Walking Papers

heelsOne week ago I was unceremoniously dismissed from my job. It was done without pageantry or fuss. I was asked to surrender my security badge and handed a white envelope with my name printed on it. The envelope was said to contain, quote: “All of the answers to any questions you might have with regard to what comes next.”

I was then escorted from the building (the same building, mind you) that I had entered hours before with the same security badge I’d just handed over. And as though on cue, like a scene from a movie, it literally started raining on me as I walked across the parking lot. Suffice it to say, that day is not likely to be ranked on the “Best Days of My Life” list.

I’ve been home now for seven days and have thus far stayed busy doing the things that one does when one has been shoved out to sea and set adrift on the churning waters of What Now. So far, I have not been clinging to inspirational quotes, or religiously reciting mantras to help me remain positive. No, instead I’ve been taking it as it comes. And here are a few of the things that I’ve observed.

  1. The middle of the afternoon on a Thursday is an excellent time to visit the grocery store.
  2. Answering the email you sent earlier this morning is not the only thing on the head hunter’s To Do list.
  3. The true horror of daytime television WILL force you to update that resume.
  4. Eventually you realize you’ve begun tailoring your job search around afternoon reruns of Roseanne and King of Queens.
  5. It is a scientific fact that going to the grocery store will, indeed, cause the head hunter to call you.
  6. The afternoon sun peeking through the leaves of the big tree out front is more beautiful than you knew.
  7. The afternoon sun peeking through the leaves of the big tree out front illuminates the thick layer of dust that has accumulated — on everything.
  8. Life doesn’t stop just because you lost your job.
  9. You realize that the thing you loved most about your job was that it was “secure.”
  10. Security is a relative term.

While I was sitting in the conference room, looking out the windows as they told me my position had been “eliminated due to restructuring,” I thought I’d be more upset than I am. In my mind I flashed forward to this time at home, this time right here and now as I type this — and I thought I’d be marinating in self-pity. But I’m not.

Maybe it’s because I’ve got a contract gig on the horizon. Maybe it’s because of the support of my husband. Maybe it’s my age. But I do seem to understand, on a deeper level than before, that there is no such thing as “permanent” or “secure” in a world where the only constant is change. All we have is the here and now.

And right now, that’s enough.

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16 thoughts on “Walking Papers

  1. kalisisrising says:

    Oh boy, this is crazy news. I’m sorry to hear that they did that to you, but know you’re definitely NOT alone. It happened to my best friend probably just one week before it happened to you. I’m sure there will be a bigger, better opportunity out there for you to dive into next! At least, that’s my hope for you.

    • Thank you so much. I know there will be somewhere. The key is just being patient until… I’m sorry for your friend too. I hope they are doing OK now and have some good opportunities on the horizon.

  2. adriennesender says:

    Glad to see you’re getting back into the blog! Good observations. I have no doubt you’ll come out on top – you’re clearly a great writer!

    • Thanks Stephanie! It was hard on the ego, I was humiliated being escorted from the building like a criminal, but I know that’s just how they do it. I’m over that part of it though and am looking at this as an opportunity. I didn’t love the job so much as I loved the people, but we’re trying to keep ing touch. Hope all is wonderful with you and your new family!

    • Thank you so much!! It’s great to hear from you again. I’ve been away so long that I’ve missed my blog community! It is an excellent opportunity and tomorrow I start a new contract gig close to home. I’ve wokred there before and the money is good so I think it will be a nice way to look for work while working 😉

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