Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Due to Trying Economic Times...

Please don’t expect the usual today. I am venting a bit.

I knew it was coming. I started my new job in August; the banks started begging for government money in September. My company made the first round of layoffs in November. I kept quiet, did my work, tried not to cause any problems or be a bitch to anyone, and attempted to look busy even though I really wasn’t. That worked through two more rounds of layoffs, my friend from the marketing department even getting cut two weeks ago. Then Monday morning my boss sent me a meeting invite with no subject. Just me and her. I knew it was going to happen before it actually happened, but for some reason there was a relative calm involved. At least on my part; my boss looked like a wreck. I went back to my desk and turned on my computer. The headline on CNN read “68,000 Jobs Cut Today in North America” I am suddenly not alone.

It was a good job, albeit short-lived. The pay was great, I never felt stressed out, and I left at four everyday with everything in my inbox completed. While writing about electronic components (motherboards, AC/DC converters, accelerometers, microchips of various shapes and sizes) was new to me, I never once found it all that interesting, and creativity in a company comprised of almost solely engineers is seemingly frowned upon. I never felt passion about working there, but I did feel stability.

I write this from my favorite neighborhood bar. Mike and I frequent this place because of the great burgers, nice staff, and the proximity to our house (stumbling distance for sure). I have never really been in here in the light of day, though. There are three older gentlemen to my left talking animatedly about past drinking encounters and establishments. Another man sits to my right in silence, sipping a Budweiser and staring at ESPN, still donning his knit hat with Elmer-Fudd style earflaps. There is one guy in the far corner at a table sitting in front of his own laptop. I imagine that he is working on his resume, which is what I should be doing. The Beatles sing Blackbird out of the speakers. I am so not ready to be out of work again.

I am trying to have a good attitude. Having been laid off before, I have learned that being positive is important. So here are the positives as it stands right now:

I am going skiing tomorrow with my also-laid-off marketing friend.
My hair looks awesome because I dropped $200 on it last weekend before I knew what was coming.
They say the economy should hit bottom and head back up any time now.
I have a few writing projects that could potentially use a dusting off so that they can become more than just projects.
I get a paycheck and health benefits through the end of March.
My dog is very happy about the situation. He knows the drill: more walks, more tennis ball throwing, more rides in the car.
I have some freelance work basically lined up already.
Umm.. I write this from my favorite neighborhood bar.

The last time I got laid off, the company I was working for eliminated their entire marketing department so I had many friends in the same situation. We were in our early to mid-twenties, and they made the mistake of giving us six month’s salary in one check. We did what any other intelligent, unemployed young people would do: we took our giant checks and went to Vegas. I am older and wiser now. With that comes being scared shitless even though I don’t have to be. Mike does well in the recession-proof beer industry, which actually tends to thrive in times like these when people need a cheap way to forget about their troubles. I am not above letting him handle things until I find something. I feel above it, but I’m pretty sure I’m actually not. Life has a funny way of always working out; I know this. Even the shittiest things have a way of teaching lessons and all of that other crap that supposedly makes you a better person.

This could be a chance in disguise, the kick in the ass I needed, or a break with a reason. I know these things. And I know that I shouldn’t be whining right now because there are 67,999 other people who are going through the same thing I am this week, (and apparently millions more since September) and I’m sure many of them don’t have a beer-magnate sugar daddy to save them. Still the visions of buying our cute little Craftsman bungalow and having an awesome wedding are suddenly slipping down the drain, and I am feeling a little pissed off about it. Wasn’t Barack Obama supposed to put on a red cape and come save everyone?

I am going to give our President a few weeks. And I am going to give myself a little time to figure this all out. And I am going to be productive with this time that I have been given. I can catch up on the laundry and be a mooch and write the great American novel at the same time. Stay tuned.

5 comments:

Pushupullme said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your job! You have amazing writing skills - real talent! and I hope you find a suitable and even better position very soon.

Lucas said...

"I am not above letting him handle things until I find something. I feel above it, but I’m pretty sure I’m actually not.".....that made me giggle MS, and just like me, I think you know yourself pretty well. ;)

Your humor and intelligence will serve you well now. I'm not going to tell you everything will be fine and that you'll find something else because these are tough times and there are many swimmers all trying to squeeze into the same lifeboat but I will tell you this; you have the right attitude to make it through this. You are looking at this as opportunity which is exactly what it is. Take some time to feel your loss then get busy making plans for your extra time. You only get one life and this is it so go out there and live it up!

Magnolia said...

I ditto the other two comments! You sound like you're handling it pretty well, and I admire you for that.

katieo said...

Dude.
(I have no idea why I felt compelled to start this comment with that but whatever)

I loved this post. Thanks for sharing. Please keep us updated.

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