Passages: From a sunny place, to a cloudy future

[Day’s end: the Mediterranean, at Ses Salines beach]

Last in an occasional series about Ibiza and the surrounding region.

Sparky and I moved to Spain four months ago to fulfill a long-held dream: spending a season away from San Francisco’s famously cool summers. We chose Ibiza.

It has been a bittersweet time, ending today, when I start my return trip home to San Francisco. Sparky and I made new friends on this remote Mediterranean island, enjoyed spectacular beaches, and led a sometimes crazy nightlife.

But reality, and this blog, were as close as my laptop and iPhone. All summer, I read thousands of your comments, keeping everyone current on all things Gannett — and illustrating the digital revolution reshaping big media. Ten years ago, technologies like Web access would have been scarce on Ibiza — if available at all. Now, by simply tapping on my smartphone’s screen, I can publish news in real time to a global audience of thousands, whether I’m at a Wi-Fi cafe — or sunning on the beach.

Leaving Ibiza, I’m now heading into a cloudy future, at a time of great economic uncertainty. I will be officially unemployed in less than two weeks, when I get my final USA Today severance check. I’m 51. And I don’t know what I’m doing next.

12 Responses to “Passages: From a sunny place, to a cloudy future”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Being 51 and unemployed in this economy must be somewhat daunting. On the other hand, you experienced something most people never get the chance or have the courage to do. As I, also in my early 50s, contemplate future layoffs or buyout offers, I know I must balance my intense desire for escape with the harsh realities needing employment. My heart tells me to jump if offered a buyout and enjoy a few months of life without the weight of Gannett, especially since I believe that I, like many print people will be phased out sooner or later anyway. On the other hand, this is a society that discriminates against anyone over 50. It’s not easy to find a job, let alone change careers at this stage. It amazes me that age discrimination in the workplace (and at Gannett) is allowed to run rampant while other forms of discrimination get so much attention.

    Good luck with your future. Hope you keep the blog going. It serves many good purposes.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Escape is nice. But it’s always temporary and, truth to tell, illusory. Because wherever you go, there you are.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Jim, you are not alone – especially in California. I too will get my last check in a few and I am in my 50’s. I wish us all the best in our journey to new careers.
    P.S. Remember to all of us laid-off from Gannett,
    we are “good people”.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I’m not in my 50s but close, and also was laid off. Some advice from experts I talked to on the resume – don’t underplay your experience, because it truly is an asset, but there’s also no reason to allow HR people to guess your exact age. You can leave off your college graduation date, for example.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I hope you find a way to make Gannettblog support you — I’d subscribe. Or if you get advertising — I will support that.

    I’m an ex-gannettoid, 20 years of servitude, left before the human sacrafices — and I’d like to ask those still in the trenches: without this blog and the sharing of information, what would the past year have been like? Isn’t this service invaluable to you? And if you say no… why do you read it?

    I still would like the peeks into your life — I enjoyed the trip this summer, and I’d like to see SF spotlights as well. And I live to spot a photo of “Sparky!” Those not interested can “turn the page.”

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Jim,
    Understandably, you’re blue right now, having just left a beautiful place and having had a fabulous time, but keep in mind that every single person out there no longer under the GCI domain (yes, ages upper 50s and above) is doing better than ever, is happier, is healthier, and is saner – and thankful and glad to be out of there – with absolutely no regrets. Financially, it all works out. It may be difficult to visualize this now, but one day you’ll look back, and all of this will be crystal clear. Everything will turn out for the best: the world is your oyster, and you have a very bright future ahead. By the way, you should be praised for your diligence in doing such an outstanding job keeping this blog going while you were overseas. I can’t thank you enough for blogging on events and issues that GCI doesn’t want us to know about.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Hey, I’m a younger buyout survivor and learning fast that the ol’ “expect one month unemployment for every $10K you made” is the absolute truth. Glad I didn’t blow it all in one place.

  8. Tom Says:

    Jim – congrats for creating a great big therapist’s couch in Gannettland for us to take an hour respite and get various things off our chest. I hope you can keep it going; I’d be happy to chip in $5 a month. But if the economic realities (i.e. the audience is too cheapskate) don’t allow it, Godspeed — you’ve provided a great public service.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Jim – you have created a valuable resource for all of us who are either current or former Gannettoids.
    I thank you for allowing us to have a common place to let our voices be heard, because it certainly doesn’t matter in the workplace.
    I wish you the best of luck with this next step.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Good luck.
    There is a huge need in America for Business reporting and you have those skills….better hurry home and get back to work. There is a lot to write about on the busienss pages of America’s newspapers.
    People are reading more news than ever right now.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I read some comments a few months back about the state of business reporting in the US. It actually talked about the fact that we have a “business” page rather than reporting about business and labor. It made me think about how lucky we are to have this blog to supplement the Gannett press releases.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    There is always freelance work to look into. With your years of experience, Jim, you should be able to get some pretty nice “ching” going that route.

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