15 Sep 2014
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A Message from Former Editor Rob Borkowski

A Message from Former Editor Rob Borkowski
Yesterday, after two routine 8 a.m. till 1 a.m. work days (the rest of my week was not usually that bad, but had the potential to be so), I woke, microwaved Tuesday's coffee, and attempted to check my Patch websites, which I'm always logged into. I was greeted with "You are not authorized to access this resource" across the top of a blank web page. 

When I opened my work email to alert the help desk that a new website tweak had nixed my access, I saw an email from Patch Leadership, an entity I didn't recall ever having emailed me before. Usually, I heard from the Patch hierarchy personally. The email was an invite to three teleconferences. I called in to the first, and learned I was out of a job. 

A lot of my colleagues and friends were let go yesterday. Here's a link to a bunch of leaked info about the layoffs, if you're interested in that level of detail. I've no idea who sent it out to them. It's been clear for some time now that Patch developments occur in a fishbowl environment: http://jimromenesko.com/2014/01/29/hale-global-lays-off-patch-employees/

I had a handful of hours to wrap up some loose ends. I was able to write up a good-bye note and send it to a number of contacts, while tying up some loose ends. I heard later that afternoon that it had been read on a Woonsocket radio show, but I don't know which one. Here it is: 

"Today is my last day with Patch. 

This morning, I was told I'm not being offered a role in Hale Group's vision for Patch following their acquisition of the company a few weeks ago.

I have thoroughly enjoyed covering the communities I've been assigned to during my years with Patch: Wellesley, MA, and, here in RI, Woonsocket, Smithfield and East Providence. 

I've marveled at the tony neighborhoods and engaged residents of Wellesley, the well-informed citizenry of East Providence and the well-run small town government in Smithfield. 

I'm especially fond of the beleaguered City of Woonsocket's colorful history, dedicated officials (past and present), and their stalwart civic pride in the face of daunting events. I had hoped to chronicle Woonsocket's victory over its challenges, but I'll have to settle for watching that from afar. 

Thanks to all the sources, contacts and officials who've helped me write intelligently about the events, tragedies and triumphs in these communities.

Thanks also to the readers. Without your interest and engagement in the community and government, journalism's mission to equip people with the information they need to make decisions, and keep them apprised of the actions of the government they pay and vote for, would be meaningless.

This e-mail address will be shut down at 5 p.m. today. Please keep in touch with me at borkowski.rob@gmail.com. 

For now, there are dark bags under my eyes and housekeeping, literal and figurative, that need attention — Patch editors are intimate with the concept of sleep debt.

Be well, and thanks again. 


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