My Year Of Living Erroneously part 1
My blog has been sorely neglected for the last 12 months and it isn’t because there hasn’t been anything going on in my life. Much to the contrary. .. it seemed like for a while there it was whammy city. Every time I turned around something major was happening. Some things were good…some things…not so much. I hope I can remember everything that happened so I can share it with you. If not…then this will teach me what the consequences are when I don’t blog about things as they happen. Let’s sally forth, shall we?
In August of 2010 I was sitting at my desk in the Legal Affairs office of the major institution of higher learning where I had worked for the last 4 years and 9 months when my boss came out of her office looking like she has seen a ghost. Her voice wobbled as she said, “I have some very bad news for you.” My mind immediately thought that something was wrong with someone in my family and I just about had a heart attack on the spot. She just stood there looking at me with tears in her eyes. It seemed like 5 minutes had gone by but in reality it was more like 10 seconds before she told me that the powers that be had decided to restructure our office and I was going to be let go. As my boss blubbered over the news she had just delivered I sat there dumbfounded. W.T.F. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Although I never did like my job in that office I was a very dedicated employee. They had absolutely no reason in the world to justify letting me go….except for the fact that it was determined that my office would surely parish if they didn’t get a paralegal in their midst immediately. A paralegal who also does clerical scut work. A paralegal who also does scut work for less than $20.00 per hour. F.M.L. After learning about the details of my pending departure it was ME consoling MY BOSS and it was me telling her that everything was going to work out just the way it was supposed to and that I’d be fine.
I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I am a home owner. I like to eat. I’m fond of my much used medical benefits. Everything wasn’t going to be fine! This country is in one of its worst recessions in history and I was about to have to go out and find a new job.
Upon hearing the news of the loss of my job...Amanda, Tori and my mom all assured me that if need be I could move in with them. IMOM told me that my bills would get paid and I was not to worry about money. These were all wonderful assurances but I like to pay my own way and take care of myself. It was going to be very difficult to accept all of this help.
They gave me one months’ notice and boy was it made perfectly clear just how nice they thought they were to have done so. I was told about another employee who was a friend of mine who was given about 5 minutes’ notice of her imminent departure on the very same day that I was given the news that I was going to be gone in 30 days. So as much as I wanted to tell them to stick their 30 days where the sun didn’t shine I guess it was better than getting no notice at all. I spent the next 4 weeks searching the internet for job leads. I kept my eye on the campus employment website. And there was just nothing out there. I applied for a couple of positions through the edjoin website but I couldn’t even secure an interview. As the days went by I was determined not to let my boss know that I was devastated over the pending loss of my job. I wasn’t even going to ask her for a letter of recommendation. If she wanted to give me one then she could just offer it to me. (Yeah, maturity reigns when I’m mad.) By the end of August I had wizened up a bit, swallowed my pride and decided that my resume looked pretty lame with letters of recommendation from to 2005. I braced myself and sauntered in to my boss’s office and asked her if she would write me a letter of recommendation. Well…if I was stunned to hear that I was being let go…imagine how I felt when my boss told me…”It is against company policy for us to write blanket letters of recommendation. Tell me where you’ve applied and I’ll give you a letter that is addressed to them exclusively.” I was so taken aback that I just said, “Oh, ok…I’ll let you know”. But it didn’t take me about 2 seconds to decide that I wouldn’t take a letter of recommendation from that woman if it arrived tattooed on Jackson Browne’s ass! (I called the HR office and asked them if there was indeed a rule about writing letters of recommendation and of course no one knew the answer but if the legal counsel for the entire university said that was a rule then they were going to err on her side.)
Just before my time in that office was up I saw a posting for a clerical position at the offices of the campus church. The job description was almost exactly the same as the job that I had been doing for the last 4.5 years so I applied for it. The interview went wonderfully and I waited for about a week until they got back to me. The reverend who interviewed me called me personally to tell me that the position that needed to be filled had been empty for quite a while and there had been a temporary office worker at that desk for the last several months. Even though they pretty much knew that they were going to give the job to the temp worker they still had to post the position and conduct interviews. They thought their temp was a shoe in for the permanent position….until they interviewed me. The reverend said that she just loved my spark and my sense of humor and she especially loved that I had been doing the same job only in a different office for almost 5 years. I thwarted their plans to just hand the job over to the temporary worker. However, after much prayer and deliberation they decided that it just wouldn’t be fair to the temp to not give her the job. Urgh! It would have been so nice to just seamlessly transition from one office to the next without any down time…but no…it was not to be. The reverend went on to tell me that she was so impressed by me that she had given my name to a reverend friend of hers who had a church in Garden Grove that was looking to hire a clerk. I thanked her profusely and even though I didn’t get the job she managed to make me feel pretty good about myself. BTW..I wasn't interested in working in Garden Grove. If I couldn't work at the university I would be looking for a position much closer to home. Beggars can't be choosers but it would have been really foolish for me to take a job any further from my house.)
My boss was going to be at a seminar on my last day of work so there would be no awkward goodbyes and that suited me just fine. I was going to walk out of that office with my head held high because I knew that there were better things on the horizon just waiting for me. Instead as the clocked ticked 5:00 on my last day I grabbed my purse and started to tell my co-worker good bye and I blubbered like an inconsolable baby. Although I had known for 4 weeks that I was losing my job it wasn’t until that very moment that I seriously, truly, honestly realized that …whoa shit…I don’t have an income anymore.