Mandatory, temporary unpaid leave.


No longer a junior member
Just as I was about to roll out at noon on Thursday for the holiday weekend I was beckoned into the conference room with the partners of the small ad agency where I work(ed). This wasn’t too much of a surprise based on the amount of billable work I’ve had in the last few months. The writing was on the wall.

While there have been some good meetings and promising leads the long and short of it is that the PPP money was about gone and there was nothing left to do to try and keep the agency alive than to furlough about 40% of the staff. By 1pm they had informed 2 designers (me being one of them), a writer, 3 developers and the office manager that we would not be returning after the long weekend. At least not anytime soon.

I didn’t clean out my desk, I didn’t turn in my key... I just don’t have to work for a while. I’ve filed for unemployment and I have some side hustle stuff going on. I’ll be fine. Hopefully this is truly a furlough and in a few months I’ll be able to return to my team and pick up where we left off.

It’s a weird range of emotions to be going through. Much different than when I was laid off from a previous agency in the economic downturn that was 2009. There is a strange optimism now. I’m looking forward to not being bored at work doing busy work and struggling to fill my timesheet.... which has been mostly “professional development” for a few months. I have some investment opportunities I’m exploring and the time off will allow me to maybe explore the next phase of life. And at the end of the day, I may just return to work. Or not. We will see.

I’m looking forward to spending more time with my girlfriend, who as an elementary teacher is currently on the extended summer break, facing almost as much uncertainty as I am. God, 2020 is a clusterfuck.

Anyway, this week is going to be spent getting my ducks in a row. Oh... and I should probably try and sell some odds and ends to pad the coffers. Need to add that to the to do list.

Thanks for letting me write some stream of consciousness tonight. Lots to process right now.

- Woody


Senior Nobody
There is always a time for a re think , this may be yours Woody.
I believe in the saying when one door closes another opens, and you may be on the verge of passing through to a new journey.
Stay open minded and chin up.
Best of wishes.
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Junior Member
Well, on the plus side, you’re smart, savvy and resilient and side hustles are great while waiting for something more permanent to come along and that will happen, it always does. Hang tough Woody and stay safe.

I’m looking forward to spending more time with my girlfriend, who as an elementary teacher is currently on the extended summer break, facing almost as much uncertainty as I am. God, 2020 is a clusterfuck.

Sorry to hear that Woody. But I like your positive attitude. You have to play the cards you’re dealt and it sounds like you’re preparing to do just that. Consider the time off as an opportunity to explore something new and different. I am confident you will get through this in good shape.



Just Call Me Junior
As much as this sucks, and can fuck with your head, this could be an opportunity to change the direction of your life in new and before unseen ways. I changed careers in a huge way just after my 41st birthday when I was unfairly ousted from a very good executive position in a 23 year long profession. At first I was stunned, hurt and more than a little confused, but it didn't take long for me to realize that I was in control of my future, and could choose to head in an entirely unrelated direction.

In hindsight, it was one of the best (and biggest) decisions I've ever made - while continuing to support my wife and 3 children.

It was both scary and exhilarating.

Wishing you all the best, and continued success in your endeavors,
Good luck to you. The wife and I work in Education. I am now back to work. The wife is hopefully going back sometime this year. Try and find something you enjoy to do that makes some coin.


Junior Member
hang in there man
i'm sure you have people to vent to (like your post above); it always feels good to unload your worries and hopes so make it a regular practice if you can
also, if you can, make some time for fun


Staff member
I'm sorry to hear that my friend. Working in the same industry I see it happening, some places worse than others and the small shops being hit especially hard. I'm hoping this is just a blip and you can use the time for the things work got in the way of, while the pandemic hopefully goes its way after it flares and leaves a more grounded world behind. Hang in there! I'm around if you want to chat.
Sorry Woody. I feel for you having that kind of uncertainty, we’ve had our share here too. Try to be adaptable and look for opportunities, I’m pulling for ya!


I see your optimism, and the recognition that this can be a life-changing opportunity, and I feel good for you. I'd bet money that you are coming out of this better, stronger, happier. Not everyone is so well-prepared as you, when such an opportunity is forced upon them. Often, inertia stands in the way. Good luck to you, in your new adventure. I like your chances.


No longer a junior member
Thanks guys. Appreciate all the kind words.

Being a “creative” for a living doesn’t stop with logos and ads for me. There’s always more than a few ideas brewing in my brain. Most of the time it’s not practical or possible to pursue them all because of lack of time or some other reason. I do look at this as a chance to explore a few of those ideas. Some are simple, like I’ve been thinking about producing a simple interview podcast. Some are bigger and more risky/exciting that could actually lead to a fairly big career change. Some are pie in the sky and not probably viable in the current climate, but worth consideration and using the time for due diligence. And at the end of the day, in a perfect world... I would still eventually have the option to return to my job if the rebound happens like we all hope.

In the mean time, I’m going for a bike ride.

- Woody


Radar Member
Though we've never met I get the distinct impression you're going to land on your feet. Stay positive and enjoy the bike ride.


Next Round Is On Me
Hang in there Woody, you are one of the fighters and I’m sure you will be just fine. You don’t seem like the type to be idle but rather always on the hustle. Maybe freelancing or a new opportunity awaits. Looking forward to your success.
Yeah, you'll win, for sure. As a guy who's endured three total face plants, I'm here to tell you that there's always an opportunity inside every problem.

Presently, volatility is high in many markets, which should open to door to the bold.

As an amateur, each morning I listen to an investors' info feed. Today one of the tidbits centered on speculation concerning retailers' possible reactions when they attempt to return to the market, only to find their ad guys haven't made it. Maybe if that problem manifests, there's a nifty opportunity inside it for the man who is ready to act?

Just me, the craziest ideas are the most fun. Especially the ones your friend say will never work.


No longer a junior member
Stay positive and enjoy the bike ride.

Thanks guys for all the kind words and notes. Means a lot.

Positivity and optimism are definitely things I consider some of my strengths. I'm not really freaked out. I think there will be some fun had and some good opportunities which may present themselves. I definitely have irons in the fire.

Got in a sweaty ass 30 miles today at almost a 16mph average on my gravel bike. Not having to "go to work" made me get a later start on my ride and the Kansas humidity is kinda pummeling today. Ugh... why couldn't I have gotten furloughed in the fall...

- Woody


Post Whore In Training
Sorry to hear this, Woody. I was laid off in 2011 (spent the next 3 years as a stay-at-home dad) and returned to work in 2014.