'll have to figure out how to get my old, old legacy files off my PowerCenter 120 (featuring the very first generation of the PowerPC chip).

I'll talk more about the post-layoff drinking at Clyde's in Ashburn, as well as things I can potentially do with my enforced downtime later on.


Donna. W said...

Well, I looked back over some of your old posts. I looked at some of your pictures on Flickr. And I am not going to become a FORMER reader. I shall now get to know you more as a real person.

You do have a gift for dealing with people, though, and communicating. I hope your next gig makes use of that skill.

Astaryth said...

Yeah, what Donna said!

About the Photoshop thing... If you are looking for a lower cost alternative, I use Photoshop Elements 4 and found I really like it. It's -almost- as powerful as photoshop and you can usually pick it up for less than $100. Eh, it does what I need to get stuff up and online AND it doesn't cost more than my rent LOL. Just a note on that... I hear PE6 is either out or about to come out. So, don't buy PE5 if you can get 6!

Anonymous said...

Dude, that sucks!

Are you surprised that you made it this long? I hadn't realized it was 11.5 years. I hope you at least got to make some money off the stock options (assuming they aren't far underwater).

Good luck, my friend.

Jamy said...

Say it ain't so! That sucks. Next beer's on me.

Tigger said...

I am glad that I found you....I will not become a former reader...We AOL's are sneaky sometimes....LOl. We miss our Joe!!! Tawnya

Anonymous said...

Man, now is your time to jump to Linux. Even linux on powerpc.

And as for photo editing, just download Gimp and be happy.

Anonymous said...

Bummer on the job, but does this mean you were like lonelygirl15 on YouTube?

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of free photo editing programs out there. Just ask Google. I hope you get the laptop running at high speed soon. I didn't realize that you had that many years with AOL. Goodluck to-ya. Helen

Anonymous said...

11.5 years and you find out in an e-mail.

Hey, sometimes we all want to get laid (with the right person). Won't make it to Clyde's (have a high school football game in Montgomery Co. I'm late for). Enjoy and yep, we found you:)

-- Robin

Kathy said...

I am so sorry to hear about you getting laid off. You were such a great editor and go-to guy.

I will be adding this journal to my google feed.

Hope things go great for you.

Joelogon said...

Hi folks -- thanks for the comments. I'm running the GIMP now, we'll see how that goes. As for Linux... meh.

And lonelygirl15? Oddly enough, I do have a neutrogena deal going on (not really).

-- Joe

Anonymous said...

Sorry you were canned, Joe. My issues w/AOL were never w/you. I resent the outright lies that were/are told to AOL "users." Do you think any AOL employee feels their job is secure @this point? There is one person in particular that I would love to see canned...

Lippy said...

Hey Joe,
I've been away from blogging altogether and came back to check in with you. I didn't realize you and I met similar career fates (Merrill Lynch got me after 29 years).
Just wanted to say hello. You were probably the only guy from AOL who'd give a straight, honest answer (even if it wasn't what we wanted to hear) and that spoke volumes.
I use Blogger now as well. It just suits me better.

Thanks for leaving a little breadcrumb trail. It was good to see you here.
I'd like to keep in touch.

(Stupidsheetguy jimmy now posting at