Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Things Fall Apart

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." 
- Marilyn Monroe

I always wonder if Marilyn was really that insightful or if her publicist wrote that quote for her.  I wish I could say getting laid off from my admin gig after only a few short months brought out my inner Marilyn, but that would be a lie.  In reality, it terrified and angered me.

I began temping at the end of April, beginning of May last year.  At first, I felt exhilerated.  Finally, I could breathe again and I had time to take care of myself.  I was exercising again.  I had lost five pounds and my skin was looking good.  I ate better, I slept better, I read books.  I was even picking up some valuable skills that I was certain would transfer well into my next career move, whatever that might be.  And then, it happened.

In mid July, my boss strolled over to my desk one morning and informed me that corporate was moving our office to a city about 350 miles away.  Only he, the CFO, and the senior admin ("Alex") would be kept on permanently.  Alex would be working from a remote office, while the two head honchos would physically relocate.  He mentioned the possibilty of me working remotely for a while after the move to foster a smooth transition.  I heard none of it, though.  All I could see was a huge "unemployed" sign flashing right before my eyes.

It just so happened that my husband called to ask me out to lunch that day.  He worked right down the street, so he picked me up at noon and asked me how my day was going.  I immediately began crying.  I think he could sense what had happened and when I told him about the move, he simply said, "I guess that's the life of a temp." 

Again, I wish I could have summoned my inner Marilyn in that moment.  Instead, my inner Britney materialized, and I found myself wanting to shave my head and beat my husband senseless with the nearest umbrella.  I did the only sensible thing I could think of and turned my hostility toward him.  How could he have let me quit my permanent job for a temporary one?  How could he be so casual about my career being in the toilet?  Why did I even bother telling him about anything when he never offered any support, only cold, hard facts?  After about half an hour of screaming in the car, we decided to go to lunch after all because the new burger restaurant we planned on going to supposedly had some pretty tasty grub.  I figured sweet potato fries could only improve my mood at that point.  And since I would be unemployed in a few short weeks anyway, who would care if I took a two hour lunch?

When I got back to work that afternoon, the office was empty except for Alex.  She had heard I got the news and informed me of how angry she was that they did not tell me during my interview that the company had been planning the move for a while. 

My anger turned into rage. During the interview, my boss had implied that the temporary position could become permanent in a few months.  I asked Alex why they didn't just hire someone else who was already unemployed and who would have been thankful for a few months of work.  Apparently, all of the other candidates either smelled like cigarette smoke or gave off the impression that they would be calling in sick just about every day.  I was the lucky chosen one. 

For the rest of the day, I sulked.  When I got home, I pouted.  And then I emailed my employment agent about the end of my assignment, who failed to email me back for the next two weeks.  During those two weeks, I convinced myself that she was in on the conspiracy to make me give up my legal career for a three-month pit stop on the way to Unemployed-ville. 

Little did I know that things were going to get just a little worse before they got better...

No comments:

Post a Comment