Being Laid Off Affects Your Bench Time…


I was given my two week notice on Friday. I’m being laid off at the end of the month.

It’s been a bit of a messy and unfortunate situation all around, and I’d rather not get into the specifics, save that it’s the usual scenario in the agency world. Big client goes bye-bye, new clients play hard-to-get, revenues and expenses get all out of what, and suddenly the ship is listing.

At least I faced this situation with my eyes open, and at least my soon-to-be-former employer has had the respect and decency to give me as much runway as possible.

Amazingly, this is the first time I’ve ever been laid off. I’m starting to lose count how many I’ve been through, how many friends and colleagues I’ve seen get the axe. I’ve seen it handled everywhere from awkwardly to poorly to flat-out incompetently. I guess I can count myself lucky in that regard.

But this is a modeling blog. And what I’ve found interesting about this layoff is how it’s impacting what I get done at the bench.

I always thought I’d be a mess of worry if I ever got laid off. I mean…wife who stays home…two kids…bills! I tend to get very obsessive about things I can’t control. But I’m almost preternaturally calm. Downright zen. Maybe it’s the unbelievable network of friends I’ve built up in the course of my career, friends who have been scattered across Austin by this damned recession, but who have leads or contract work they can throw my way. Maybe it’s a chance at a clean break and a fresh start. Or maybe it’s just…I don’t know. I know it’s going to be an inherently crazy period in my life, and so in that way, it is completely predictable.

But the bench is another matter entirely. I’ve been scattered. I’ve been doing a lot but doing nothing. I’m having trouble keeping the Spitfire organized. The Mustang’s wing seams have been driving me crazy. I haven’t touched the Panzer III since I got the news. Maybe it changes. Maybe I hit a stride once I get through the frustrating filling/sanding/filling/sanding routine I’m stuck in right now.

As to how the layoff will impact my production on this blog…I can’t say. Maybe a whole lot more posts, maybe fewer. But I do plan to keep up with it as I have been.

I also want to take a moment to sincerely thank those of you who take the time to read and especially to comment. I’m not making any money from this site…it’s just a place where I can geek out about a hobby that I’ve come to appreciate in ways I never did as a kid, and I’m thrilled to no end that my meandering posts might actually be of value to someone!

Also, I don’t really share site traffic all that often, but numbers have been growing more or less steadily since I started this blog last year. After leveling off a bit in June, they’ve suddenly exploded again – last Thursday was the busiest day Doogs’ Models has ever had, and so far average views per day are up a whopping 25% over June. I’m amazed and humbled by this stunning growth, and have you all to thank for it. So…thank you!

17 Comments Add yours

  1. mark says:

    Im feeling you bro. Worked 28 years as an electrician,…fell got hurt bad, laid-off….had knees replaced,…disabled now for 5 years. Luckily my home was paid for. I understand what you are feeling. Any way that i may help you let me know.

  2. Rick says:

    Good luck and keep the positive attitude.

    Now is the time to turn your hobby into a business.

    Your skills are top notch as well as your content. Have truly enjoyed reading your blogs.

    That said, I recommend:

    Subscription fees for your website
    Advertising on your site
    Connect with Tamyia, Dragon etc for builds with review

    Also, consider doing some consulting. Connect with your professional network. Set up a profile on Linked-In.

    Your fees can be significantly less than working through an agency.

    Best – Rick

  3. Doogs says:

    Thanks guys!

    Rick – once upon a time, I was convinced I wanted to be a novelist and write fiction for a living. I even wrote a friggin’ novel. It was my hobby for near on five years…but then I started trying to get it published, playing the agent submission game, and it sucked all the enjoyment out of it. Writing became work, and ceased being a hobby.

    I’m determined I won’t do the same with modeling. In time I may add advertising and sponsorships to the blog, may even try to sell an article or three to FSM, but I’m not really planning on ever trying to monetize this site. I’d rather keep it as an outlet than suck the fun out of it by trying to turn it into a revenue stream.

    If I ever decide I do want to monetize my love of gluing plastic together and blowing paint at it with compressed air, it’ll probably be later in life, in the form of opening up my own hobby shop. But that’s YEARS down the road.

    That, and I have every intention of keeping this whole unemployed thing extremely short-lived. Fingers crossed!

  4. Rick says:

    great attitude. best of luck and will look forward to your continued blog entries on the 32 Spit, 48 Stang and the incoming 32 Stang.

  5. Ronald l Logan says:

    Thats tough one i have been laid off many time butt alaways seem to land on my feet .I would pay a fee to help keep this blog going have learned somethings here .Hope things work out for you.Ron

  6. Pete Dawson says:

    Good Luck Doogs!!! Your talent is obvious from the blog, hopefully you wind up in a better role after all is said and done.

