I’m Pretty Sure when I was let go from the Vineyard Gazette, they didn’t give me a $57m Goodbye Bonus

Does this dress make me look rich? 

I’ve told the story many times here before but it bears repeating in the light of this post. When I lived on MVY and worked at the Gazette, the paper was in a position of hiring one person and the decision of where, either the editorial side or the advertising side, was to be made by my boss, Dick Reston. Holding down the advertising side alone, no assistant, I thought it was only appropriate I be given the new employee – after all I brought in the income to pay everyone.

I lobbied my case but made one fatal rookie mistake – I didn’t understand the concept that I was NOT irreplaceable. I said that if I was not given the assistant, I would leave.

This is what I saw next….


With egg on my face, I was let go, rightfully so for making demands and assuming MY talent was singular to the organization. Win some lose some.

Now, back to Marissa Mayer, who took Yahoo, once an internet giant, from $125billion company to being worth less than $5b, thanks mostly to her sheer incompetence, stands to be given over $50m in severance pay package, the WSJ article adding she’s not expected to join Verizon.  [Ed note: that was a really long sentence, sorry!]Like Verizon would want to hire a woman who dragged down Yahoo, pulverized it even? So much for women CEOs being the be-all end-all. She was the end-all alright, of her company and all the acquisitions she made thast were bad choices.

But Mayer gets the last laugh, walking away financially unscathed. She’ll start her own company or some foundation to help female CEOs, or hey, maybe she’ll be hired by The Hillary Clinton Campaign, but I hope she’s not hireable in the real world.

The only thing she did right was not say she’d quit if her demands were not met.

9 thoughts on “I’m Pretty Sure when I was let go from the Vineyard Gazette, they didn’t give me a $57m Goodbye Bonus

  1. Excellent life lesson story EOS that everyone needs to understand. Years ago my son was fired for a similar reason – he made demands. He was lucky enough to bounce back professionally but I agree that Mayer has proven herself to be incapable of managing. She made the company about herself, set herself up as the savior. Mistake number one.

    1. OMG, I have never heard her laugh. And I hope never to hear it again. That’s like from a crazy sideshow fun house where you get scared out of your wits!

  2. I’m surprised you had the millennial “It’s all about me” approach at that job. You strike me as someone who would know better. No offense, but curious what you were thinking.

    1. Fair question. I can honestly say I’ve never been an “all about me” kind of gal. I worked like a dog at that job, for maybe $125/week at most, the merchants liked me and I was honest with them telling them when it was and wasn’t a good idea to take out a bigger ad. Granted the newspaper was famous for its writing and not its advertising, but making money kept the paper rolling. What was I thinking? It honestly never occurred to me they’d let me go. So I guess I wasn’t thinking. It was a life-altering experience tho, making me understand that I was merely one little cog in the big wheel of life.

      PS: No offense taken. You’ve been a valued commenter for years.

  3. I do hiring (and firing) for a major financial firm and I can tell you first hand making demands is what millennials do all the time. Your request seemed reasonable to me. in my book it was not a demand. They asked you to lobby for your side, you did, you gambled, and you lost. $125/week on MVY? How did you live?

    1. My mistake was saying I’d leave unless they gave me the assistant. Up until that point, your assessment is spot-on. I went one step too far, over the cliff and down the rabbit hole.

    2. Forgot to answer your question about affording life.
      Until I bought my own hovel of a home, thanks entirely to a gift from my grandfather, I rented a winter house in Edgartown at $125/month rent. I had a roommate. I ate a lot of sardine sandwiches and was pretty poor. In the summers a dozen or so of us crammed into a house to afford living there peak season. It was fun but then again I was young! We were all young and broke worker bees so it was not a hardship. Actually it was truly wonderful.

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