Early today someone posted a comment (which I can't find because it was left on a much earlier post) that a current Booth executive has recently traded in an American mid-range car and purchased a very expensive "$80,000" Audi sports car which employees, all who have taken huge pay cuts, now see parked in a newspaper parking lot.
The commenter mentioned that the sight of the car has caused at least some employees extreme disgust as they ponder their new lives under tightened budgets and friends who are now gone through layoffs.
I'm not going to get any more specific that that until I get more information - or hopefully a photo of the vehicle - and at this point will assume that the report may be false. Do they make Audis in Michigan now? The foreign car aspect of this story is as troubling to me as the obvious tone deafness such a purchase would signal, again, if true.
Making things more difficult to get news about the newspaper is the new "Free From Editor" clause in the buyouts and severance papers of recently severed employees.
This is rich. A newspaper, a business that makes a living (although not much of one anymore) demanding transparency and frankness from everyone else, has inserted a "gag" (my word) order for employees leaving the paper saying they are prohibited from speaking ill of their former employer. If they do, they risk financial sanctions from the company.
The irony of that needs no further discussion from me.
Again, employees - past or present - are free to post here, anonymously if need be, as long as their comments are within loose civil bounds, don't contain obscenities, don't mention full names of people (with some rare exceptions) and that don't involve the families of employees or other personal, non-newspaper issues.
If you post anonymously (or make up a fake name) rest assured I do not see any e-mail address or direct link to you. I'm still trying to figure out who "inky" is and they have been commenting here since the beginning. I do get a Google Analytics report that tells me generally, by city, where posts are coming from. So far people from 275 Michigan cities, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 75 other countries have stopped by.
Do NOT post from work and if you see the Audi parked anywhere, let a friend or non-Journal employee snap the photo for me.