GETTING ON WITH LIFE

Test. Test. Is this thing on? I’m new here in my own blog space, and frankly feel a little uncomfortable without a microphone in hand. But I suppose this is my voice for now and I felt the need to use it today. This space will be used for hockey-related content moving forward, but today if you’ll indulge me it’s about tying up some loose ends from the week that was.

Is it really Friday? How’d it get to be Friday already? Most of the week has felt like 1:04pm Tuesday. That’s when I lost my job. I didn’t lose my life. I wasn’t diagnosed with a terminal disease. I have my health and my family and, as was reinforced a thousand times over this week, I have the support of so many people. And given where we all were as a society last Friday, I have a great deal of perspective on the bigger picture.

When I left the air after the post-game show on Monday night, I knew jobs would be lost on Tuesday. But since I finished up my shift at 9:30pm and hadn’t been informed of the need to be back at the station on Tuesday (a scheduled day off), I foolishly allowed my mind to wander to a place where perhaps I’d be spared. But that changed with the arrival of a terse one-line e-mail on Tuesday morning telling me I had a 1pm meeting in a boardroom. And that was all I needed to know.

That meeting didn’t last long. I don’t remember much of what was said and wouldn’t share it if I did. I will say I was grateful that I was not escorted to the elevator and thrown out on to the street. I was afforded the opportunity to move freely about the building I’d called my work home for very close to a decade. That gave me a chance to say my goodbyes to colleagues and friends in person. And it meant a lot to me to be able to do that.

Quite frankly, the outpouring of support has floored me. The hockey world is a pretty cool place and to hear from players, managers, administrators, team staff in all departments and so very many colleagues on both sides of the border has truly touched me. I heard from a number of the biggest names in hockey broadcasting that I had no idea knew of me or my work. And to have so many offer to do whatever they can to help means the world to me as well.

It was tough to watch Wednesday night’s game at home on my couch. Difficult, too, not to be at Canucks practice today or know that they will play home games this weekend that I will not be at. For 22 years I have covered hockey (six in Kamloops and the past 16 here in Vancouver) and it has been a huge part of my life — a huge part of who I am and what I love to do. This career delivers a unique rhythm of morning skates and game nights and practices and wonderfully strange hours. And stepping back from that will take some getting used to.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t slept much since Tuesday. But I have never been a great sleeper so who knows if the termination is responsible for my unrest. But more waking hours has provided me plenty of time already to start thinking about the future. It is my intention to try to stay in the sports media despite the many risks that come with the territory. I believe I have a unique skill set in this market and one that I want to believe will be valued by another employer.

The timing of the termination is tough because most media outlets are fully-staffed for the hockey season. But my challenge will be to knock on every door until I find one that opens even a crack. Many of you have suggested creating a blog (like this one) and podcasts and I am certainly going to explore all new media and digital avenues along with opportunities in traditional media. And yes, I plan to remain active on Twitter. That is the strongest voice I have right now and it’s one I intend to use to engage with so many people as I have in recent years. I have too many crazy Canucks numbers rattling around my brain and require an outlet for them. So it will be business as usual in that regard.

I’ve had many wanting me to speak freely about my former employer. And I understand the fascination with the ‘behind the curtain’ viewpoint I could provide. But I won’t. There is nothing to be gained from that. I didn’t think the right decision was made on Tuesday. I hold to that belief still, but that doesn’t change anything. Having worked so many jobs there and with so many people on so many shows, I always believed I had one of the best perspectives on the mechanics of the radio station. I had some good observations and strong suggestions for improvements. But nobody wanted them when I was employed, I’m certainly not offering them up now!

This will be the last I write of my personal situation until I have an update for you on the next chapter in my life. Some know that my wife works for the company I have left behind. I was disappointed for her having to go back into that workplace on Wednesday with her husband terminated along with so many of her friends and colleagues. However like the pro she is, she did the job expected of her and is trying her best to deal with all that has taken place this week on both a personal and professional level.

This wasn’t a great week. But there are lots of terrific broadcasters across the country in the same boat. We’re all adrift right now and trying to figure out how best to move forward. I have been in contact with some of them and I feel for all of them.

