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walking away from work

Posted September 3rd, 2010 at 04:56 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
It came as a shock. I knew I was being laid off. Iíve known all summer. But I thought I had two more weeks.

But Monday night I got a phone call at home at 9PM. I was outside, watering the beans, hoping to get something from them in this drought. My 9 year old son came out- said there was a woman on the phone for me.

I donít get many calls. I especially donít get many calls from women, especially at 9PM. I went in- not curious, but wary. Beware of women on the phone!

It was work calling. The woman was assistant to the head administrator. She told me that Tuesday, the next day, would be my last. Any questions? I had none. (Except Why Are You Calling Me at 9PM?)

Didnít sleep so well.

So I went in Tuesday, and began to clear out my desk. Like me, everyone had thought I still had two weeks. There were tears and outrage. I even took the drawers of the desk out and washed them.

I had an entire drawer full of thank you letters from clients. Iíd forgotten about them. Reading them again was kind of ... ironic. I spoke with one client on the phone who wanted an appointment on Friday. Sorry, I said. She freaked. They canít run that place without you! Nice to hear but they will run the place without me.

I tidied up all of the tasks that Iíd left unfinished. I had a big pile of work Iíd been saving to train the person who took over for me- I just left it in the center of the desk. What could I do?

There was this huge pile- 200 pages- the detritus of a problem client who had bothered me for 15 years. Iíd kept every scrap of correspondence, every note. I picked it up, and dropped it in the recycling box. That was a good feeling. Goodbye problem.

I brought a box of papers downstairs to the shredder. At the back were two big square shapes- covered with garbage bags, with my name on them.
Ah yes, a good friend and fellow employee was cleaning out her garage and asked if I wanted some storage tubs. I said yes, thank you, but Iíd never gotten around to picking them up. So sheíd brought them in and put them down there. But they werenít storage tubs- they had drawers- the very same thing we use at home to organize our Scape collection! One was six drawer, the other three! This was good.

By afternoon I had a box to bring home, some clothes that had somehow come to work and stayed, and the two organizer things with drawers.
I loaded them into the car and came back for one last look at the office whereíd Iíd sat for years. Itís a small thing, no windows, just one desk. Thereís a little door at the back that leads to all the electrical panels. I stood and looked, and could see nothing of me there. Couldnít even picture myself behind the desk. I turned off the light and walked away from work.

As I passed reception I said goodbye. I didnít even stop walking. Glad to be moving on.
The receptionist, teary-eyed, said so, this is all?
Then the emotion hit me and my eyes suddenly filled with tears too. I nodded. ďThis is all.Ē And I walked out the door.

As I headed down the steps I felt free, really free. Suddenly aware of all the baggage that job had burdened me with. It had also allowed me to pay my bills and put food on the table- I guess itís always a compromise. But now I was free. Unencumbered. Unattached. Unemployed.

Iíve been looking for work. I got hired once and then the company downsized before I even started and they called me and said sorry, no more job. And then that happened a second time.

Next week I start teaching a class on creative writing. Itís once a week, a couple hours on a Thursday night. Not enough to pay the bills, but itís better than nothing.

Iíd like to thank you all for all the support and encouragement youíve given me. It really has meant something, and made a difference. The world doesnít seem so intimidating when you know someone somewhere is pulling for you.

But I must admit there is one statement that has worried me. When I first blogged about losing my job, many of you said ďan educated man will always find workĒ. It disturbed me. I donít consider myself educated. I started to wonder- should I go back to school? Will I not find work? I have a battleship full of experience and life experience, but no degrees or certificates or anything. I took a computer course once and they spelled my name wrong on the certificate at the end- the whole thing seemed like a joke. Thatís the only ďeducationĒ I have.

It has taken so long; it seems, to get here. Iím glad itís finally happened. I donít have to worry about it coming anymore. Itís here. Thatís a relief.

And we have two new storage thingys. The bigger one had wheels, so I put those on, and then screwed the smaller one on top of the bigger one to make a nine drawer tower. Then I took out all the drawers and washed them, and sliced off the little catcher things that keeps you from pulling them all the way out. (we like to pull them out completely when weíre looking for figures)

Then we labeled them and filled; new homes for Soulbergs, Samurai, Mirkwood Elves, the forces of Arc, Romans and Orcs.
Iím trying to figure out if thereís a lesson here- like ďout of chaos comes organizationĒ, or ďeven bad things are made better by good storageĒ, or Keeping your Scape in Shape is the only thing that really matters....
Total Comments 4

Comments

Old
Killer Lawnmower's Avatar
I hope everything ends up well for you Sylvano. I enjoy reading your blogs, but I dont know you at all, being relatively new. I pray that you will find what you are looking for, whatever it may be.

Keep lookin'.

~K^L
Posted September 3rd, 2010 at 05:53 PM by Killer Lawnmower Killer Lawnmower is offline
Old
ollie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvano the Wasabus
ďan educated man will always find workĒ.
Perhaps "a resourceful and talented man will always find work" is a more accurate and useful way of looking at it. I certainly hope that this is true.

I don't know what the education options are for you, but if you're out of work then taking advantage of whatever free/cheap choices there are that interest you and improve your employability can only be a good thing. I'm happy to encourage education for its own sake (well, learning for its own sake, which isn't quite the same thing) but I'm not convinced that "more education = more employability" either is or should be true (outside of vocational courses---I want my doctor to have some specific education!).

And I'm sure I'm speaking for everyone that reads the blogs here when I say that we're still rooting for you.
Posted September 4th, 2010 at 11:30 AM by ollie ollie is offline
Old
chas's Avatar
They called you unexpectedly in the "dead of night" and had an assistant talk to you, because they didn't have the guts to do it themselves. You're lucky they left you alone and didn't have a security guard escort you out, to make sure you didn't take or sabotage anything. Its sad enough that they let you go, but then they do it badly...

You take with you the pride in what you accomplished and your relationships with people, which you earned. They can't take that away from you. Use it when you talk about who you are at your next job interview. That's who you are. You own it and they don't. Be proud of it and take it with you.
Posted September 4th, 2010 at 09:15 PM by chas chas is offline
Old
sir william the bold's Avatar
Dude I'm so sorry.
Posted September 6th, 2010 at 04:03 PM by sir william the bold sir william the bold is offline
 
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