Quite a gloomy day in my industry today (we’re calling it “Black Wednesday“). Pretty much every major and mid-sized publishing house started announcing their cutback strategies a month or so ago, which included layoffs, the halting of new acquisitions, and serious curtailing of T&E expenditures, just to name a few of the painful ones. Today, two of the top companies announced layoffs (35 at S&S and 54 at Thomas Nelson), and Random House is reorganizing its divisions in a way that will surely eliminate jobs, including two at the top who have already gone. At my house, our CEO sent around a company-wide memo confirming the hiring freeze and the T&E shrinkage, and announcing that all pay raises are delayed until end of fiscal (July 1, 2009–and that’s if we even get one then). While these emails bearing such tidings were dropping into my Blackberry, I was sitting in our seasonal launch meeting, where one of the business editors pitched her book about how to navigate through the new economic reality as perfect for “recessionistas.” Now there’s an expression that should never have been coined.
During my run home today, I thought perhaps that one way I could be a good little recessionista (if it in fact comes down to that, which it hasn’t) is to increase the number of times a week I run home from work, thus spending less on subway and bus fare. Of course, it’s too late to institute this bit of fun frugality (whee!) for December, since I’ve already purchased my unlimited monthly MetroCard. Beyond that, the only other thing I decided I was willing to part with was my gym membership, which I never use anyway. I’m not a very creative recessionista, I suppose.
Apart from that brief mental game, my run home was terrific. I ran 3.32 miles in 29:03, averaging an 8:45 minute-mile pace. I felt the best since my strong 5-miler in early November. The weather was practically balmy; I ran hatless, and could have swapped the long-sleeved tee beneath my running jacket for a short-sleeved one. I was seized with a strange loneliness, though, and desired some company. Odd, since I so love my time alone on the road. But this evening, I’d have given anything to have had a friend beside me to talk to. Perhaps, with my industry softly collapsing in on itself, I just want to huddle up, so we can remind ourselves that we, at least, are still standing.