Well, the day I've been dreading for the past year or more finally happened last Tuesday, March 26th...
Boo and I had a lovely, if slightly snowy, day with Amma for her birthday on the 25th. We didn't make our usual trip to the Zoo because of said snow, but we had an enjoyable swim, a wonderful brunch, a visit with PopPop and some time at the Lego store. Amma and I even both found new swimsuits online (a backup for her and a replacement to mine that decided to rip in the center back shoulder area....).
Then Tuesday came. I get up, get a boy-o to school and head in to the office. I get my day underway by reheating the leftover half of my Monte Cristo sandwich from Monday's brunch. (An aside, can I tell you how awesome Knook and Kranny on 23 near Phoenixville is? Yeah, never had a bad anything and the owner is so sweet.) I settle in and start checking the emails from the weekend and Monday and downloading some software I need for the upcoming reporting month.
Then Monty comes up. Has this expression on his face like he's about to do something he really, really, really doesn't want to do. Yeah. That look. Tells me he's been asked to walk me down to Katie's office. Oh, and did you know Al's in the building? Yup. Al's from corporate HR. There's only one reason why I'd be walked down to the business manager's office when corporate HR is here. Corporate decided to do another RIF (reduction in force for those blessed enough not to know) and thanks to my oh-so-wonderful reviews the last two years, I was on the short list.
I do know that both Monty and Katie fought as hard as they could to keep the RIF from happening and to keep me from being a victim of it. I could tell that neither of them wanted to be doing this, and Al didn't look too happy either. (I'll give you this, Al is a very compassionate guy and I'd never, ever, in a million years want to be an HR person, ever, since his job mostly sucks in this economy...) I'll tell you that while I didn't get the executive treatment for my severance package, I didn't just get a boot to the ass and a "good luck!". I can't say that I'm happy with it, because, let's face it, I'd rather have my job, but it'll help keep us afloat for a little while. Actually, a fairly long while if I play my cards right and can manage to keep costs down as low as I can.
So, yeah. I'm unemployed at the moment. Yes, I've signed up for unemployment. No, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about taking this "entitlement" because I've been employed almost non-stop since 1999 and have been paying into the system all this time. This isn't "free" money, this is money I've paid into a system for just this kind of event. Sure, I'd be thrilled never to have to rely on it, but I'm not stupid enough to turn down a helping hand.
I have to get my resume in full order. I will admit that I took most of last week of as "vacation", since I'd been griping that I needed one for many months now and really, I honestly doubt delaying a week would really change the outcome of any job search. Besides, I have no clue where I want to go next. I don't know if I want to stay in the power industry, or if I want to do something else. Do I want to continue to be some kind of software/technological support or do I want to do something else? I do know that I don't want to move and that I'll need a job with at least half decent benefits and that I don't want to do sales.
It is times like this that I truly envy people like my brother who at least have a clue of what industry they want to work in, even if they haven't a clue what exact position they want. I've got nothing. I fell into this job 12.5 years ago when I gave Monty my resume to take in just to shut him up. I never wanted to be in the regulatory or power industry. I never wanted to be in software development or support. I had some skills that came in handy and I could talk intelligently to customers. The rest, I learned over the years. I really have no idea what I want to do.
No, wait, I take that back. I know what my dream job is, but they're few and far between, don't pay much and rarely have any benefits what so ever. Yeah, that's right. My dream job is still to be an educator at a nature center or the like. And no, I'm not going to try and join the park service (see that not really wanting to move at this point above as well as the fact that 90% of park rangers are really just police officers, which isn't what I want to do...) I'm not going to get my emergency teaching certificate and start subbing and working towards my full certification. I never wanted to teach in a formal setting and NCLB has made that into something I want to avoid like the plague actually. (It's bad enough what I'm going to deal with being a parent.... there's a reason my friend Michelle ran from the job screaming several years ago now...)
So, I've got to figure out which way is up and what path I might like to try. And I've got to figure out how I fit into Gak and Boo's morning schedule's and routines. I haven't been a part of the daily home scene since Boo was 11 weeks old or so and the boys have it down pretty pat after almost 5 years. (Yeah, that's right, Boo turns 5 two months from today... go ahead, I'll wait while the shock wears off.) So, I don't have a job outside the house and I have no idea what my job inside the house is right now either.
But, this is the season of new beginnings and rebirth, both spiritually and physically. I just hope that I don't have to wander as far and as long as my Jewish ancestors did.
Peace to all and may you not have an unwelcome surprises and at least a general direction to head.
p.s. I wish I could say this was all a horrible April Fool's joke, but I can't.