Monday, April 03, 2006

So Long, Pal

Hey Guys,

This is a tough one to write, I must admit. If you didn't get the word yet, our coworker, fellow union member and good friend Evan Pondel is leaving the Daily News to lend his talents to the family business. At the same time, I'm thrilled on his behalf and terribly sad to see him go. He's a heck of a writer, a truly inspiring presence in the newsroom and he's been a big part of this union's efforts to grow in the last few years.

He's a modest guy who eschews the spotlight, so we've got to give him the credit he deserves, but wouldn't ask for. While this is a great opportunity and I couldn't be happier for him, he's such a rare combination of talents, we'll lose a lot when he heads off to his new adventure. Please join me in wishing him the very best.

As I've been thinking this over for the last few days, I keep coming back to the idea that it's the friendships and relationships that you form at work that make it worthwhile. There've been more times than I can count when I'd come in frustrated about something and he'd talk me through it. Or the story ideas we'd throw at each other, the pieces we'd have each other read before we turned them in, the thought that no matter how stressful the job got, there was someone else who understood what you were going through-- that's what's kept me going for all this time.

That's something we've all got to do more of-- we're not going to always get that support from our bosses, not going to get it from our company. If we're all going to get better, we've got to look out for one another. Whether it's talking about big picture stuff, working with each other on ideas, hanging out together after work, the more we reach out for one another, the better we'll all be. So much of our lives revolve around our jobs, we've got to make it worthwhile beyond just a paycheck and a line on a resume.

The downside of that is when your friends move on, you lose more than just a co-worker. But as difficult as it will be for me to adjust to coming in every day to see the empty chair where one of my best friends has sat for the last five years, I also know that his friendship and all the others I've made here will carry on far beyond this job. This is the place we'll make relationships that'll last the rest of our lives-- let's make it a good place to be so we can make many more.

So thank you, Evan, and thank you everyone else. You're the ones who make this job worthwhile.



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