I woke up this morning and for the first time in 12+ years, I don’t have a job to go to.
The economy had been nipping on the heels of the company where I spent the last 5+ years. I had survived previous layoffs but my luck finally wore off last Wednesday.
Fittingly, my last day was Friday the 13th, but there were no hockey masks, machetes or half-naked girls running through the woods. Instead, there were plenty of hugs, goodbyes and maybe even a few leaky eyes.
Like Déjà Vu All Over Again
Not because of the previous layoffs or that we had been slow during what is typically our busy season.
I literally saw this coming about a month ago.
I had a dream where I was standing outside a coworkers cube when one of the owners asked if I had a minute to talk. I looked back at the coworker whose face had turned blood-red and I knew what was coming.
On Wednesday it almost happened just like my dream.
The coworker from my dream had just come over to my desk to tell me something and after he left, the same owner from my dream stopped by. Guess what he asked me?
I looked back to the coworkers desk to see if he was looking at me with a red face, but he wasn’t.
As I followed the owner to his office I realized he was wearing the same blue shirt from my dream and I knew what was coming.
Bearer of Bad News
They broke the news to me and I told them that I understood because I had seen how the business had changed over the past few years.
We talked a few minutes more, I thanked them for the past five years and headed back to my desk.
I had never been laid off before but I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. I like to think that I was at peace with the whole thing, but maybe I was just numb.
The only thing I kept thinking about was how I was going to tell Tammy. I knew I didn’t want to tell her over email or the phone so I waited to tell her at home.
I nervously kept myself busy until she got home. I knew I didn’t want to tell her the news as soon as she walked in, so I waited for my chance.
Tammy launched into her day while I sat and listened. She was still talking when she went into the bedroom to change for our workout. That’s when she noticed something was wrong.
Tammy: Why aren’t you trying to touch me like you normally do when I change clothes?
Me: Ummm, because I got laid off today.
She felt bad for going on and on about her day, but I knew it was what she needed.
I’ll Know When I Get There
I went into the details of the day and I told her what I had told my coworkers earlier in day.
Me: It just means I’m sposed to be someplace else. I don’t know where that place is or when I’m sposed to be there. I just know that I’m not sposed to be here anymore.
She immediately began thinking and worrying about what we were going to do and how we were going to make it. I told her I didn’t know the answers but that I’m not going to worry about all of that…yet.
There’s Always a Silver Lining
It didn’t take long for the wheels in Tammy’s head to start churning.
I got the feeling she might enjoy me being home after she gave me her laundry to drop off at the dry cleaners on my way to work Friday.
Tammy: I have to admit that I am looking forward to having my own Errand Boy.
Hopefully she won’t have me running too many errands because I’ve already got plans for some projects around the house, most of which will prolly be best if Tammy doesn’t know about until after they are done.
A Special Bond
I’ve already been in contact with the person who found my previous job for me over five years ago and, much to my surprise, she actually remembered me.
Person: Jason with the bulldogs? Of course I know you. I have grown up with bulldogs. No better dog in the world.
I hadn’t talked to her, or her agency, in several years but she remembered me and I like to think that it was because of The Bulldog Bond.
I know that doesn’t mean she’s going to place me in a new job tomorrow, next week or at all, but it made me feel good to know that she remembered me.
Skittles: Taste the JWo
I had intended on getting my Flashback Friday going last week until stuff got in the way. But don’t worry, it’s still in the works and I’ve got a notebook with plenty of memories that just need to be typed out.
But right now I’m sitting at a crossroads in life with plenty of questions and decisions ahead of me.
Maybe I’ll learn to play the guitar we bought Jake for his birthday but doesn’t use. Maybe I’ll reorganize everything in the house. But then again, maybe I won’t have time to do any of those things.
One thing I do know that I received a gift from a co-worker on Friday that meant a lot to me and shows how well she got to know me over the past few years.