You get laid off. You go to Spain. It’s what Hemingway would do. Or shoot up the savannah.
On Sept 7, I’m laid off. On Sept 9, Debby and I are going to Spain. Not as a fuck-you-take-that! move. We paid for it in advance (some would say we paid with 27 years of marriage and 5 kids–to them, I say fuck-you-take-that! We’re going to Spain to have a good time! Madrid. Barcelona. Toledo. Now, more than ever.)
If you want to know what it’s like to be freshly off work, day-to-day, with photos, visit my friend auGi’s blog.
But I’m still on the job, carefully erasing traces of myself by transferring my important work to the survivors and gifting them with short term job security. To be fair, I was already working myself out of one role and into another (better) gig in-house, when I was called into the Head’s office and given the bad news. Thanks to a flat profit curve and the hunger of VC’s, my new role had dematerialized. (McCoy was right about stepping into a Transporter.)
It could have been worse. I could have been let go because I was lazy and skating by instead of too expensive to keep around. (After 12 years, I was no longer a cheap date, even with the lipstick.) Or I could have kept doing the same work, hiding in the mists of my increasingly opaque contributions. Wally’s World. Day. After. Fucking. Day. (Some places, even that’s a luxury. But it doesn’t have to be.)
When I die, my conciousness might spend a millisecond or two wondering what it should have done differently. Finished the third novel. Rescued that homeless wretch on the sidewalk in winter instead of stepping over him. Not yelled at the kids and dog. Not been such an overall unpredictable bastard.
What would I have done differently if I knew back in June that my job was on the chopping block? Bought more fruit baskets? Taken a paycut? Offered to do the work of three people (sacrificing two younger employers to the marketplace)? Handed out gift certificates for VIP lap dances at Union Jack’s?
I would have made sure all my old blog entries were sharp. Sharp like puppy teeth. (You think those aren’t sharp? Come on-a my house.)
You get the picture.
I could have pointed to my blog in my resume. Instead, my blog’s more a plate of brain scraps left out in the (oh my god that woman’s calves are sexy all the way up…fuck fuck fuck never blog outdoors in 98.6 degree weather) sun than cool, snappy, sinewy observations, analyses, or fiction only a flagship zine could love. Nope, almost every moment here’s an “oh yeah,” every entry a sausage link (specialty meat).
Well, I can still act for the future. This entry marks a sharp left onto a one-track mountain road with no guard rails and a view so real you can’t tell if its real or iPad. Write my expletives off to job-loss stress, nod your head if you’ve shared the experience, and let’s get on down the road together.
Note: I’m not being heavy handed with the f-bang! because it’s a good barking mad word or to show my toughness. I’ve survived puppy teeth with all my fingers intact, so you already know I’m tough. I use it because it seemed like the best way to bold and underline an exclamation point or beat my forehead on the wall in prose, using my limited vocabulary. Because it’s a fist bump but not a fist shake. And because I say it far too often.