Pictures of Sausage

April 21, 2009 at 7:55 pm (By Miles Lascaux)

The axes began falling today in the sausage factory where I work which is not a sausage factory. I will still work at the sausage factory in July, but many will not. Many who do the heaviest work will be gone and many who stay can hardly tie their shoes unaided. The axes were a long time coming. Because we put too much sawdust in the sausage for too long and because people thought they could get sausage on the Internet instead. Not realizing it was only pictures of sausage.

-Miles Lascaux


  1. Melinda said,

    On my last job, I was made into sausage.

    There were signs that it was coming for a year or so, but I figured, the axe isn’t going to fall on me; I’m too necessary. Then one day, I found myself axed, ground and packed,

  2. lfineaux said,

    My last job, before I was lucky enough to retire, I had a “to-do” list titled “Things to do before I get fired.”

  3. amba12 said,

    I’m glad you’re still among the people making the sausage. That means I can keep eating it a little longer.

  4. Icepick said,

    Melinda, I’ve been there, done that, spit up the sausage.

    And Miles, congratulations or I’m sorry on surviving this cut, whichever is more appropriate. (I suspect you’re not really all that happy with that particular sausage processing plant, and perhaps not with the whole sausage industry.)

    And more generally, thank you for your perspective on picutres of sausage on the internet.

    (Can this conversation get any more opaque?)

  5. mileslascaux said,

    Not without putting the pathetic remnant of my job at risk.

    The sausage stuffers who got the axe include one with a child in a wheelchair and one due to be married in a few weeks. Severance was not generous: 2 weeks for every 5 years worked.

    Since the firings were done entirely by seniority at job position (last hired, first fired), that doesn’t amount to much.

    That also means, of course, the sausage factory lost the younger and vigorous component of its packers, the ones who might have some idea how to make sausage that appeals to anyone but aging, sour hippies.

  6. amba12 said,

    OK, a related story hit me today, one degree of separation.

    The editor-in-chief of Natural History who hired me was the husband of a college classmate. She was being the class secretary and sending out the call for notes, and because we’d been friendly (though not close friends) in the dorm and decades later in New York, I sent some in. I explained that I couldn’t concentrate enough to write seriously in my current situation so I was doing editing. She wrote back that her husband had just lost his copy editor to a Ph.D. program (in her 50s, so I could only cheer her on).

    Several months later my try-it-out freelance gig had morphed into a 2/3-time job and I was doing most of the magazine’s copy editing and fact checking, in recognition of which, Peter gave me the title of Copy Chief. (My next-younger sister used to ironically call me “Chief” and I told her this was the first time I actually lived up to the designation.) Then he left! He was hired away by Scientific American, where his career had begun. They made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. That must be at least a year and a half ago — my sense of time is more than a little screwed up.

    Today he e-mailed all of us. There has been a bloodbath at Sci Am. A whole lot of veteran, core people were axed, and now he doesn’t have a job. It was a downsizing and consolidation thing, and also an image change, maybe generational change, streamlining — the magazine may have been perceived as stodgy, old-fashioned — I think he said Sci Am is owned by Nature now. (You can be sure of one thing: the articles will get shorter.) This hasn’t even made the news yet, far as I can tell. When I Google it I get a result “Downsized Target: Scientific American,” but it leads to this.

  7. mileslascaux said,

    That would be a damned shame. I used to read Sci Am exactly because it WAS a step above the pop science mags, but still accessible to a layman who had been interested enough to learn a little about the topic over time.

  8. Maxwell said,

    I’m telling you guys, the only way to sell more sausage is by eating more pork.

  9. PatHMV said,

    Shame about Sci. Am. I hope it doesn’t result in dumbed-down articles. But I also hope it does result in them cutting back on some of the most overtly-political garbage they’ve been stuffing into it lately. The last 2 so 3 years, they’ve been WAY too preachy about environmental issues, and their antipathy to President Bush was displayed quite openly. Got very tiresome and let to many logical errors on their part, which reduced their credibility in my eyes.

    Hope your friend finds a good gig elsewhere, amba!

  10. reader_iam said,

    DH spent some time over the weekend talking to one of a number of his colleagues who were among 5,000 axed at a LARGE international technology company recently (this was the second mass layoff so far this year). Not a comforting chat, let’s say. Last August, my then-2/3 job was set to go FT. At Thanksgiving, due to the meltdown which affected the organizations budget in a couple of different ways, that 2/3 was cut in half as of Jan. 1, and even that’s precarious. Due to mostly unrelated-to-economy issues in our life, this is not exactly an optimal time for job hunting for me, and so we are crossing our fingers HARD that DH will continue to survive, at least for another year or so. Another wildcard–especially with one posing yet another geographic issue–is definitely not desirable just now.

    Yet, we are so much better off than so, so many, to whom my heart goes out. Every day, I try to remember to count my blessings, and I am grateful when I do. At the same time, almost everyone I know is increasingly on edge, and I know I’ve gotten a deal more grouchy, at times. Challenging times.

    Don’t quite know why I’m rambling so much, but I do know it’s time to stop! Thanks for listening.

    And Miles, I breathed a little sigh of relief for your reprieve, however mixed a blessing it may be. Good to read your stuff, btw.

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