Sunday, December 13, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having Funemployment

If you can believe it, I was laid off from my job exactly one year ago.

It doesn't even seem possible that it has been 365 days since I sat in that office, my manager's manager looking everywhere but at me while an HR person that I never saw before handed me a packet and said words that made no sense to me. "Your job has been eliminated."

I just saw the movie "Up in the Air", and, as much as it was a really sweet movie (and George Clooney's love interest, a horsey, borderline attractive older woman, was totally unbelievable..but that's another story), there were many scenes where the main character had to lay people off that made me really uncomfortable...their reactions were not unlike my own. Crying, disbelieving, angry. I always wondered how others reacted while being told they were no longer needed...that they were no longer going to be bringing money in...if they, too, looked at their manager's manager with tears streaming down their face and said "I'm totally fucked."

I remember I walked back to my office in a fog after telling them I wanted the entire day to pack up my things. I got back to my desk, to the space that I shared with my boss and another co-worker. They were both crying. I literally slammed into my chair, looked at her and said "do not talk to me right now." She had only found out that morning that I was getting canned, and there was nothing she could do about it.

I was really freaked out. 4 years of work landed me about a month and one week of severance. I paid my rent and all my bills myself-no husband or live-in lover to share the burden. I had no savings to speak of other than a few thousand in the bank. I was a typical New Yorker who lived by the seat of my pants, enjoyed life a little too much, and never planned for the future.

Feels like forever ago, yet it feels like yesterday. Funny, that.