18 January 2002

Watching The Wheels Dept.: I wish I’d written this essay from a former HBO exec. It fascinates me, though, that the stigma of quitting one’s job endures clear up the ladder. I’ve seen it happen at entry levels, too — in particular, the former YIL edit assistant who was stunned when she went freelance and none of her ‘pals’ were returning her calls — and to this day I regularly have to explain to folks why walking away from whichever gig they remember me at (the Weekly, YIL, WebWeek, even Muze and PC Mag ‘way back when) is allowed to make sense to me and not to them. To Mr. Schreger, this: You always knew you weren’t your job. Phase Two comes now, when you realize how insignificant you are without your job. This is the unpleasant part. Soon, though, you’ll be savoring Phase Three, in which you realize how insignificant your former job was and that you are truly no larger or smaller than it, only differently configured. (Martha, put some coffee on; we got another new Buddhist on the transom!)

18 January 2002

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