Tag Archives: losing a job

In Praise of Pink Slips

What a difference a day makes. 24 hours ago, I was sitting there sullenly at my desk, kind of loathing my existence. Today, I’ve got a paid day off, and tomorrow I return to the only job I’ve ever known that made me feel like I was part of a family.

It has been 12-13 years since I had a job with an asshole employer. This was the first time since that I’d had an employer that I felt was, well, unfair. I’m not going into specifics. It is what it is, and I have too developed a readership to go slagging anyone.

But let’s face it, not everyone knows how to manage. There are people who have such great personalities that they get overlooked for how they sometimes treat others, and they can be hell to work for.

I’m a big believer in learning from life as it happens. You can just dismiss things and say “shit happens,” or you can ask “why does shit happen?” Everything I ever needed to know I learned from Philosophy 101. Why?

For me it makes life so much better when I assign value to all the things that go down in my life. For every failure, I try to learn something. And whether I want to accept it or not, I was fired. I failed in some capacity, and while I consider myself fortunate to have been uninvited from that particular party, there’s a part of me that knows what rejection feels like again.

Do you ever sit back in your comfy arm chair, watching some talk show, on which is some woman telling of all the abuse she endured through her many years of marriage, and sit there, thinking, “Jesus, honey! Why didn’t you leave?! At what point do you finally clue the fuck in and say, ‘Gee, I think this might be a bad situation?’ Fuck!”

Yet how many of us work every day in jobs we hate? Jobs where you know it’s just a paycheque, baby? How many of us tolerate rude, belligerent employers who don’t know how to sit the fuck down and trust us to do the jobs we’re supposed to be hired to do? It’s psychological abuse, really, when you work in a situation like that. But because they sign our paycheques and keep the roofs above our heads, we somehow feel like they’ve got permission to treat us like they do.

And I don’t give a fuck what kind of job it is, what kind of pressure it is, it’s not too goddamned much to ask that employees everywhere get treated in a reasonably professional manner. I’m not so sure that’s how I was treated of late. Two people there were good, though. Pity about the unbalance.

So, uninvited from the party, I have to tell you that today’s the first time since about… February of this year that I’ve woken up without this palpable fear of whether all the bills are going to be paid and whether I’m gonna have my integrity intact at the end of the day. In the spring I was just financially insecure. Of late, I was underpaid and treated somewhat questionably. Different scenarios, but similar results.

I feel like a fucking mammoth weight has come off my shoulders, is what I’m trying to say. And I’m also trying to suggest that, if you’re one of those people working a job you hate, you really need to start asking yourself if the cost benefit ratio of going through THAT every single day is worth it. I mean, shit. I feel like I’ve just broken the water’s surface and am finally breathing again. I had no idea those many months were taking the toll they’ve now so obviously been taking.

I always said I was lucky to never have really had to work in a bad situation. Now I have. I’m one of those freaks that likes having difficult experiences because then I always grow. It’s my choice to gain from the situation, ain’t it? So I’m having a good day. Friday’s coming and so’s that 33rd birthday. Older? Wiser? Fucking right I am.

I wouldn’t have had the guts to quit without another job to go to. Getting fired was the only way that situation was gonna get resolved, unless one of the headhunter positions worked out. So my perfect record gets smeared. Whatever. I’m glad I’m moving on to potentially better times.

It’s one of those times where you, the reader, gets to sit back and ponder your own life’s satisfaction. Is it really going the way you want? Is it worth it to keep compromising? Think about it. Then remember one of my favourite sayings: Life’s too fucking short.

Hallelujah. I got fired. Uninvited. Ha. And look, it’s sunny out. Go fuckin’ figger.

Good news! I got fired!

Heh. Yep, you read right. I’m happy I just got fired.

I hated the job, or more accurately, one of the bosses. Worse yet: It sucked the will to write right out of me.

Putting words on a screen’s pretty fucking easy most days and I can do it in my sleep, but the GOOD writing, well, that comes from places that machines can’t mine. When the mix is off, it’s really, really difficult to get things gelling again. And, honestly, something about that job just killed my creativity.

And, being such an affable and good chick as I am, the folks I worked the last six years for are taking me back without even thinking twice. Not permanently, but “for a while” at the very least, and “for a while” is what I need.

