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Workplace grief

Yesterday in his Huckleberries blog, Dave Oliveria published the names of the 12 Spokesman-Review newsroom staffers who took an early retirement offer.

Ten of us who were also eligible -- you had to be 55 years old and been at the newspaper 20 years -- decided to stay.

Most of the 12 who are leaving will remain through December, so we didn't have any quick good-byes. Thank goodness. But when I see them in the newsroom, I get a twinge of sadness, knowing their time here is so limited.

The 22 of us who were eligible for the early retirement offer "grew up" together in the newsroom. We've watched each other go gray. We lived through each other's stories of new marriage, children, grandchildren. We're a newsroom of veteran journalists who lived through journalism's boom years and are now trying to understand its lean years. Sports writer Vince Grippi joked a few years ago that soon, we'd all be shuffling through the newsroom on our walkers. I'm sad I won't see that happen with Vince. He took the offer.

I've not seen much written about workplace grief, but there must be plenty in this economic downturn, as people leave almost every workplace in the country, either through layoffs, buyouts or early retirement

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