The last three days have been the craziest, most humbling and mind-blowing days of my life.
As I alluded to in the previous photo, I was looking for a new job — because I was about to get fired. Or ‘let go’ — whatever. My blog, Download Squad, had its entire staff let go. Three days ago, April 11, we received an email from our owner — AOL — saying that our services were no longer required. A few minutes later, our access to the site was removed. No ceremony, no velvet glove — just flat out firing. Boom!
Anyway, the news leaked out to Twitter on the night of the 11th. There was some plaintive cries of mourning, but nothing too exciting. I went to bed, sad at the loss of Download Squad, but little did I know what would happen over night…
I woke up to a great story about Download Squad on ZDNet (though it’s a bit too much of a Seb homage), and a nice one on Mashable (the facts are a bit wonky, but the comments are lovely). After that… well, the cat was out of the bag, I guess.
I should preface this by saying I had an inkling that things would be good after Download Squad — I had the suspicion that finding a new job would be easy. As it turned out, both of those ideas were MASSIVE understatements. I can’t put into words how immensely blown away I was by the job offers that started to pour in. By the end of day 1, I’d received about 300 email — letters of condolence, PR girls touching base, and so on — and about 5 job offers. No big offers, though — nothing from my top choices.
At this point, I was a little nervous. I now knew there was money on the table, but I wasn’t really looking for money — I was simply looking for the right job. I went to bed. Didn’t sleep much, though. I was still a bundle of nerves and adrenaline. I read a lot of Fall of Hyperion that night.
At the start of day 2, the big job offers started to roll in. One from my (at the top) top choice. It was more money than I’d expected, too. I was about to sign up, too, until a friend told me to wait just a bit longer. As it turns out, that was probably the best advice I’ve received in years — maybe ever. By the middle of day 2, I had received an offer to play the Lead Editor of a Ziff Davis property. The money was great, and the scope of the job was exactly what I was looking for.
Then, if I thought things couldn’t get any crazier, I received an offer from a really big site — one of the biggest tech sites on the Web. They offered me my own blog! With a huge audience! Insane, really — and right up my alley. I like soapboxing, if you didn’t know.
Anyway… to cut a long story short, the offers kept coming when I awoke this morning, day 3, 72 hours after being fired. I weighed myself this morning and I’d lost about 5lbs; more than 2kg.
I was just about to sign the Ziff Davis contract when I received two more job offers — really, within about 5 minutes of each other — from sites that are… well, I wish I could name them, but I don’t think that would be very polite. They’re both huge, like… top-100-in-the-United-States… BIG. Big like two Pavarottis. The money wasn’t quite right, though, and the scope of the jobs couldn’t compare to the Ziff Davis role.
I signed the Ziff Davis contract. I start on Monday! I’m staying in the UK, but Ziff Davis is headquartered in New York, with an office in San Francisco. There’s a desk for me at either office, if I need it… or want it.
The other writers — my writers — look like they will all land on their feet, too. It looks like there will be a happy ending after all. That’s my tale. I hope I don’t have to live through another three days like this for a long, long time.
RIP Download Squad
2005 – 2011
[I wrote this at the end of a very, very long day, with very little sleep under my belt. Apologies if it doesn't make much sense in places. I guess that adds to the whole 'realness' of it, though!]