Saturday, October 1, 2011

Extraordinary Measures: the movie, the media and me

A news organization spent a year in a $42 million environment, a beautiful open space of larger-than-life cubicles, water that tasted good, and air that felt fresh when everyone breathed in the new ambiance.

Televisions ran 24/7 throughout the third floor. Televisions played silently in a comfortable lunch room stocked with super-sized vending machines, double refrigerators, double microwaves, double giant toasters. On every floor large glass panels etched with company history separated break rooms from open spaces.

This was a space so expansive gawkers on the second floor watched Faith Ford deliver lines flawlessly for an infomercial filmed in the lobby.

This was a space so unique that Harrison Ford brought in his crew and filmed Extraordinary Measures on the second floor.

It rewarded managers and some supervisors with individual offices.

Automatic prestige.

Automatic assumption the company was doing well.

Automatic everything...including failure.

I worked for the news organization that built the building.

After a year in the new digs, we nodded our heads in sweet recollection of our luxury accommodations, tidied up after ourselves, and waved good bye. We returned to our roots—the original building that the company had been unable to sell or lease.

Thank goodness.

Upon our reentry at our original structure, employees began calling it the 'old building.' I hated that term. I am acutely aware of how semantics affect how we view our situation and coined the company phrase, 'the classic building.'

About the same time I started my more work oriented Twitter account and pegged myself as @TheClassicCarol, and included this bio: "The Classic Carol returns to the classic building. We create our future. We are the media's future. Build our community: get out there and sell something!"

I've amended that several times. The Classic Carol is not so much about work as about thought, opinion, and ideas.

Just like the building and the bad economy, that spiraled the news organization into reorganization, I reorganized my twitter, my bio, and my blog. Within a year of the company's successful emergence from bankruptcy, I left. I reorganized myself, too.

I'm glad I got to experience both the new building and the return to the classic building. There was a lot of risk taking to throw the shovel into the ground and build a $42 million building and I learned from that. But tere was a lot we lost when we headed for brand-spanking new. There was a lot we gained when we returned to the synergy of our roots.

There was a lot of extraordinary people who returned tp the classic building and were glad to have a career they loved and a place where they could practice their craft. I learned from that, too.

Do what you love and love what your doing until you can do something different, even if it takes extraordinary measures.