LAID! … (off)

So, after weeks of moaning and complaining, I finally got laid.

Off.

I remember once bitching to my therapist about my job. In fact, I spent many a session bitching about my job to my therapist—back when I could afford one. “I trudge up the street to that fucking F train—I hate the F train by the way,” I said.

“Really?” she said. “I’ve never heard you say you hate riding the subway.”

It was at this point I seriously questioned if she ever listened to anything I said, because I am an open and explicit hater of the subway, or as I put it, those fucking Moving Toilets, and had mentioned this many times already.

Anyway, and I realize there are many fine folks out there who are near and dear to me who have also been laid off in this past year. And may I say, as I join your ranks, I toast you now. But back to me. Yes, I trudged back and forth to the same damn building for nearly four years. Four years is a long time to me—I mean the longest relationship I could stand was two years—tops. So the fact that I maintained a relationship—business or otherwise—for longer than that still blows my mind.

The same building, with the stained carpet and the cubicles buried under fluorescent lights. It was freezing the summer, and even more freezing in the winter. The damn soda machines never worked properly and the ladies restroom took disgusting to an entire new dimension—it made you wish that pee on the seat was your only problem. There are probably Turkish ladies’ prisons that have cleaner, more orderly restrooms than those at that office.

So, yesterday morning, I walk into work, and my co-worker turns to me and goes, “Dude, check your e-mails. People are about to get fired.”

“What?”

“Seriously, there’s a big meeting in like 15 minutes. Get some coffee.”

I got some coffee and into the meeting we went. I’ve seen about three or four major cuts go down across the board at this particular company, so I knew this was how they did it—last minute 15-minute meeting, then they called you into the HR office one by one to go over your severance details. Sitting there and listening to them tell us that they were not only laying people off but completely killing two prestige title magazines—it was kind of a shock.

But I don’t feel sad, honestly, I feel a bit of relief. We’d known something like this was coming down the pipeline for months and I’d already been sort of prepping for it. The news was posted on the Internets, friends started sending their condolences, I yapped on the phone with a few folks, then we hit the bar for consolatory bloody Marys.

I went out a drinking last night with some grad school friends (thanks for the Guinesses and Jamesons!) and they sounded pretty miserable about their gigs too. My one friend, “Let’s put it this way. I’ll be joining you in three months.” Then it hit me, when I was wide awake at 4 a.m.—I no longer have a job. And I am just at the beginning of what is sure to be a roller coaster of emotions over the coming months.

We have joked in past about renting a cheap house in Guatemala and having one person work a year, while everyone else just relaxes and swims and eats and loves life. Honestly, in the current state of affairs here, I don’t think that getting the fuck out of dodge is such a bad idea. Here are a few other things I’m thinking about doing with my newfound freedom:

  • Posting on Craigslist for daytime hookups with other unemployeds. We can be poor, but we can at least be entertained for the time being, and sex, unlike booze and drugs, costs nothing! Nothing, people. It’s like the recession wants you to get laid.
  • Finally finish my CD-conversion-to-my-iTunes-folder project that I started over two years ago. I’ve got thousands to go—and then I can sell those fuckers for beer money.
  • Scan Media Bistro once per week, send half-ass letters for crappy jobs that I don’t want.
  • Cross the street to the C Town for my daily scratch tickets.
  • I promise to shower at least two, no three, times per week.
  • Get my schedule of programs set—Oprah, the View and Ellen, here I come!
  • Write hate letters to Northwestern. Complain about how I want my money back.
  • Nap.
  • Then lie in bed, stare at ceiling for a good hour or two. Think about what went wrong in my life.
  • Think that Dad was right, I should’ve been an engineer.
  • Start making gin my bathtub, learn how to tie hobo rag around a stick.
  • Make friends with the folks across the street in the PJs. Hang out more at Crown Fried Chicken.

I figure this list will keep me busy through January at the very least. Of course, I welcome other suggestions. It’s not like I have anything else to do.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “LAID! … (off)

  1. steph

    well, at least you can watch your programs! think of this more as a temporary retirement… now you can work on the fix-it list of projects around the house while jim ‘does his career.’

    🙂

  2. mc

    Or think of it as forced vacation.

    I think that is a fantastic set of goals though. I look forward to reading about how it goes.

  3. Greg

    There are lots of bored people at coffee houses. There’s plenty of free porn on the Internet. Take your time in lines. You will see a nice cash savings from transportation and laundry costs.

  4. Johnny

    Heartening to see your to-do list and how bravely you face the new order. Bathing in gin and juice at the house in Guatemala? I’m there.

    That pee on the john seats: did you have a co-worker nicknamed the Sprinkler?

  5. This is why I’m glad I got out of print media full-time when I did.

    But I also have come to realize that many of my laid-off writer friends eventually find this is a good turn of events anyway.

    Besides, four years? Pssh. You were overdue.

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