A Retraction: pirateradio @ About.com staying put

  • A Retraction: pirateradio @ About.com staying put
    To mangle Mark Twain: “rumors of its death are premature.” It appears that the news that Phlegm’s PirateRadio Extravaganza was being axed by About.com was all a big misunderstanding due to someone at About sending the site editor the wrong e-mail — ooops. Phlegm himself clears it up in a post to the site’s forum:

    It looks like I’m not dead just yet. Let me explain. I feel I owe it to you.

    As you may already know, About made the painful decision yesterday to let 300 of its Guides go; it also laid off approximately 60 people in the NYC headquarters. Many of these folks have been colleagues and co-builders of sites along with me since we first ventured online as The Mining Company nearly five years ago. I had received two emails from “management” yesterday. The first one explained the bloodshed that went down, but also stated, in effect, “if you’re reading this, then you’re safe.” Two hours later, I received another email, this from the department who handles our Guide contracts (we are not employees, but independent contractors). THIS email basically said, “we’ll be sending you your final payment due, no need to invoice for this month, thanks for your work and good luck in the future.”

    Needless to say, I was confused. So I attempted to access my site administration tools (which are password-protected). I was definitely locked out. My pirateradio.guide@about.com email address had also, apparently, been inactivated.

    This, for me, sealed the deal over which email was the right one. So I began the process of grieving for my loss, since this site means so much to me on a personal level. Imagine my surprise today when I got home from the dentist to find a message on my machine. It was from Michael Daecher, Manager, Content Development. He was calling to confirm that I was STILL the Pirate/Free Radio Guide, yes?
    I called him back and said, no – I got fired yesterday, remember? He said, “that’s not right” and when I told him my access had been cut he rang off with the promise of getting back to me. He did, and this is what happened – This entire emotional roller-coaster has been the result of what we all lovingly know as an “email snafu.” There were two email lists – one for those let go, and one for those who were spared.

    Somehow, I got listed on both of them. I’m one of the lucky ones left….

    So there you have it–the moral is, if you’re a big dot-com still struggling along, be careful who you send your e-mails to. Apparently it was a complaint from one of the site’s visitors that alerted management of the mistake. I think we might call that “checks and balances.” Anyway, I’m glad to see the pirateradio page isn’t going anywhere in the near future, and I’m also glad that John enjoyed my “maudlin” eulogy I posted yesterday.

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