Leslie Cook

The Joys of Unemployment

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Unemployment on July 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm

This morning at about 8:00am, I found myself slipping into a realm that I’ve never visited before.  Oh it started simply enough.  I was called downstairs from my office by my boss.  Yes, whenever he calls to say “Can you meet me in my office?” it always makes me nervous.  But for the past 11 years, his calls were usually precursors to additional work or new exciting projects. Not so today.

I trotted down the two floors to his office and was about to make the right-turn to go through his door when I noticed that he wasn’t in is office but was down the hall beckoning me toward him.  He asked me to follow, and I did.  Did I sense that something was up?  Yes.  But what can you do.  It’s just not cool to turn tail and run.

As he guided me into the office, I noticed someone behind the desk that I’d only seen once.  He introduced himself as the company lawyer.  Yike, I thought…what have I done that calls for a lawyer?  Turns out, I didn’t do anything.  My boss took a set for a few seconds as the lawyer slowly explained that the company was experiencing a downturn.  That’s when my stomach sank.  I’ve never been through this before.  This is something I’ve heard about from others but never experienced for my self.  The layoff notice.

My boss left, only to return with a box of Kleenex.  I’m proud to say that I didn’t use them.  I’m not sure why.  I am honestly the biggest crier I know, but for some reason, I didn’t cry this time.  Maybe I was in shock. Maybe it was just pride, but I made it through the legal reading of my unemployed rights like a champ.

Once the ins and outs of my departure contract were explained, I should the lawyers hand, said it was a pleasure to meet him and I left the office. If you’ve ever left a software company, this is how it goes…they escort you to your desk where you can take a few items, then they walk you out of the building.  Clean.  Simple.  I was lucky.  It was early in the morning and not many had arrived yet so I didn’t have to do the perp walk.

So here I sit, unemployed for the first time since my dad died 32 years ago.  Maybe I’m still in shock, but for some reason I’m not that scared.  Norm and I have planned for the contingency that one of us might be unemployed at some point in our marriage.  We hoped that both of us wouldn’t be unemployed at the same time, but sometimes, no matter how much you hope, the thing you don’t want to happen does.

I’m sad, and excited, and kind of nervous about what I’ll do with myself until my next opportunity comes along.  One thing I do know for sure is that we’ll both be fine.  Sometimes one one door closes another one opens.  And sometimes we need a rest from the rat race.  I intend to take full advantage of this respite to explore the city, do the things that I’ve been putting off for so long (like the long awaited garage cleaning), and generally to get to know myself a little better.

As of today, a new adventure begins!

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