Houston Chronicle releases me for reasons unrelated to my colorful past
… but possibly related to my colorful present.
“In light of the current environment in which the newspaper finds itself, we are unable to approve an extended, open-ended leave of absence,” an editor said in an email.
However, the paper agreed to my request to pay me the balance of my vacation time — 11 days — and declined to accept two $100 checks I had left at my desk along with my remote login-access key, my keys to the office and my corporate American Express Card.
(The checks were for whomever had to clean out my notoriously messy desk upon my termination and for whomever had to go through the hassle of filing and posting a few of my society stories that we had scheduled and assigned photographers to shoot and that I hadn’t gotten around to filing. I feel a bit guilty that the checks are being returned; however, I’m pleased to have one less client I have to worry about getting to hire me. I charged $200 for one-hour appointments during my previous round as an escort.)
I am also “welcome to apply for any open position” when I return to Houston, the editor wrote.
When I got the email Monday evening, I was very touched by this outcome, the best I could realistically hope for. But on further reflection, I’m more inclined to assume the paper was doing what it believed it was legally required — or at least legally prudent — to do.
In this light, I feel obliged to notify the paper that I paid my last American Express bill — about $239 of standard parking/mileage expenses for recent Houston art and society coverage and my most recent trip to Dallas, which resulted in this story, which ran on the cover of the Chronicle’s Star section on Nov. 18, my wedding date.
This raises the question: