clouds on the horizon
I am back from vacation and finally settling in enough to blog and do things people normally do. We were in St. Thomas again, which was the last place we went for a 'real' vacation almost 2 years ago. We did go to Cleveland last summer, but hey, it's Cleveland. Anyway, as you know, St. Thomas is nothing but beach-lounging and relative-mooching for a week. Jeannie's sister took care of the cats while we were gone, guaranteeing her eventual canonization. People covered for me at work for the first time in recorded history, so this trip did not involve driving halfway across the island to an Internet cafe to do 'urgent' job crap. It was very relaxing; and a good thing it was.
Getting back to work was rough, none of these emails made sense, nor did I remember why I cared about it all. My boss' boss was in town, which should have been a sign. She had been away to start an online business by herself and hadn't been to this office for over a year (she's based in the UK). But she took us out to a fancy lunch and said many nice things about our dept's work. Then like a drunken one-night-stand, the next morning brought with it long faces and muttered apologies.
"This has absolutely no bearing on the quality of your work," she assured us repeatedly. As it turned out, she had come to tell us that our group will be eliminated by the end of October. The work we have been doing will be distributed among the staff who are lucky enough to live in the UK and Asia. Despite the fact that we are a global business and are all well-versed in conference calling and asynchronous group work, management apparently has never been comfortable having the marketing people in the US. So they've quietly hired more marketing people abroad and finally threw the switch.
Reaction was a stunned silence, although later everyone said they had seen it coming. Still it's hard to be told that you're losing your job. I felt a strange sense of relief, like the billion emails I was still catching up with suddenly just don't matter anymore. Unfortunately, they still do sort of matter, I have 3 more months to slog through before emancipation. So how do you ramp up the faux-enthusiasm for work you've been barely maintaining when you know you're getting canned anyway?
I guess I can stop thinking up ways to distinguish myself in the field. No more favors! Troubleshoot your OWN printer difficulties! Create your own PDF files, dammit! I have to figure out what my job has been for the past 3 years so I can update my resume (circa 1999)!
I'm getting a severance "package" which is some money and near as I can figure, not much else. I have the option of paying for my own health insurance and receiving $405 a week from unemployment. I'd be fine with all of this but I'll be out of work going into November, not known as a great time to find a new job. I might get a new job before the deadline, but then I don't get the severance dough, right. Screw that! I wanna get paid!
So now I am faced with the notion of finding a new career, mid-30s style. I sure hope I don't have to work in the same industry as I have for the past decade. I would like to think I won't have to do web-related work, but what else is there? I have a master's degree in poetry; my main skill still is a knowledge of Microsoft Office slightly above that of a novice. I gotta find a way to work in an industry I actually care about, like music or art or cats.
Cursory job searches are demonstrating little so far. I could get a job driving the ASPCA's mobile adoption van, that would be pretty sweet. But maybe I have some other skill I could apply in the service of a discipline I admire, yet to be revealed. I dunno. All I know is I can't believe I have to stay here 3 more months before I can get outta here! Do they really think I'm gonna give 110% anymore? No! I shall give no more than 65% at any time until Halloween.