Adventures in awkward

As if it weren’t bad enough that we are selling assets to my old company and I am working with people I left behind anywhere from 7 to 10 years ago …

Now I get to dazzle other people who are lucky enough to have jobs. Reminds me of when I was interviewing begging for this job. Looking around and trying super-hard to not recognize that I could outshine any of them, if only anyone would give me a chance.

I got some good news yesterday. The owner personally asked me to stay on an extra month. So I am very happy and relieved to have two more paychecks than I planned.

(I mean, I planned on being employed for as long as I wanted to be. So this is just meeting my expectations for 2017. But still. Consider that expectation bar on the ground, or perhaps in a ditch, for next year.)

The owner also asked me to make a Sophie’s Choice and pick just one helper. The answer was easy. But I feel sad anyway.

And not only did my newest boss (the guy who promoted me) get walked out of the building yesterday, but I ran into my immediately previous boss at a cocktail reception.

Jesus Christ. The guy who unfriended me when they put him on the curb. In the flesh.

I spent the evening avoiding him. But he came up to me at the end and we made peace.

Seeing him killed me. The man’s been out of a job four months and counting. FOUR MONTHS. From the same role I am wrapping up. Am I in for another 11-month stretch without a job like the last time?

To be fair, he wasn’t a fit for the role and he knew it. I love to manage. I love the day-to-day. I hate writing because this field has killed my love of it, where he still holds on to that love.

We could have been a good team if we had been in each other’s roles.

Seeing him jobless and hearing that another colleague I liked is also still on the unemployment line killed me

And none of this really felt real till 30 of us were standing around the (mercifully) open bar at a cocktail reception. Some of us clamored for the attention of the basically three people who didn’t have an opening per se but who were humoring someone important and meeting with us orphans. Most of our employees huddled together, watching the rest of us with wide eyes.

I told the HR director at the hosting company (an old friend of mine, although not sure how much that helps me) it was like the Puppy Bowl. I walk well on a leash and I love car rides and going to the park. Pick me, yes?

The good news is, I knew the hosts and it was good to catch up. (And I hope they took my dinner suggestion — they would love me.) I tried to introduce my folks and say a nice thing or two. As if my reference could make a difference.

I couldn’t sleep after that. I mean, the wine (very good pinot noir. Go, Marriott) knocked me out for two hours. But Kadie had me up at 3 a.m. yesterday. so I consider that as appending Sunday night’s fitful slumber.

I dreamed that Mom was healthy and happy and out of pain. We were out doing something fun in the sun and I said, momma, you’re keeping up with me! She said yes, honey, isn’t it wonderful?

I went to pay for something in the dream and realized holy shit, I do not have a job and zero prospects for one.

That’ll get ya out of bed at 1:12 a.m. Just sayin’.

My agreement to stay is also a devil’s deal. I can’t leave if I get a good offer. Or a bad offer. Or any offer, really.

What I’m hoping is that the universe will work the way it always does, and I’ll get 10 offers because I can’t walk out when I’m ready.

The owner says he knows I’m going to get multiple offers. Don’t take the first offer, Goddess, he told me yesterday. Make them compete for you.

I just hope the money comes. Offers have always been fairly easy to come by. Offers that keep you above the poverty level, not so much.

And looking around at people who gave 10, 20, even almost 30 years — thinking this was where they’d gain seniority and maybe retire from — just makes me sad that there are so many of us with the same wish.

Sadder still that this probably isn’t the last layoff we’ll ever endure, if we can even get through this one in the first place.

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