Bruce Richie, formerly of the Tallahassee Democrat-Gazette, reflects on his vocation, and refuses to let it become an avocation.
I started out this morning as a reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat. I ended the work day as an "independent journalist."
At 8:45 I headed over to Marpan Recycling to work on a story about the state's goal of achieving 75 percent recycling by 2020. That was the goal spelled out earlier this year in a comprehensive state energy bill. And the goal is about three times as much as the state is recycling now.
Upon heading into the office shortly after 10, I was called into the office of Executive Editor Bob Gabordi. I knew what was coming, especially when I saw managing editor Africa Price there.
I was being laid off, Bob explained, and he asked if I had any questions. I could have responded more politely but frankly I was annoyed. My job had already been changed three times this year, and now I was being put out of work. But we shook hands, they offered to help me and I offered to help them in the future. There was a modest severance package.
Then I went home. I checked my e-mails. I returned a few phone calls. And I didn't know what to do next.
So I ate my lunch and went to work.
I went to the same state hearing that I had been planning on going to. But now I wasn't a Tallahassee Democrat reporter.