Thursday, November 21, 2013

Back again

I have been somewhat remiss in posting to this blog--one of the reasons was a change at my old day job at Knives Illustrated that required my writing many more articles than I had to write in previous years, a cutback in my editorial budget, and a lot of new directions the newer management needed. I've always tak the approach that if I take a man's money to do a job he will get my best effort to do that job.

Maybe it is old school to think that. I read the other day that while people of my generation expected to have a few different jobs in our careers, that new college graduates can expect to have many many more different jobs over a lifetime--sometimes with only a few years in each.

I had read that, of course, but I am not sure it registered. When I started editing knife magazines I was the youngest man in the game, and everyone in the knife business was older, it seemed. I founded the National Knife Collector Magazine, and when I left it, it was as one of the owners of Blade Magazine. Upon selling Blade, The Blade Show, and the book publishing wing, I worked off a 5-year non-compete, consulting with them for 3 years, and in the final 2 of the non-compete starting the auction company.

Only weeks after my non-compete was up Knives Illustrated's editor walked out without notice, and I got a call. A few days later I once again had my soapbox inside the back cover that I had so missed. I was back editing knife magazines, and after that five-year absence away from the editing game it felt good to be in an editor's position. I realized it was what I really enjoyed doing.

In today's modern world having an editing job with bosses in California while I worked in Tennessee was little different than sitting in a California office--thanks to the wonders of email, digital photos, and the internet. I could go to Myrtle Beach and work there just as easy as I worked from home. Like I said, much of it was very good. It was a job that I had said I expected to be doing until the day I died. I never planned to retire (having tried that for five years after selling Blade and not enjoying it very much).

I worked at Knives Illustrated under many different bosses, several different owners, and changed per the direction of each owner, as each wanted to put their own influence and stamp on how we did things.

One day I looked up and realized that I had been there longer than just about anyone else at the company (they published many other magazines in addition to KI). And my supervisors were younger, and... well I'll just leave it at that--they were younger.

And a few months ago the day following a review of the company and their various magazines, I received a call that summed up 14 years of never missing a deadline and what I considered extreme loyalty.

The words, "Your supervisor wanted to be here but he can't make so I will go ahead without him. We are going to make some changes and your position has be eliminated."

What would you say then? I stammered out an, "OK."

"Effective immediately."


"Thank you for your work."


"You will have the paperwork tomorrow."

"OK" I said again.

"Federal Express."

I hung the phone up.

On a positive side this turn of events now allows me much more time to devote to knife auctions, and my new sideline, as Consulting Executive Director of the National Knife Museum.

It's all good.