And the moral of this story, boys and girls, is that when adversity happens, don’t think about the fucking adversity. Think about overcoming it. Within 10 minutes I went from losing a job to getting another one, in essence, and that comes from acting, not fretting.

I’m a happy camper. I lost a job I hated. I’m going back to one that had me, for some weird reason, writing better than I’ve ever written before. Methinks I’ve come out ahead.

But the good news for you is, soon I’ll be back to writing well. Don’t think I don’t know this blog’s been off-kilter for some time. I know it all too well. I already have a couple fun things planned for postings.

I’d kill to hear “Ding, dong, the witch is dead” right now, ‘cos it sums up how I’m feeling pretty nicely.

Oh, For God’s Sake!

Okay, to the anonymous who left the comment that has inspired this rant:

It’s okay, I’m not taking it personally, and I understand you were coming from a nice place and being genuine. Still. It ain’t you, it’s society, and I’ve been meaning to comment on this for awhile.

_____________________

I just broke up with someone, and I’m a bit touchy about it, even now, a whopping eight days later. I know, all these hours and days have passed us by, a whopping eight days and six hours, and I ought to certainly be all good and better and fine about it.

But I’m not. I know, I’m hoping to nip this in the bud before a stunning two weeks has passed, but I’m so emotionally stunted that I’m not sure I’ll quite manage that.

Okay, obnoxious mode is off.

Here’s the deal: I fucking hate the western culture of pretending we’re stoic and tough and good and fine just a few days after any kind of adversity befalls us.

It’s like old-school hockey. “Holy smokes! Didja see that hit?! That boy had his bell rung but good. The coach is looking him over, and he’s giving some shakes of his head. Holy hell, he’s joining the team again. This kid’s a trouper — bell ringing and keeps on singing!”

Back in the day, you took your hits like a man and played through, no matter what the cost. Naturally, it turned out the costs were high.

You have to understand, strong and stoic are things I strive to be. I understand life’s hard and comes with challenges, and it ain’t all fun and games. I’ve had some really hard times in the last decade particularly, and I think I’ve handled them all pretty well. Never perfect, but who among us is?

If I just up and dropped the thing with the ex, and all the struggles I’ve hit this week, you know what? You’d stop reading me. Because I would cease to be myself. It’s this overly analytical, detail-focused, mildly obsessive, often compulsive cynical satirist you’ve come to enjoy. That’s who I am. I’m a rebel without a cause, a thinker without a clue, and a poser with no apologies. That’s me. I get lost in the chaos that is my life because I am absolutely unapologetically self-obsessed.

I’m not at all the guru some people have taken me for. (WHY have you done this?) What I am, is a really, really, really good reality surfer.

See, whatever comes at me, I find a way to ride it until it breaks. I’m very good. I’ve had to be. I don’t have a smooth-sailing life in the least. Ahh, I’m so in it for the drama, man.

Anyhow, whatever. The point is, my relationship ended just a week ago. I’m not gonna just drop the topic and be magically healed like I’ve just had a Jerry Falwell moment or something. Anyone who does is just asking to get fucked mentally, because that’s not how to deal with troubles. Own it, experience it, make love to it, and let it go. Don’t just chuck it and hope the garbage guys come.

I’ll be moving on from this, you can bet your ass on that. Soon, too, probably, but it’ll happen after I’ve really come to learn something from the experience. See, my life is lived because I choose to examine it — and now, immediately, not some 50 years down the road as I write my memoirs.

Keep in mind: This week holds a party, a concert, a big social night out, and maybe a couple other things. It’s busy. I’m not sitting around on my ass as much as it might sound. When I am around, I need to learn a little about podcasting.

The podcast looms in the nearer future now. A matter of weeks, for sure, probably three of them. The trouble I now have is that I need to design a new blog. I will be keeping the Cunt alive, and feeding it periodically, but there’ll be a new blog, Smut & Steff, a companion blog to my podcast. You’ll see photos and notes and such about things inspiring me any given week, some postings of mine, and that sort of thing. I intend to have it be a very symbiotic relationship, sort of like blog+podcast=steffness, I hope.

So, a new blog, a new podcast… much looms. In the meantime, deal with my self-involved life — I can’t afford therapy, and you’re a sexy listener, so I’m thinking it’s working just fine for the short-term. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest and shit sometime this week and my writing will snap back on soonish, I suspect.

