Heal me with a smile, Darling Pretty
Heal me with a smile and a heart of gold
1. The Writing on the Wall
On Friday I got a call from my boss that he wanted me to come to his desk.
I had this same call about three weeks ago.
I remember thinking that I still had some work in my area and someone even told me a rumor that I have the most work out of anyone in my department because I was on another shift than anyone. Also, the last time I was laid off about 8 years ago I had my actual "boss" (aka: the guy who signs my checks) call me up before work started and tell me the bad news.
As it turns out my boss just wanted to know a little info on one of my current projects that I was working on. No bigs.
Last Friday I kept thinking,
My real boss would call me if I was getting the axe wouldn't they?
Probably not since there's no one with a spine who is left in our company. That worthless HR woman wouldn't even know my phone number or know what to say other than,
"Did you have to wake up for this phone call? haha" *shudders*
I stepped up to my boss' desk and he looked at me and said,
"Ah, consider this to be your unofficial two-week notice." He didn't feel good about telling me the news but he also knew that I could smell the bullshit if he were to delay the news. Right away I thought of all the fears that come with being laid off like soup lines, beards, hobos, being a loser, not having enough money, and having to tell my girlfriend was the worst one to come to mind.
It wasn't like it was out of nowhere either but I had been trying to encourage myself the last 6 months that I might avoid the whole situation because I work a different shift. Our department has dwindled from about 23 people to only 9 when me and the others pack up and leave. It's a little frustrating to think about because we're contractors and we're expendable whereas the internal people have and ironclad agreement to stay there, recession or not. I also believe that there's a lot of really good contractors that are worth much, much more than the jobs they're saving however it comes with being a contractor--we're there because we're expendable.
The first day I found out the news I didn't tell any of my workers because I didn't know how I would do it. We worked together for nearly the duration of my time there and they're great workers. They know how I run things and they understand the level of trust that comes with the job. In two weeks there will be another (higher paid) colleague who will lead them and who knows how much things change.
I really hated telling my girlfriend the news because there is always a fear that they'll leave you during rough times. There's always the fear that you'll have to handle being jobless, heartbroken, and being alone with nothing but time on your hands. It almost feels like you're less than a man suddenly being jobless especially for me because I've generally been working since my 14th birthday when it was legal to work. I need a job and I hate the idea of not working one. I hate the idea of collecting unemployment or government charity. I hate knowing that I have to put my home buying plans on hold yet again especially with the money they've giving first time home buyers.
Luckily the girlfriend was sympathetic beyond belief and gave me no doubts to my worst fears. Since her kind words I've been optimistic of leaving knowing that the options are out there and I'm not necessarily tied down anywhere by bills or leases. At least this time around I can say goodbye to everyone compared to 8 years ago when I was told that "today is my last day". Either way I'll work the last 2 weeks like I worked any other two weeks and see what happens in the future. I've heard plenty of people say that the best thing that ever happened to them was being laid off. I hope it's the second best thing for me.