i repeat: i got laid off today.
this is how it happened: it was such a nice day today that i was going to go eat lunch outside with eliza jones and dan kuehner and joel. i went downstairs around lunchtime to grab eliza, when she told me that rose, our general manager, wanted to talk to her a little bit, so she wouldn't be able to come out just yet, but would call me on the cellphone once she got out. a little talk? this was not a good sign, i left the office worried. joel came by via jeep and while walking to kendall square to meet up with dan, i told him, "i think eliza might get laid off." it was just a gut reaction, i certainly didn't want it to happen, but that's what i was afraid of. all the signs pointed in that direction, the lack of projects, end of the week, a special behind-closed-doors talk. so dan and joel and i grabbed lunch from the trucks, first time for either of them. we sat out on the grass, chatting, eating, enjoying the weather. i took out my cellphone and put it on my bag so i wouldn't miss any calls. unfortunately, the phone's set to vibrate, so i didn't hear anything when i got a message from eliza. i checked and saw that i had just missed her call, that she'd left a message. i have a bad habit of always calling before somebody before checking their messages, so that's what i did. there was no answer. so i checked the message. "guess who just got laid off?" eliza said in her message. the color drained right out of me and i got serious. i called her back again, this time getting her, we talked briefly, but the reception was so bad, i just hug up. "guys, they're laying people off at the office, i have to get back," i told dan and joel, cutting our lunch short. i quickly raced back to work. now for some reason i didn't think i'd be laid off. i was just hurrying back because i was afraid there'd be more people than eliza getting cut today, and i wanted to see everyone before they left. before i got to the office i briefly saw sarah (one of the bosses). she looked at me with a weird expression on her face, a smile like she wanted to say something to me, but she just waved, turned, and walked away. i got into the office and a few people gave me awkward looks. i figured it was because they just found out eliza got laid off. before i could talk to eliza though, i was intercepted by rose, who wanted to talk to me. i still didn't catch on what was about to happen, but for a brief moment the thought that i might get laid off flashed across my mind. rose was all smiles, so that put me at ease, figuring that if she was going to tell me some bad news, it's be more serious. she also called in dave, the accounts guy, and i figured he wouldn't be there if i was getting let go, since it's really none of his business. i thought they might want to tell me what's going on, how people on my team were getting cut, or maybe to discuss possible marketing related internal projects. rose started talking, happy and animated at first, then her tone suddenly changed to serious and soft, and that's when it quickly dawned upon me that i might be a possible target. she brought out a manila folder filled with documents, and talked about the company restructuring, that unfortunately i would be one of the employees the company would be letting go, and info about my severance package, my health insurance, that this decision wasn't anything personal. i nodded and agreed to everything she said, a smile on my face throughout, constantly telling her, "no no, it's okay, i understand, no problem, yeah yeah, no no, i understand." i shook hands with both of them, took my packet, and left her office. i guess dave was there as a witness. i walked out and desperately had to find eliza to tell her she wasn't the only one singing the songs of unemployment. i found her talking to carrie, and carrie asked me, "you got a packet too?" referring to the manila folder. "you too?" i asked. that's when i discovered carrie got axed as well. i also found out that dan paquin (my partner in crime developer neighbor when i use to sit downstairs) would be on the chopping block too, but he hasn't come down yet for his meeting. amanda would also be a victim, but she was back home in st.louis, although she knew something was going to happen today and informed carrie to call her with the news. i went upstairs and found the mood to be quite somber as well. everyone was standing around, and when i came in, everyone was looking at me, seeing if i'd come back with some bad news. "hey guys, i just got laid off today." it wasn't a surprise to the people who were there, apparently layoff news had been traveling fast. dan already knew his plight, he was in his dark humor mode. i discovered liz also got laid off as well. including me, that makes it six people who were let go today. not including the two bosses, that leaves just 10 staff members. i spent the next hour upstairs, cleaning out my desk area, as people came by to offer me their contact information. i aim'ed dan kuehner and joel, whom i had joked that i might get laid off, not realizing that it'd actually happen.
