I am jumping way ahead this week because tomorrow, December 12, is the 5th anniversary of the following story. I'm not bitter, though.
Steve and Kevin, two of our shop techs, were laid off on Thursday. Things sucked at work. The phones hardly rang, there were no repairs to do, we had no orders for new units, and nobody was starting any up. It was boring, and I knew something was going to happen. I had just bought an iPod for myself because I needed it when I traveled so that nobody would talk to me in airports. My old mp3 player was on its last legs. Little did I realize that my purchase was all for nothing.
I came into work on Friday and spoke with my boss, Ying, for a little while, mentioning that I had hoped this whole economic thing would turn around. Then he told me to shut the door and sit down. SHIT! Being told to shut the door and sit down was never a good thing, and today, it was equally not good. Being told to shut the door and sit down is the adult version of being sent to the principal’s office. Actually, it would have been worse, but I knew what was coming. As Ying began speaking, I immediately nodded as if I knew exactly what he was going to say. That’s because I did know. “Due to the economic issues and the lack of business, <Company Name> regrets to inform you that we no longer require your services.” It was all in a letter given to me by Ying and signed by Jack. My boss knew it was coming, but he thought they would wait a little while, at least until he got there.
I cleaned out my toolbox and my desk. I made sure I didn’t forget anything and took it all out to my car. I said my goodbyes, stuck around until about noon and then went home. It was a horrible day and I would not wish that feeling on anybody. It was nine days before my birthday and thirteen days before Christmas and I was jobless. I had no prospects, but I did have a temporary job working at Tom’s wife’s school where I would be assisting her getting her computer lab back in shape. That would only be about two weeks while the kids were on Christmas break.
Getting laid off this close to Christmas, I don’t have to tell you, really takes the holiday spirit away and replaces it with a cold and helpless feeling of dread. No longer did I want to sing Christmas carols as much as I wanted to chase the carolers down the road with a rusty axe, screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs.* If I had seen a department store or mall Santa Claus, I probably would have pulled off his beard (even it was real) and dropped his pants in front of everyone.** I was in no mood for Christmas this year; my life sucked.
*No carolers were harmed in the making of this memory.
**Santa's beard and pants remained intact.