Friday, December 12, 2008

Working for the Man

Just for something completely different, I thought I'd blog about the Place About Which I Do Not Blog, because what can they do, fire me? Well, it turns out that they can, but not for blogging. Actually, I’ve known for quite some time that I’d be losing my job; we were “acquired” last year and we’re closing down. I have five days left. I’ve never been unemployed before. I’m totally looking forward to getting out of here, but I’m a little anxious. For most of the 7 ½ years I’ve worked here, I liked it very much. The work was challenging, I was very busy, and there were great people here. The last year, however, has been interesting; and by interesting, I mean not even slightly interesting, and rather horrid. On the one hand, having next to nothing to do all day, every day, has freed up a lot of time for blogging, commenting, and schoolwork. On the other hand, I’ve had nearly nothing to do, all day, every day. As for coworkers, there aren’t many of us left, and we have had plenty of time to get to know each other better. Familiarity breeds something, and it’s not affection. Contempt might be too strong a word (for all but a few people) so let’s just describe it as profound tiredness, which I’m sure is mutual. (Ridiculous, right?) I’ve stayed because I was asked to, and by “asked to”, I mean “paid to”. I’m receiving a retention payment in addition to a severance package, so I stayed. It’s not “bailout”-type money or anything. I mean, I could maybe buy a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates but the U.S. Senate is probably out of my budget. (Unless there’s an installment plan? Note: Look into this) Anyway, it was enough that staying until the end was worthwhile.

I’m an idiot sometimes, so I just started reading The Glory and the Dream. It’s been on one of my bookshelves forever (Christmas present from my mother, I think), but I’d never read it. If you happen to lose your job right in the middle of a recession, skip the first chapter of this one, which covers in detail the grimmest depths of the Depression. I had to put it down so that I could devote my full attention to the panic attack involving visions of my family living in a cardboard box. I’ve recovered nicely now. I mean, our cars are paid for, so at worst, we’d live in them. No, seriously, we’re totally fine; I can even take some time off. Since I want to take some time in the summer, I’ll probably temp for a while, and I expect that to give me plenty of red Swingline stapler and TPS report material. Meanwhile, I have a desk to clean out.


enc said...


Even though you made it funny, I hated reading that you were going to be out on your ear very shortly.

Will you take a break before you look for another job?

(my w.v. was "voitypo.")

themom said...

Sorry to hear about the job loss...never a good thing for sure. I walked away from my job 2 years ago(only job I ever quit in 40 years), and lucky me, my health went to hell. But my kids are raised, house paid for - just never enough $$. Maybe when I grow up things will get better.

FranIAm said...

You and I have discussed this before... I hear you sister.

As you know I just completed by year of being unemployed.

It was - without a doubt - the best year of my life.

Do what you can to not work for awhile. It is worth even cutting back on the high end beauty products for, this I promise you.

And really - living in the car is not as bad as it sounds. I mean - as long as the car is paid for...

Snort. I keed, I keed because I love.

You'll be fine, it's a weird road but a great one.

pistols at dawn said...

When I think back on the best times of my life, most of them involve unemployment. Still, it's never fun to have it forced on you, and I'm sad what sounds like a good run has come to an end.

And I'll solve the book problem by only reading fiction about underemployed authors. Maybe Bukowski's "Post Office," so I can remember that as a writer, that guy was a crappy postal employee.

susan said...

If you think about it the world would be a better place if we all at least under-employed. Sometimes I wonder what all the stuff is for. I hope the time you have away from the 40hr drudgery is good and that you're blessed with meaningful work when needed.

CDP said...

enc--ha ha ha! If they send me to the basement with insecticide ONE MORE TIME, then I'm going Mrs. O'Leary's cow on them.

themom--my house definitely isn't paid for, but fortunately we don't have any trouble making the mortgage payments. I think we'll be fine...I'm married to Mr. Practical Asian Dude.

Fran--ha ha! My car might get a little tight; it's a Civic. I do expect to have a pretty good time not working. I'll do whatever work I can for the winter and spring, and then I'm going to take the summer off.

Pistols--thanks. Exactly; I don't mind the unemployment (I think it's going to be great) but the involuntary nature of the whole thing is unsettling. Still, we'll be fine, and I'll look into the Bukowski, too. The Glory and the Dream is bumming me right the hell out.

Susan--thanks! That's exactly how I'm thinking...we can always do with a little less and I think I'll be able to get some work when I need it.

WendyB said...

Ugh, sorry to hear your news. But you are very funny about it. Love this: "The last year, however, has been interesting; and by interesting, I mean not even slightly interesting, and rather horrid."

Freida of the Bees said...

I understand this. Being unexpectedly fired when pregnant was one of the best things that ever happened to me for a time about six years ago.

I have a job where I blog blog blog and study (that part they know) and I wonder from time to time why I am working so hard to get certified to work really hard. I like Wendy's point. Working to be able to work sucks. I think I'll have a happy medium with a job with summers off.

I wish you well and much rest and am pretty sure you'll know your next move when it is upon you.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

I hope you are able to make the most of it even though I'm not entirely sure what I mean by that. Don't panic? Anyhoo...Enjoy the extra time you get to spend with your family. Maybe something great is just around the corner.

Meanwhile you can spend more time blogging - goody for me!

CDP said...

WendyB--thanks! I'm pretty lucky, actually, not everyone gets severance. If it had happened a year ago, I'd have complete confidence that a new job would be waiting for me, but now, it's a little troubling. Still, we'll be fine.

Frieda--thanks! Yes, my job has been the, study, blog, it's been great for my GPA, anyway!

Lady--Thanks, I will make the best of it! Yes, at least for the first few weeks in January, I'll be blogging all the time. Then I'll have to do some kind of work so that I can take the summer off.

Utah Savage said...

I hope this turns into one of those great adventures that is transformative in a good way. Like FranIAm says. I'm in the position of having been disabled for several years, have a paid for 1988 van--could be lived in. But I also have a paid for house--falling down around my ears.

I'll be following your journey since I'm sure we're all going to learn to find a new way of surviving. Tips from one another help. Just the virtual contact helps.

Anonymous said...

You have the right idea. The best summer MathMan and I have ever had in 20 plus years was the summer we were both unemployed.

Stephanie said...

While being unemployed sucks in a number of ways, I must admit I'm a tad jealous. I often dream of losing my current job because that would force me to find something else to do... something that wouldn't make me so damn miserable.

So that's all I've got: opportunity! yay!

CDP said...

Utah--thanks, I hope so too!

Dcup--That's encouraging! I definitely look forward to a summer off; my first maternity leave was during the summer (7yo was born in June) and it was great. And this time, I'll get to sleep at night. Score!

Stephanie--oh, I'm sorry you're in a miserable situation. That can suck the life out of you. I hope you find something better!

dguzman said...

Hope your job situation works out.

I had exactly the same incredibly fucking boring experience when the publishing company I used to work for was acquired by a mega-publisher. We weren't allowed to touch the manuscripts. We had to just sit there, answer questions if anyone called or wrote, and box up the mss. for the new company.

Amazing how boring "doing nothing" can be when you're at work, yet when you're "doing nothing" at home it's like a fun fiesta!

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