Many of you may remember me as the Pet Shops editor for About.com, a position I proudly held for close to four years.
Sadly, the company decided to terminate a slew of writers in recent times, and I unfortunately was one of them. During one particular wave of terminations, I and seven of my colleagues were given the axe with no warning, whereby we were abruptly locked out of our websites and company e-mail accounts.
Some of these fine folks had been with the company since the beginning, or almost the beginning, with tenures of 15 years or more on the front lines of About. Regardless, we were all stunned, shocked, hurt and angry at the manner through which we were let go.
The majority of us are friends, and we have spent a lot of time commiserating and wondering why the company decided to cut us loose. The only reason we were given was that this was a “business decision,” whatever that means. Be that as it may, we all poured our hearts and souls into our sites, even in light of the ever-diminishing returns, and all felt like homeless orphans after the axe fell.
But there is one thing that my colleagues and I all agree about: We all did extraordinary work and acquired a terrific set of skills through our association with About. More importantly, at least in my opinion, is that our time with the company enabled us to become a part of a global community of wonderful people who shared our passions, and whose lives we helped to enrich – and vice versa.
I met so many wonderful people among my readers and colleagues, who have become dear friends. And I built a site and a personal brand based upon advocating for the well-being of pets on a retail industry level, which is sorely needed within this booming industry.
They can take away my website, they can take away my company e-mail account, they can take away my job, they can take away my livelihood …
But they can’t take away the amazing, heartfelt work I did, or my passion for my topic, or my love of animals, or my pride, or my dignity … or my ability to continue to advocate on behalf of companion animals, and the people who love them.
No, they can’t take that away from me.