  7. keith rudzik says:

    I’m sure the many people that read your blog share all our empathies with you.While reaquiring gainful employment takes priorities,I’m sure,be glad you have so many diversions.Your Family,modelling,the blog & others no doubt.Almost Exactly as Mark the electrician, [ down to the same trade ,accident,& forced retirement ], Nothing is worse than ennui.Especially when coupled with worries.Thank God your young & so talented,articulate & obviously multi-talented.I’d say “when one door closes…..” , but You’d probably hunt me down & beat me !!!! Best of luck. Oh yeah,two things I’ve wanted to know; 1st,how the heck can you concentrate building 1/48th in a sweltering garage ? I went to O.U. in Norman,OK.I remember the heat in your neck of the woods. Secondly,while I understand your passion is aircraft,I hope to see more armor builds on your blog.I’ll even supply a kit from my stash.Just name something you’ve been thinking of but prudence at this time probably prevents you from splurging. Semper fi, keith r.

    1. mark says:

      Cheers bro……shall we help him out ?

  8. keith rudzik says:

    Hey Mark,I extended the offer & it’s genuine.I’m sure we all have kits to spare !!! I hope he come up w/ a wish list. Semper fi , keith r.

  9. Doogs says:

    Guys, seriously, thank you so much for the offer, but if you look at my stash page, I’ve got a pretty decent stock of armor stored up. I’m thinking I may try one of the Tasca Sherman kits once I finish up the Panzer III, but we’ll see.

    Keith – I hear ya regarding armor! It’s just that there’s so much I want to build…and of late I’ve been having way too much fun with Tamiya’s big Spit. That said, I did pull out the Vorpanzer for a little bit last night and got started on the turret. Been staring at the computer so furiously over the past few days that my eyes were kind of balking at working with tiny Dragon parts, though!

    Regarding the heat, it’s miserable! I do all my modeling at night, though, after the wife and kids have gone to sleep, so by then it’s usually cooled down into at least the low 90s. And I’ve got a massive fan I keep at the front of the garage to circulate the air. Honestly, it’s not all that bad after about 11:15 or so. Though the heat does play havoc with certain paints. Had some ridiculous dusting issues with the Krylon gloss black I laid down on the P-51, wet-sanded it smooth and recoated with Alclad primer, which dusted a little bit, but not too bad. Going to wet sand THAT down tonight, then apply Tamiya gloss black mixed with gloss clear and thinned with lacquer thinner. That approach worked very well on my P-47, so fingers crossed!

    And look for a lot more armor later in the year. We’re moving in November/December (backing out of that would basically mean losing a year’s salary in deposits, so we’re sticking with it), and I figure I can still assemble armor even when most of the bench is broken down and packed away.

  10. keith rudzik says:

    Doogs,what was I thinking ? Of course you have a stash like the rest of us.But,if you need wooden stirring sticks or dose cups,I have an unlimited hush-hush supply of them !!! More seriously,I’m sure you’ll eventually do one of your Tasca Shermie’s & I’ll enjoy seeing that,should you add it to the blog.I’ve never built anything from them,but boy,have the Sherman’s they’ve recently put out gotten rave reviews or what ? I’ll also enjoy seeing your take on a Vorpanzer,as that’s my third next build [ I.E., being summer,a ways off ].While I learn alot from the “Usual Suspect’s” forums,I do from your blog as well.Speaking of learning,after my current Huertgen forest Dio,I’m doing a Luftwaffe airfield Dio centering on Cyber-Hobby’s Ju88-G Nachtjager. Have you ever built a Dragon Ju88 ? I do enloy an occasional warbird & learning from someone that’s “Been there” always helps avert problem areas.It’s a ways off, but start priming friends with pick-up trucks & good backs an occassional coffee or beer !!! Just kidding. Semper fi , keith r.

  11. Doogs says:

    You know, I’ve never built a Ju88 of any stripe, but I do believe I’ve seen one recently over at the FSM forums, maybe in the nightfighter GB?

  12. keith rudzik says:

    Thanks Doogs. Went to FSM’s aircraft forum & went back 10 pages,to no avail.But Thank you,anyhoo.I’ll traipse around the forums more tomorrow to hopefully locate the G.B. you saw, “Keep your powder dry” , keith r.

  13. mark says:

    Doog,..never a Ju88 here either..Im mostly a 1/350 ship builder but do aircraft as well at times..ahh,..its not an “88” but I do have a eduard BF100e in my stash…hmmm way back there in the pile I believe. Might be a fun build!

    1. mark says:

      that was a BF 110…not BF 100

  14. waikong says:

    Best of luck with the job situation. I know how that feels. I’ve enjoyed your posts many a time over at FSM, and your mustang is looking fine!

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