The Ides of March visited my world one week and one day too early this year.
I did not get stabbed by Senators and no, in my dying breath I did not
utter a very dramatic "Et Tu, Brute?" but it certainly felt that way
when my boss of 9 years hauled my department in for an emergency 1:20
p.m. meeting on March 8th and began the meeting with the news, "It's not
It was a gross understatement if ever I heard it.
the 9 years I've worked at a large law firm in Midtown, I've been at
the receiving end of a pay scale that supposedly meets "Industry
Standards". Speaking with colleagues employed in other sectors and
other firms confirms that I'm an underpaid peon. Perhaps it's my fault
for staying so long but having a job lulls you into a sense of
security. That cushioned feeling one gets when a steady pay check comes
in - enough for bill paying, saving, the occasional concert and
maintaining a hobby such as playing video games - is calming.
the 23 years that the collective 'we' were employed by our client, the
news of a filing of bankruptcy took all of 10 seconds to tell and with
that, 8 plus people (at least those we know about in our immediate
circle) were left with looming unemployment.
The nature of the
work has required us to wind down operations and without a fixed end
date, it's been nothing but mixed emotions coming into work every
morning knowing that you are hastening the end of your job.
I've heard a lot of advice in the past few weeks:
"Start looking right away!", "Go on vacation, mope around your house
for a month then dust yourself off and start looking then."
for a severance package!" or quite possibly my favourite today,
"Oh...don't rely on a severance package because you're probably not
getting one of those that's going to be any more than a 2 week pay check
for your almost 10 years of service."
Well that's completely lovely, isn't it?
days, I've started noticing a lot more too, now that I am not so
self-absorbed. As I make that death walk to work on mornings, suddenly
there seem to be a lot of people with portfolios tucked under their
arms. I whisper "good luck" to them every time I see them under my
breath. It's a little prayer for them and certainly one for myself as I
face the same grind in a week or two.
And then there are the moments that I try to be optimistic.
hey, the job provided me the opportunity to buy myself some games. In
between looking I can catch up on that atrocious backlog!"
heart has not really been in it. I've been struggling to play "Breath
of Fire IV" amongst other things for the past few weeks and I have the
occasional chuckle at some of the dialog but if I can play for more than
five minutes at a time, it's a lot.
I think this is what they call a funk.
Tomorrow though, I am off to pick up my copy of "Luigi's Mansion: Dark
Moon" at Nintendo World's launch party in NYC. It was bought on a
Christmas credit I had from my very kind sister.
the last game I will purchase for some while. So, here's hoping that
little green plumber can show me his brave stance against the scary
things in this world and give me the courage to go out there and do
same. Well, you know...not become a Ghostbuster (although, any job
openings in that field?!) or anything, but some encouragement to stay
strong during the tough job hunt would be welcome.
At the very least, I hope he whistles that nervous little tune/theme song as he did in the first game.
That always cheered me up.