Adam Schrader is a freelance journalist who recently landed a full-time gig as the managing editor of the Colorado County Citizen in Columbus, Texas. Schrader had recently moved from New York City to Columbus to prepare for the upcoming job but found himself 77 miles away in Houston this weekend to do some freelance coverage of Hurricane Harvey for the NY Daily News.
Schrader told Ladders that he drove out of Houston on Sunday night and made it to the suburb of Katy, where he holed up in a hotel. Unfortunately, the flooding around the town was intense and he was stuck there, unable to make it back to Columbus to start his new job on Monday.
He woke up Tuesday still stuck in Katy and that’s when he got a text message from the Citizen letting him know that he shouldn’t bother showing up once the waters part.
— Adam Schrader (@Schrader_Adam) August 29, 2017
Schrader says he was in touch with his new boss the entire time he was covering the storm and “let her know the situation.” He thinks that along with missing the agreed-upon first day of work, they may have also bristled at the fact he was doing work for another paper, even if it was before his official start date. As far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t see why what he did before officially starting should affect his employment.
“It doesn’t really matter what I was doing. I could have gone to Austin to visit my girlfriend….Would they have rescinded the offer letter then? There’s a million legitimate reasons why someone misses their first day of work, and I think being trapped in a hurricane is one of them,” Schrader told Ladders. “It doesn’t really matter why I was caught in the hurricane. The main thing is that I was.”
The Citizen has yet to comment on the move. Some might argue that Schrader should have ceased doing freelance work for other outlets once he was hired, but the extenuating circumstances of his predicament seem to provide a little room for leeway even if you don’t agree.
Columbus has also been affected by the hurricane. A voluntary evacuation order has been in effect since Monday afternoon there.
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t sound like Schrader will be considering a make-good with the paper. “Guess I’m looking for jobs again,” he told Ladders.