A Smaller Workplace

Last Friday, there were lay-offs here at Channel 11, including some affecting people with whom I’d worked closely for years. I can’t imagine what they’re feeling or what a punch in the stomach it must be.  It’s more than painful to see their now-empty offices with their name plates still on the doors.  But the heaviness of the hearts of those of us who miss them is nothing compared to what they’re going through.

Work friendships are largely thrust upon us.  Most of us don’t pick our colleagues — the bosses do that.  But being in close physical proximity and working on projects together five days a week with smart, funny, and engaging people creates a bond that may not qualify as love, exactly, but can come close to it.  You learn about your co-workers’ personal lives, their families, and you can start to care deeply for them…even if you seldom, if ever, see each other outside the workplace.

Sure, it’s primarily a work/business relationship, but the human component is what makes it meaningful, strong, and gratifying.  We all want to be part of something larger than ourselves—so the saying goes—and when we lose someone we value from the group, we are all a little smaller.  It sure feels that way to me.

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  • Thomas Lee

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why PBS stations don’t use year-round telephone-supported donations. Instead of interrupting programs, just run a message across the bottom of every show asking people to donate $5 by calling such-and-such a number. Give each program its own number. Just try it supplementally at first. My guess is that it will be so successful you can get away from all those awful Andre Rieu specials. (By the way, I am a big fan of the NewsHour and Chicago Tonight, and I look forward to contributing when you get away from those awful fund-raising drives.)

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  • Larry Schmidt

    Even though this blog is 15 months old, I had to add my comment about WTTW’s ad nauseam pledge periods. First of all they come too often, about every other month. Secondly they are too long – two weeks and three weekends. Lastly, why would they abbreviate their most popular program, Chicago Tonight, or all the Saturday cooking shows for an Andre Rieu rerun or one of the other nauseating “special pledge programs”? Even though I am a PBS fan I have stopped donating in light of the comments above.