A Message from Former Editor Rob Borkowski

Former Rhode Island Patch Editor Rob Borkowski devoted more than three years of his life to Patch.
Former Rhode Island Patch Editor Rob Borkowski devoted more than three years of his life to Patch.
Yesterday, after two routine 8 a.m. till 1 a.m. work days (the rest of my week was not usually that bad, but had the potential to be so), I woke, microwaved Tuesday's coffee, and attempted to check my Patch websites, which I'm always logged into. I was greeted with "You are not authorized to access this resource" across the top of a blank web page. 

When I opened my work email to alert the help desk that a new website tweak had nixed my access, I saw an email from Patch Leadership, an entity I didn't recall ever having emailed me before. Usually, I heard from the Patch hierarchy personally. The email was an invite to three teleconferences. I called in to the first, and learned I was out of a job. 

A lot of my colleagues and friends were let go yesterday. Here's a link to a bunch of leaked info about the layoffs, if you're interested in that level of detail. I've no idea who sent it out to them. It's been clear for some time now that Patch developments occur in a fishbowl environment:http://jimromenesko.com/2014/01/29/hale-global-lays-off-patch-employees/

I had a handful of hours to wrap up some loose ends. I was able to write up a good-bye note and send it to a number of contacts, while tying up some loose ends. I heard later that afternoon that it had been read on a Woonsocket radio show, but I don't know which one. Here it is: 

"Today is my last day with Patch. 

This morning, I was told I'm not being offered a role in Hale Group's vision for Patch following their acquisition of the company a few weeks ago.

I have thoroughly enjoyed covering the communities I've been assigned to during my years with Patch: Wellesley, MA, and, here in RI, Woonsocket, Smithfield and East Providence. 

I've marveled at the tony neighborhoods and engaged residents of Wellesley, the well-informed citizenry of East Providence and the well-run small town government in Smithfield. 

I'm especially fond of the beleaguered City of Woonsocket's colorful history, dedicated officials (past and present), and their stalwart civic pride in the face of daunting events. I had hoped to chronicle Woonsocket's victory over its challenges, but I'll have to settle for watching that from afar. 

Thanks to all the sources, contacts and officials who've helped me write intelligently about the events, tragedies and triumphs in these communities.

Thanks also to the readers. Without your interest and engagement in the community and government, journalism's mission to equip people with the information they need to make decisions, and keep them apprised of the actions of the government they pay and vote for, would be meaningless.

This e-mail address will be shut down at 5 p.m. today. Please keep in touch with me at borkowski.rob@gmail.com. 

For now, there are dark bags under my eyes and housekeeping, literal and figurative, that need attention — Patch editors are intimate with the concept of sleep debt.

Be well, and thanks again. 

Meesh January 30, 2014 at 02:47 PM
You will be missed Rob.
Matthew Desilets January 30, 2014 at 08:55 PM
Won't be the same without you here. You will be missed.
Rob Borkowski January 31, 2014 at 12:04 AM
Thank you. It won't be the same without having Woonsocket in my daily routine.
Rob Borkowski January 31, 2014 at 12:48 AM
An addendum for the caption - March would've been four years at Patch for me. Almost made it!
muriel226 January 31, 2014 at 07:13 AM
John Reynolds, Jr January 31, 2014 at 07:20 AM
I heard Larry Poitras read it on his show, Rob.
virgil earp January 31, 2014 at 08:29 AM
Geez, bob, when I look at this Patch site, I think "This probably takes three, maybe four hours a day." Learn to get yourself organized!
CB11 January 31, 2014 at 08:40 AM
You will be missed! I hope this serves as a warning to the new editor as to how he will be treated when no longer needed!
virgil earp January 31, 2014 at 08:49 AM
I'm also shocked that so many patch staffers appear to be caught off guard by the shut down. They've known this was coming since mid-summer, the last time Bloody Tim Armstrong ran amok with his hatchet
Melissa Murray January 31, 2014 at 09:03 AM
Rob, Although I rarely comment, I read your articles (and their unfailingly colorful and often heated comments) every day, and I often post links on my Facebook page to help keep my constituents informed. Your years of dedication are much appreciatedby this community and you will be sorely missed! Best to you in all of your future endeavors.
Paul Hurteau January 31, 2014 at 10:35 AM
There is always a place at MassCentral.com
William Perry January 31, 2014 at 10:36 AM
Good luck, Rob. Thanks for all your efforts!
Herson Gonzalez January 31, 2014 at 11:07 AM
Thanks for the memories Bob. I appreciate your efforts to cover Woonsocket fairly and with style. We'll miss you. For what it is worth, I think they are making a mistake by letting you go.
Nelson Aldrich January 31, 2014 at 12:14 PM
Later and BOL Rob....just remember (tongue in cheek) that losing your job is no excuse for not paying your taxes.
Dagny Taggart January 31, 2014 at 01:52 PM
Thank you for being a strong supporter of Woonsocket and its many challenges. I don't know what their intention is relative to changes in the Patch but "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" has always been my motto....and it didn't appear to be "broke". Wish you all the best in your next adventure.
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) February 01, 2014 at 06:53 AM
Hey all. Rob's departure is a huge blow for Woonsocket, for sure. And I will be totally up front — I'm not going to be able to devote the attention to Woonsocket as he did in the short term. I will do my best to keep the site updated and am always available if you have a story idea, want me to publicize an event or otherwise have something to say. Over the next few weeks you'll start seeing some major changes on the Patch, but until then, reach out to me if I'm missing something or you'd like to talk. Mark.Schieldrop@patch.com or 401-515-3660.


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