One year ago, we found out that we were all getting fired. Most of us were drunk at the time. (Turns out there are some upsides of finding out you’ll be fired while at a party you planned for your employer.) We took it as well as can be expected.
Being a boss is the closest I’ve ever come to parenthood. I took it very seriously. Although these people were (and are) my colleagues and friends and equals, I hired most of them and felt a very maternal amount of responsibility for their financial well-being, their professional growth, their happiness. Several of them moved to Los Angeles—a city not exactly known for journalistic opportunity—to work with me. And we worked really hard together. We made great things.
Tomorrow magazine, which is the thing we made in the wake of our unceremonious exit from the world of full-time journalistic employment, was billed as a chance for us to work together on one last project. It was that. But it was also a way to seize the narrative about our firing. Let me tell you, it’s really tempting to talk shit about your ex-employer. (Reeeeally tempting.) Tomorrow gave us something not-shitty to talk about at a time when people were hounding us to be bitter and gossipy. Rather than talk about the past, we chose to do what we’d always done together: work. The process was stressful and emotional and rewarding, and the product was the best possible résumé, an example of what we were all capable of both collectively and individually.
These days we’re all making incredible journalism at Quartz and Gawker and Fast Company and Slate and The Verge and ESPN: The Magazine and New York magazine and Marie Claire. We’re writing books and traveling the country on speaking and reporting trips. We’re stoked to be moving the needle and raising the bar and changing the world and engaging with our community. (LOL, you guys. But really.) We’re still friends.
In retrospect, the only thing that seems sillier than firing such a great group of people is how worried I was that they wouldn’t land on their feet. I will always love this crew, and I’m beyond proud of them.
“The only thing that seems sillier than firing such a great group of people is how worried I was that they wouldn’t land on their feet.”Source: annfriedman