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Birthday gift -- a pink slip.

      Happy Birthday to me! My gift: a pink slip.

     My employer cut 175 jobs yesterday, including eight part-timers. I was one of those part-timers. Did my desire for work/life balance hurt me? Maybe. I'm fortunate though, the paper has asked me to contract with them as a freelancer.

     But, I certainly can feel the numbness that so many others have felt in the last year as they, too, receive pink slips. Maybe I will join the crowd and attend a pink slip party. Todayshow.com reports pink slip parties are popping up in big cities around the country. Hundreds of axed employees are shirking traditional job fairs and on-line applications in favor of happy hour meet-and-greets where one can down beers and discuss career prospects with recruiters and company reps. I love the way people are becoming more creative about job hunting.

     Meanwhile, my pink birthday gift came on the heels of a press release about a new study by FSU Professor Wayne Hochwarter who sought to find out how the financial crisis is affecting people in and out of work. His big discovery: People more stressed, downright scared, and starting to become less civil. 

  • More than 70 percent of both men and women in the survey confirmed that the recession has significantly increased the stress levels of employees in recent months.
  • More than one-half (55 percent) reported that management has grown increasingly demanding over this period.
  • More than 65 percent predicted significant job changes to occur within one year, causing employees to grow progressively more concerned about job status; 80 percent of employees reported being nervous about their long-term financial well-being.
  • More than 60 percent were asked to find ways to cut costs on a weekly basis.   
  • More than 40 percent of employees reported increased incivility (i.e., "backstabbing," "sucking up" and politicking) as a means to stay employed in the event of a layoff.

I didn't see the incivility in my workplace, but with pink slips flying in all directions, I'm sure it's out there. Have you seen it in your workplace?



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Amy Sherman

Cindy - I'm sorry to hear about you being on the list but I'm glad you will continue the column. I loved reading about the Miami commissioner bringing her baby to work. Take care - Amy

Sherrie Bourg Carter

Hi Cindy,

So sorry to hear the news. I'm sure it all feels a little overwhelming, but you're a great writer and I know you'll do well wherever this unexpected journey leads. Hopefully, your freelance work with the paper will continue to address women's issues and work/life balance.

However, I fear that many cities may lose their newspaper all together. Just today, the New York Times published an article about how more and more cities are losing one of their two newspapers and that some may soon be down to no newspapers. Here's the link if anyone is interested: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/business/media/12papers.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

While the Internet certainly is a useful tool that few of us live without, I can't imagine a world without newspapers. Let's hope it never comes to that!

Sherrie Bourg Carter


That's terrible! I love your column and am actually writing a term paper about work/life balance for a class this semester. I wish you the best of luck and I know a talented writer like you won't be out of work for long.

Tadd Schwartz

I can't say enough about what your column means to me - and the business community. I'm more than shocked - which was my first reaction at hearing the news of the most recent round of layoffs at what was once one of the most respected newspapers in the country. Today, I'm downright angry. Corporate management is cutting the very lifeline upon which the Herald was founded. Management should have looked in the mirror long ago and cut the culprits responsible for where the Herald is today - those genious advertising and marketing execs who held onto the notion that traditional advertising would continue to provide the revenue needed to surive (forget about thrive) in a new media world. Instead, they cut out the heart and soul of what was once a beloved paper. I'm disgusted. The more I type, the angrier I get. I know things can turn around for journalism - when the higher-ups decide to get innovative and take smart risks that emphasize an online revenue model that charges for the top-notch product that reporters such as yourself bang out on deadline every day. but until then, they'll try desperately to hang on to an era that has swiftly passed them by, and in the meantime, cut the legs out from under the people holding up the once proud and respected intitution that was The Miami Herald. Sorry for the ramble...I hope the words "you will be missed" are short lived, and hope to continue reading your thought provoking work while you freelance and eventually get back to full time. All the best, Tadd Schwartz


I am so sorry to hear you have been laid off, and on your birthday no less. I have really enjoyed your unique perspective on South Florida businesses over the years, and appreciate that someone has kept "the human factor" front and center in all of her stories.

As a young manager with no kids, you have really helped me relate to my colleagues and employees who have kids - and also realize that being single and having work-life balance are not mutually exclusive.

I am glad to hear you'll still be working on a freelance basis and look forward to reading more of your great stories.

Jill D

Cindy - so sorry to hear you were laid off, but glad we will still get to read your work. I am grateful you allowed me to be a guest blogger a few years ago... it was the start of blogging for me.. thank you! Looking forward to continuing to read your excellent writing!

The Frugalista FIles

Hey Cindy,

You will take over the world.

Love, Natalie

Michelle Goodman

Cindy, I'm terribly sorry to hear this news (and the continued news of the decline of all newspapers)! I glad the M-H has the sense to retain you as a freelancer and keep your column alive. Advice about staying sane, level-headed, and balanced is more important than ever these days! Thanks for the great work that you do. Looking forward to continuing to read you this year.

Michelle Goodman

Barry Epstein

Have always enjoyed your writing over the years and know that something good will be just around the corner for you.


This is insane! I hope MH execs realize that columns like yours are the reason why many people even read this newspaper. Your columns have been truly helpful over the years so please don't lose hope or let this sap your energy. You have a cult of disciples who stand behind your work. Thanks for profeesional insight and please bring that same dedication to your freelance work.

Cindy Goodman

Thank you for all of your support. I look forward to the next chapter in my life....as Natasha Bedingfield says...the rest is still unwritten.

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