after work (i mean, after we packed up our stuff and had nothing else to do since we were no longer employed), we the recently laid off (eliza, carrie, dan paquin and i) went to the cambridge brewing company in one kendall square, to make sense of it all. we sat outside in the warm late afternoon weather, they drinking beers, me nursing my sodas, a plate of nachos on the table. meeting everyone like that was good, therapeutic. when i got laid off from screen house, my first layoff, i actually thought that i was the only person who got fired and went home alone, feeling just absolutely terrible and couldn't tell anyone about it. this was different, hanging out with these guys, it was some what celebratory yet at the same time cautious about our futures. we shared a bond that only we can appreciate, the bond of people who get laid off at the same time. james and his family stopped by briefly since they were in the neighborhood and heard the big news. before i left, scott showed up, chatting with us briefly, giving us his feelings on the situation. eliza and i fielded phone calls on our cellphones the whole time from curious and concerned friends and families who just happened to hear the news.
emotions ran from happy to sad to angry to surprised. i found my situation to be very ironic, thus intensely funny. here i was, enduring yet another first round of layoffs! and what a coincidence that earlier in the week, the screen house laid everyone off. i'd just been at red bones last night hearing gripes from disgruntled ex-screen house employees, and here i was hearing another one. i felt like a seasoned veteran, since this wasn't my first layoff. i was surprised it happened, but i wasn't shocked, i knew that it was a possibility. people told me that they were surprised that i got cut, but that's what they said when it happened at screen house, and they still let me go! and my screen house layoff was totally crushing because it came completely unexpected. if nothing else, the fact that i survived my screen house layoff makes all other layoffs pale in comparison. i'll admit i did a little crying when i got the bad news from screen house. this latest srm layoff though, it's a bummer, but no tears will be shed by me. back then going on umemployment wasn't cool either. i thought unemployment was standing with welfare mothers and homeless people waiting for a handout from the government. i realize that's not the case and unemployment seems to be pretty cool.
so am i worried? not too much, i'll find another job eventually, it's just a matter of time. my biggest concern are my mortgage payments. i don't know if unemployment will be enough to cover it. if it is, i'm all set, i can squeak by the next few months until i get a job. if not, that's more of a headache, but i have a little bit more money saved up that i might be able to cash out of, and of course there's always my parents, but i don't want to hit them up for funds unless i absolutely have to. i take a giant step towards maturity by buying a house, but due to my recent unemployment, it feels like i'm dangerously close to taking two giants steps backwards away from maturity. one solution is to take up a roommate, since i have two bedrooms in my new place. everyone i meet i've been sizing up, thinking to myself, "is this person potential roommate material?" but part of the whole reason i moved out and bought my own place is so that i can enjoy that sweet single living. to have just bought a house but then to have to share it with someone else, call me selfish, but i don't want to do that if i can avoid it. i don't know, we'll see. i'm concerned, but at the same time i want to enjoy this summer a little bit. i'll be all right. my possible future is infinite at the moment.
carrie, eliza, and i left cambridge brewing company after 7pm. we parted ways with eliza on 6th street, i parted ways with carrie outside of our old office. the old office! i have a myriad of old offices now! i climbed aboard my motorcycle and enjoyed my last ride out of six red marbles. the work was good, the people i met were excellent. coming home, i had dreams about finally being on the big highway, with my newfound freetime, it'd be the perfect chance to take that little motorcycle trip to western mass.
after dinner, i brought my parents and my sister to the new place to have another look around. everybody loves the new place, can't get enough of it! the place was surprisingly cool on a warm night, being on the first floor and having all those trees in the backyard providing a gentle summer breeze. coming home that when i think it finally hit me: oh my god i'm unemployed now! how am i going to afford my new home?