Monday, September 19, 2005

Odds And Ends

You might have noticed that I have been less than prolific lately. The writing/philosophy muse has been on vacation apparently. Or, possibly it's been pointing me in different directions, things I wouldn't normally write about on this blog. Personal things. Yes, I've been pretty open about my past life living in the big "P", but that was a lifetime ago and I felt far enough removed from that life to write about it (though I ended the series on the first half of the Philadelphia years; there's plenty laugh to laugh and curse about). Recent things have been too close and too "now" to feel comfortable to write about.

In some ways, holding that separate and trying to write something intelligent or worth while, it's been quite difficult. On top of that, I feel a little bit like I've had battle fatigue. Reading a bleat by Lilek today, one of his sentences got to me. Basically, talking about 9/11 and the war, he said, "if you don't get it by now, you never will." That's how I've been feeling lately. I'm tired of talking about why it's important, why it's necessary, defending our soldiers and I'm tired of being angry with these folks who use overblown polemics and low disgusting insults to make their points because they simply don't have anything else worth while to say or add to the discussion. Other blogges have noted this same malaise about the foolish repeated ad nauseum (yes, making me nauseas) same ridiculous commentary that passes for discourse.

On the other hand, I feel a little guilty about my fatigue on the subject because our men and women are still over there, the terrorists are still killing people, the towers are still gone, 2973 people are still dead and there's a hole in a Pennsylvania field that reminds me I haven't given even a quarter of what those people gave in the war against Islamist extremists. It's something I think about whenever I feel down or feel a little pity party for myself, I think about what it had to take to rush a cockpit knowing that you have a 99% chance of dying, but doing it anyway because it's the right thing to do. I think about what it takes to wake up every morning after that and see the pillow beside you is empty or all that you have left of your son or daughter are the pictures and their school trophies.

Those are heavy loads to bare and it makes my load seem like a feather. So, it's been difficult in my current situation to write about it because what I would write would seem so damned pitiful compared to those difficulties that it's almost an insult. On the other hand, however pitiful, I want to write about it just to talk it out. One thing about writing here, it's like having a hundred therapists or members of your support group listening. Kind of a captive audience.

Then again, you have to ask yourself: does anyone really care?

Where's this all going? Here it is:

I'm unemployed. I've been unemployed for three months now. After seven years killing myself for my company, traveling everywhere, barely taking vacation and using up just about every ounce of my creativity, right in the middle of my personal crisis (which I have failed to mention here for some time) and having twice tried to give my resignation, both times being rejected (and me foolishly not insisting that they take it anyway) I was fired.

Yep, fired. Seven years, three promotions, six incredibly good reviews, I finally needed some personal time to take care of those loathesome personal things I'd been ignoring for awhile and it was unacceptable to the company. The last straw was, right in the middle of this whole mess a wisdom tooth became infected so bad that I had to go on double antibiotics, using hot and cold compresses to make the swelling go down and then had to have the tooth removed. I had plenty of PTO. The year before I had lost a week of PTO because the company wouldn't let me carry anymore. But, that doesn't really matter when the company decides that you are no longer necessary. You may be loyal to your company, but for many companies, that loyalty is not reciprocated. In the last cost/benefit analysis, loyalty and years of service don't really matter.

It didn't take very long to go from star employee to an albatross. I'd tell you that I learned lesson from it, but I can't say that I did because I still believe that, if you're going to do something you should do it the best that you can and give all that you can. I suppose that the only thing I learned is that not everyone feels the same way that you do and in this corporate world, you're expendable.

In the end, it put me in a severe financial bind, but, in a strange way, I felt a very real sense of relief the day they gave me my termination papers. There's no bitterness, just relief.

I can speculate why it was they decided that I was now expendable. I was in the middle of analyzing a third reduction in force. Sales were going down and new business leads were no where to be seen. Not to mention that several contracts we'd had for years were unprofitable and they were a large part of our existing revenue base. Looking at the numbers, I can honestly say that I couldn't see where the cost reduction was coming without actually closing the business or dumping some more upper management folks. I believe I had the unfortunate timing of handing them their big cost savings without having to give me the severence package they would have had to based on my salary, position and years of experience. Lucky them.

But, like I said, that's oly speculation and I was actually relieved when it happened. I mean, I really felt a smile come over my face as I was leaving the office. I had escaped.

At that point you know that you should have left a long time ago.

So, here I am. Jobless. I took thirty days off and then started looking. I was trying to decide what I wanted to do. One of the things that was difficult is trying to decide about changing career paths. That is just about down right impossible when people see your resume is full of the same kind of companies over and over. But, I'm applying and I've got interviews lined up. Which is good because the mortgage needs paid and the dog needs food.

So, if you see me not posting anything pithy for a day or two at a time, don't go away. I'm just dilligently looking for employment. I'm thinking I may have to go work at the quick trip across the street and maybe the Mc Donalds.

Now that's desperate.


Gadfly said...

Nothing like a run of unemployment to put you in a chipper mood.

Sorry this had to happen to you, Kat. But any job you feel relieved to get fired from ... I'm thinking good ridance to a bunch of fucked up corporate clowns.

Scott from Oregon said...


Wanna go swing a hammer with me in New Orleans?

Kat said...

Scott...does it pay anything decent? I need to pay the mortgage and the truck payment.

Boquisucio said...

K-MO, I'm in a bit of a rush right now, and don't have the time to make a proper reposte to this thread.

But just to let you know that we are both in the same boat.

Scott from Oregon said...

Kat. I don't know. Ten bucks for labor. Twenty to twenty five for skilled would be my guess. Higher for skilled if the demand rises. Hope you find something pretty soon. Life sucks when you got payments and no income. I DO with you all the best in this. Hopefully, you can get out of Hospital Ad. for a stint in the less crazy real world?