The Big Goodbye
September 19, 2005
|On September 10, after four years on staff, Marc Richard resigned as section head of Five-Minute Next Generation. He explained his reasons in the following forum post:|
After giving the matter careful thought during the summer, and in particular over the past week, I have reached the difficult decision that the time has come for me to leave my current position as a member of the FiveMinute.Net staff and as Section Head for the Five-Minute Next Generation subsite, effective immediately.
As Zeke has mentioned in the September 9 thread in the News section of the discussion board, we have had some differences of opinion over the years on such matters as the planning of site anniversary events, the turnaround time for the publication of new materials and general e-mail communication issues. The site's staff have discussed these matters extensively over the past year, and I think that we all understand each other's views sufficiently well by now, so I won't be adding anything further to our debate of these subjects either in this public forum or in private correspondence.
I've very much enjoyed working for FiveMinute.Net, and it's with great reluctance that I've decided to move on. At first, I considered the idea of simply taking a temporary sabbatical leave from site activities for the rest of the current academic year, and reconsidering my situation in the spring prior to the site's next anniversary in June 2006. I finally decided against this course of action for several reasons. First, it would be unfair to Zeke to keep him hanging for nearly a full year about my long-term status; I think it's better for all concerned to make a clean break of it. Second, we've just celebrated the fourth year of 5MNG's existence, so it's a convenient milestone at which to end my role as its Section Head. Third, Kira's departure from the staff earlier this month likewise makes this an opportune time for me to leave, for the same reason I've already mentioned: it's probably better for these two staffing changes to happen together rather than drawing out for months the question of whether or not I'd be remaining aboard. Finally, there is the added consideration that my real-life work activities are leaving me with less and less time to write fivers or manage submissions from guest writers; these time constraints have become increasingly severe over the past couple of years, and the situation shows no sign of improving anytime soon.
I'll be sending Zeke my list of available and reserved NextGen episodes, so that he'll know which ones are free and which ones have been called by guest writers. I'll include e-mail contact information, in case he needs to get in touch with anyone who is currently working on a fiver. There are a number of submissions whose status is somewhat unclear -- episodes that were reserved months or years ago but for which I never received a text -- so any guest writers who fall into this category and whose e-mail address has changed since they made their reservation should contact Zeke to let him know how to reach them. All 5MNG guest fivers that have been accepted for publication have already been sent to Zeke, though not all have yet been published; the middle section of the editorial pipeline is thus completely clear at the moment. On a related point, Zeke also has a few unpublished items that I wrote a while ago (fivers for the Enterprise episode "First Flight" and for the 1950s sci-fi film "The Day The Earth Stood Still," plus a Picard Top Ten list), so these may end up being published ex post facto if Zeke feels it is appropriate to do so.
Writing this farewell message has been a sad experience, so I'd like to conclude it on a brighter note by expressing my gratitude to everyone who's been part of the truly enjoyable time I've spent at FiveMinute.Net. My thanks go first to the readers, whose appreciation for the work of the site's many contributors is so rewarding and whose feedback is always so encouraging to read. It's been especially fun to meet some of you in person: writer colleagues like Sa'ar Chasm and Nan, and a number of fellow Delta Chat members. I'm also very grateful to the many guest writers who've contributed their talents to 5MNG over the years, and who've boosted the subsite's coverage to such an extent that over two-thirds of the NextGen television series has been fived.
Last but definitely not least, my thanks go to Kira, Derek, IJD and Zeke, with whom I've worked so closely over the past four years. The creativity, the talent and most of all the sense of humour which you've dedicated to -- as we've sometimes called it in private, and with the pun very much intended -- "our collective enterprise" has inspired me during all of my time with FiveMinute.Net. Being associated with the site has been a truly rewarding experience, in large part due to the great times we've shared. The most special thanks of all go to Zeke, without whom this site would not exist and this site's fans would never have become a community of friends. Zeke, I'll always be grateful to you for granting me the privilege to serve as Section Head of 5MNG, the very first subsite of what was originally and exclusively the Five-Minute Voyager website. The phenomenal growth of the site since 5MV's founding -- its readership, the number of parodies it comprises and the diversity of source material it covers -- shows just how appealing and versatile your fiver format is. Bringing laughter to an international audience helps to make the world a better place; you should be proud that your creation has done this so successfully. It's been an honour to work for your website, and I wish you all the best.
All I can add to what Marc's said is how sorry I am to see him go. In his time here, Marc has been much more than a contributor -- he's been a supporter, an advisor, and a friend. No one has been more dedicated to this site over the years than Marc has. He served with a level of commitment and reliability that are, frankly, stunning considering that this is strictly unpaid spare-time work.
I'm not going to give anyone else the position of 5MNG section head; I can't even process the idea of someone else running Marc's subsite. I'll continue to update 5MNG, but like 5MA or 5MF, it won't have a head (except me, nominally). And if Marc ever wants the job back, it's his.
No goodbyes -- just good memories. Thanks for everything, Marc. Smooth sailing.
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