Thanks again to everyone who took a moment out of their lives to reach out to me this week. It really does help ease the sting of the situation. I’m down for now. But not out. I truly believe you haven’t seen the last of me yet. Now I just have to convince someone in a position of power to make that happen. Time to go make some more phone calls.

All the best,

Jeff

 

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22 thoughts on “GETTING ON WITH LIFE

  1. Good luck Jeff. I am sure you will land on your feet soon and will be happier for it. It may not look like that right now but few years from now, you may even say “this was the best thing that happened to me” and I sincerely hope that is the case.

    All the best

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  2. Jeff, round up the other, um, “currently unoccupied” Vancouver media members and start up a local media site – podcasts, videos, blogs, etc – that is Vancouver-centric. We don’t have anything like that anymore, and there is a thirst for it.

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  3. Excellent piece Jeff. I was so sorry to hear the news of your dismissal and the firings of some others I know. I’ve been through corporate ‘restructuring’ twice and it’s painful. But you’re far too talented NOT to be on somebody’s radar. Take care bud.

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  4. As a longtime loyal listener I too agree wrong decisions were made!
    Matt, Cam and yourself were all integral parts of the station.
    I know we have had our ‘on-air’ battles but have always respected yr hard work
    and passion and versatility!
    A moving post and best of luck with this change…
    “One door closes…another…better one opens..’
    Mike

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  5. Great Piece Jeff,

    To be honest it took me a while to get used to your radio voice, but once I did and listened to what you were saying, it left no doubt you were the best at what you did. Maybe you and Dan Russell can get a show going together, If I remember correctly you were once a regular caller. In the meantime will continue to follow on twitter, and best of luck in the future

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  6. Terrible decision to let you go. Listening to your post game shows always either eased the pain of a Nucks loss or raised more exitement about a win. Will be looking forward to your blogs/tweets/potential podcasts.

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  7. Well said Jeff and extremely classy! You were one of the best to listen to on TSN 1040 and we will miss your insights on all topics. You definitely still have an audience and I guarantee you wont be unemployed for long. Good luck to you in the future and will be watching on Twitter.

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  8. Bell/TSN has made a terrible mistake. Your absence leaves an enormous void on air but I’m so glad to see you won’t stop writing; it’s exactly that work ethic that made you the best at what you do. Thanks for the hours of info & entertainment you’ve provided over the years.

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  9. Thank you Jeff for sharing your story though it does feel odd to read your words rather than hear them. Hope you start a podcast soon. Take care.

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  10. We’ve all been there at some point, J-Pat. Better days ahead. In the meantime how about a book of stories about riding the bus in the WHL I smell a cult classic there.

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    1. I must admit I was not a huge fan of yours to begin with. But as time went on over the years I grew into a big Jeff Paterson fan. By far you were the hardest working guy on the TSN 1040 and loved the fact you were fair but honest in your opinions on how the Canucks were playing & news surrounding the team. I think the blog and a podcast with Dan Russell would be cool. Sports Talk Band getting together again? Canucks Army always needs a writer? Also little birdie tells me that the WHL is a lock for Nanaimo in a few years? You would be a great PBP Guy?

      Roy:)

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  11. Jeff I want to commend you for your openness regarding something so personal as dealing with an unanticipated loss of employment. Your positive attitude will likely be an inspiration to many facing a similar situation. The idea that “in life we make our own luck” in my opinion is not really about the fact that we have 100% control over our lives but that we have control over our response and reactions to the things that we encounter. You are demonstrating this is a very positive way. Wishing you the very best in the next chapter of your career.

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  12. Jeff this is a terrific piece. Have always enjoyed talking hockey with you and listening to you talk hockey on the radio. I listened to what you had to say because I know you asked the right questions and then listened to what was said . That is where an informed perspective comes from……listening. With you not on the air I am going have to figure this twitter thing out after all….

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  13. So glad you realized that you don’t need a microphone for your voice to be heard…as a long-time member of the JPat army, I’m looking forward to hearing your unfiltered perspective on all things Canuck (et al) for many years to come. And have no doubt that there are bigger things in store for you.

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  14. I already miss you and the void is palpable. With all due respect to the other talent filling your spot, it now is the most bland form of radio I have ever head. Sounds like a university station. I’m still in shock. Looking forward to your Phoenix rising.

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