This whole separation process is like a divorce -- just less costly and in a much more compressed time. (This metaphor is enhanced by the fact that I dropped by my divorce attorney's office today to sign some long-overdue paperwork.) There is pain and angst and conflicted feelings and the slow, steady painful process of stripping off my duties -- like ripping off a band-aid slowly from some really hairy part of your body (if you can stand another metaphor). The trouble here is knowing where to place the duties. My job has become so rarefied (not in the exalted sense, but in the mighty specific sense) that it is difficult to know where to place what I know. Part of my Job 1 is going to a tag team. Parts of that job will be peeled away and put on the party of Job 2, herewith known as Copy Team. My desk duties are going to a Copy Team with patchy experience in Features (they are fine editors, but they have not worked in Features, where copy editors have jobs that encompass more tasks than other copy editors' jobs). Part of the Copy Team is also new to our publishing system, adding another layer of training.
Identifying what they need to know out of my accumulated experience has been the bulk of the work today -- woven into finishing up farewell columns for Jobs 1 & 3, and doing the editing work I regularly do on this day. And Job 1 has been a thorny hand-off, with some reluctance to do the work I did in the same way. That, of course, is not my problem, but I need to make sure that they have the tools to do the job in whatever way they see fit, while also doing my best to protect the Copy Team (also not my problem, but loyalty runs strong among deskers, and I am leaving a desk that will be extraordinarily overloaded. I'm doing whatever I can to reduce that load.)
My Job 3 is coming home with me, to morph into a new venture.
In the morning, I received my Separation Agreement. I've just now had a chance to look at it. It is very like a Separation Agreement in a divorce, with both parties agreeing to hold no bars or commitments upon the other. The party of the first part takes the settlement and goes away.
Has this been tedious to read? It's been tedious to live.
For most of my newspaper career, weeks have flown by. In Features, our active date is days ahead, so we never live in the present; we live in the date of whatever section we're working on. I go to work Monday morning and return Friday evening, wondering what happened to those days in between.
Not so this week. Each day is full full full.
Two more full days to go.