Thoughts On a Monday

I wonder sometimes if not being alone with our thoughts is why Becoming Single is often so hard for us. We finally feel like the scary silences are broken by this voice of this Other who has acclimatized themselves to becoming a part of our lives. And, one day, they go. For good, for bad, for now, for all time, they simply go.

Then, silence. And in that silence, questions of doubt, of your worth, of your import, they all start to whisper and wail in the walls of your mind, and then where are you? In a storm of your making. A thought storm whirling around your newly deserted cerebellum.

It doesn’t matter that I don’t think it’s me that caused my recent break-up. It doesn’t matter that I believe myself to be a good person to know and a kindred heart. It doesn’t matter that I know what talents I have an all areas of my life. What matters is, I’ve suddenly found myself single again. Naturally, the next step is to wonder what’s wrong with myself and why it didn’t work.

I’ve done a little of that this past week, but not nearly as much as I would have expected. Probably one of the least likely questions for me to ask myself, actually, is “why me?”

I once wrote a rant about how much existentialists piss me off, and how much I hate that question, “Why me? Why me?” I think I said, “Why you? Because it’s your fucking turn!” Maybe that’s as simple as it really is. I don’t ask why I go through adversity. I know why, ‘cos shit happens, and this shit is my shit, and trying to figure it out beyond that is gonna give me an embollism.

Sitting around after a week like I’ve had and wondering “Why me?” isn’t exactly productive. I do it, though, but to a different end.

I don’t remember how much I’ve said, but the people who laid me off on day two of employment have offered to have me back to the job on August 1st, and I’ve agreed. To tell you the truth, when I first started that job, I was expecting to be hired for another on my very first morning with them. I wound up catching my prospective new employer at a bad time, tried calling later, and remain in the dark about that job to this day. The point is, I walked into my “new” job with a really bad attitude. I didn’t want to be there, and wanted to be hired for another job by noon.

In short, I was a fucking spoiled brat who was living anywhere but in the present. WHAT IF I lost that job to get reminded of how appreciative we ought to be about everything that comes our way? What if I lost it to be shown just how wrong negativity and cynicism can be? I thought I would hate the job, because my perception was that it was 80% bookkeeping. Know what? That’s the last dude’s incompetence. In my world, it’s 6-8 hours a week, and that’s after having been around for a week. In fact, now that I’ve been there a week, I know the job’s a good fit for me. What’s more, I’ll be awesome at it.

So, this week and next week, I’m working for my old employers. (Never burn bridges.) Then, I’ll return. It’s nice, it’s the first job I’ve had in a long time where I’ve been able to walk in, figure out what needs doing, and not have anyone on my back micromanaging me. Some of us folk have motivation and a sense of work ethic, you know, and we work better without being told what to do. That’s me! If there’s anything I felt at the end of my day Friday, I’d have to say empowerment would be the word.

In the end, I’m glad to be single this week. I’ve been through the ringer, and while it’s awesome to have someone around to be a support and all, there’s also something to be said for enduring adversity on your own. This has been the second worst summer of my life. Hands down. Only the summer when my mother died was worse than this. And I’m so proud, I guess, that I’ve kept it together to a degree. I’ve not let all of you in as much as I could have about all the things I’ve been feeling. Those who read The Ditch probably know more about that side of my life of late, but either way, I’ve been stifling some of the fear.

I had a boyfriend once who fancied himself a philosopher. We were talking about insanity and Catch-22. If you think you can go insane, does that mean you’re more sane, or already insane? I believed then, as I do now, that it means you’re probably less likely to go insane if you realize the potential you hold for becoming insane, if that makes any sense.

After this past month, I can tell you unequivocally that I think it’s possible I could one day lose my sanity. I don’t think I ever will, but I could. This past six weeks felt pretty fucking close to it, but it never did happen.

I’m finally in silence, though. Not only am I single again, but the constant bickering going on at the back of my mind has ceased – the insecurities, the worries, the wonders. For now, it’s ceased.

There’s the old saying, “Why do I keep hitting myself in the head with a hammer?” The answer? “Because it feels so good when I stop.” Welcome to my life. And this, this is “stopped,” and it feels so-o-o good.