Day Six of Being Unemployed: Cleaning Out My Desk

April 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

That I would be cleaning out my desk six days after being fired may sound a bit strange to some, as most people probably see to this chore on the day that they are terminated. In my job as the Web Librarian and Support Specialist for a well known Electronics retailer, I normally worked three days a week from remote location at home, and two days a week in the office. As my illness progressed, I was eventually doing all remote shifts until I was terminated over the telephone, so it took a few days for me to be able to come back into the office to remove my personal belongings.

Even getting ready to make the drive into the office was a surreal chore; I dressed as carefully, and nervously, as a preteen going on their first date. I am not even sure why the occasion brought about the “jittery nerves”. After being fired its not as though I had any motivation to impress anyone there. Maybe I was actually dressing for the “now you wish you hadn’t broken up with me but it’s too late” moment that we have all experienced. Surely you know what I am talking about, that moment that you go out on the town, dressed to kill, hoping to run into your ex so that you can see that look in their eyes, the “damn what was I thinking, I am an idiot and I want her back” look.

It took about two hours to bring in the teleworking equipment and to pack up and carry out two boxes. Seven years of my life fit into two boxes. The actual packing didn’t take that long, but the conversations with various and assorted co-workers and supervisors did. Almost all of the conversations followed the same pattern that began with the acknowledgement of “regrets” (I regret/hate that this happened, or, this so sucks/blows) followed by the “statements of loss” (I am going to miss working with you/how will we survive without you/your leaving is an end of an era) then the attempts at “bridging” the loss by bargaining (you will keep in touch, call me, holler at me sometime, we can do lunch/walk at the park/shop together sometime) and finally statements of closure so that we could all move on(well, it was great to see you, you look great by the way, you will not miss us, you will move on to something greater).

I still haven’t filed for unemployment or even began looking for another job yet. I hadn’t actually planned to file in the begining, I was fired, after all. But several of my co-workers seemed to think I should try, and appeal if the company protests the filing. A few other co-workers thought I should try to file for disability. The most helpful comments to me came from one of my former supervisors. She had pulled me off to the side when I first came into the building, and asked me what I was going to do, how I was going to survive. I looked at her and smiled and told her I honestly didn’t know. She nodded and told me that she knew that I had a lot of talents and that I would eventually move on to something better. “In the meantime,” she said, “you need to survive, you need to become ‘the crazy coupon lady’.” She then told me how she buys multiple Sunday papers each week and clips coupons to save on groceries and that she has reduced her grocery bill from $800 to $100 a month for a family of four. She then emailed me a list of couponing sites as well, check them out below if you are interested. Her comments and suggestions to me were the only “practical” comments that I received that day, and I will see this Sunday if her advice was worth coming into the office for one last time.

Coupon Sites:

Hip2save.com

Dealseekingmom.com

Stockpilingmom.com

Iheartthemart.com

Iheartcvs.com

Iheartriteaid.com

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April 1st, Also Known as “April Fools Day”, or Day One of Being Fired

April 1, 2011 at 11:00 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

In all truth and honesty I can’t say that I was completely blindsided by my termination today. Seeing the shriveled remains of my Red Margined Dracaena plant on my desk was a bad sign that I ignored when I first came back to work on March 18th. I had just returned after an extended illness and exhausting my FMLA leave. The fact that no one in the office had thought to water him, or give him a decent burial while I was away, was a very obvious sign.

I understand that no one is irreplaceable. I understand that companies are in business to make a profit. I understand that they couldn’t give me any more time to recover my health given the needs of the business, but I gave seven years of my life to these people, and for what, I ask myself.

At this moment I have a vision in my head of a scene from the movie, “Joe Versus the Volcano”, when Joe quits. Joe: “You’re telling me nothing. And why, I ask myself, why have I put up with you? I can’t imagine, but now I know. Fear. Yellow freakin’ fear. I’ve been too chicken shit afraid to live my life so I sold it to you for 300 freakin’ dollars a week! You’re lucky I don’t kill you! You’re lucky I don’t rip your freakin’ throat out! But I’m not going to! And maybe you’re not so lucky at that. ‘Cause I’m gonna leave you here, Mr. Wahoo Waturi, and what could be worse than that?”

I completely identify with Joe’s character at the moment, even though I was fired instead of quitting, this has been coming on a long time. I could not have kept doing that job even if they hadn’t fired me.

So the purpose of this blog is to keep a record of my job search and coping with being unemployed in “the Great Recession”. I hope if any of you who are also unemployed stumble upon my blog that you will at least feel a little less alone in the world, and who knows, maybe we can encourage one another to be true to ourselves and find employment that does help us to not only exist, but gives us the means to truly live, fully, honestly and completely.

“Joe Quits” at youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGLKnAvzlg4

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