Rally Chicken forever!
Photo: me

Yes, I took the buyout. No, I’m not actually leaving. You thought getting rid of me would be this easy? Ha!

Anyway, some of you picked up on the hints that I might be leaving, and I figured I owed Oppo an explanation when it was official.

I am sticking around to freelance at Jalopnik because I like getting a paycheck while I continue to get a paycheck. Yo dawg, I like money. Besides, you can’t bring in someone to cover race cars and not expect them to look for a loophole of some sort. That is against the Eternal Command of Smokey Yunick and I won’t have it.

Anyway, Build of the Week is friggin’ cool and needs to continue, even though it’s been on and off lately as I’ve been trying to figure out how this buyout deal will work and have also been sent to cover some truly incredible stuff I’ll post more about tomorrow. (Our regularly scheduled Friday dose of what-the-heck-is-that? resumes next week.) Thing is, I can say what I want to say here without fear of pushback from the commercial side, and the editors give great feedback that I’m constantly learning from, so I want to keep writing here.

I already planned a ridiculously good trip back to Germany to do stuff like watch a WRC round, parsh harder than anyone has ever parshed before around Stuttgart and camp out at the ‘Ring, so some of that, too, may end up pitched back here. I’m also getting pro rallycross back in my backyard, which rules hard. I’ll still be adequately busy in my time off.

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I really didn’t want to leave Jalopnik so much as I needed a break. The past couple years have been straight-up garbage on a personal level with barely a moment to breathe, take better care of myself and actually fix the Volkswagen 411. This gives me four and a half months to get that break in, take things a little slower with freelance work and hopefully figure it all out.

This does mean I’ll have to look for a full-time job somewhere to start after the four-and-a-half month buyout period is over, and that’s something I’d rather find sooner rather than later. Honestly, I’d love to just go back to Jalopnik full-time, but it’s not a given that they’ll be rebuilding their staff back up in the next few months.

So, let me know if you know of a good place that’s hiring, or even if you know of any decently lucrative freelance opportunities to pick up in the interim. Remote work is preferred as I just moved to a new place in Austin, but I’m open to really, really good stuff elsewhere. Especially if it’s at the Nürburgring. I like this place. (They’re racing trucks here this weekend. Trucks!!!) Oh, and I also need some weekend time so I can race my own parsh.

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Lastly, to give credit where credit’s due, the union did a phenomenal job of fighting both for this group of sites’ survival by arguing down the number of personnel cuts the company wanted us to make, in addition to making sure that those who wouldn’t be riding out a potential layoff and other uncertainties about the future were well taken care of. I’ve never been so glad to have been straight-up wrong on a subject as I have on the idea of unionizing here. The buyouts are still a bad situation and I’m gutted to hear about some of the other folks who are leaving entirely, but this would’ve been much worse if the union hadn’t worked overtime to salvage what they could.

Oh, and I’m still going to post Puffalumps on Oppo, as always. Puffalopnik forever!