Thursday, April 23, 2009

Back To The Office

I had been trying to stall. I tried not to think too much about it, but in the back of mind, I knew I had to go back to my office and test the waters. I needed to know what the climate there was, whether business had picked up at all since I’d been “Cut Adrift!” I initially told myself that I would wait until April first to start looking for a new job in earnest. Spring is the season when my workplace had always kicked into high gear. At this time of year, it was not unusual for me to go in an hour early, and still find myself in the office after 6pm each day, because there was so much work to do.
Surely things would be better by April, I’d assured myself, back in the dark days of January.

When last week came, I could wait no longer. I got up early on Thursday morning and prepared myself. I took extra time styling my hair and carefully applying my makeup. I donned pantyhose ( my most hated accessory), and dressed in my spring suit. It’s light green, and textured in a mossy cross-hatch pattern. I wore a dark pink shell underneath and accented the jacket with a sparkly pin studded with pink and green, fake jewels. Finally, I slipped on the dreaded high heels, cream colored patent leather. I am a girl who usually wears jeans and flats (preferably, flip-flops), so this was a foreign state for me to find myself in, to say the least. Truth be told, the suit’s a little small for me now, but it looked okay. I thought I looked pretty good and felt I would make a good impression.

I thought about saying I had a job interview in the area, so I thought I’d just…you know, “stop in.” I knew I couldn’t pull it off, though - I’m terrible at lying. I decided I would go to the unemployment office, which is pretty close to the office, to pick up a schedule of events. I would swing by the office too, since I’d be in the general vicinity. Besides, I had a book which had been loaned to me by the president last fall. “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. It’s a humongous tome, about nine hundred pages, and since I have the bad habit of reading three or four books at a time, I’d only just finished it. I could just say I wanted to return the book, since I was, sort of, in the neighborhood. Sounded kind of legitimate, and not too pathetic, right?

It was important to make sure my supervisor, as well as the company president were there when I went in. I scanned the parking lot for their cars and once I located them, I pulled into a space and shut off my engine. I sat for a minute and took a few deep breaths. I realized I was trembling and hoped I could keep it in check when I went in.

I was nervous at first, then I started to relax as four or five of my former co-workers came out to the lobby to see me. We stood around in a circle, chatting casually. Everyone acted glad to see me.
Then, as if he knew exactly why I had come, the president knitted up his eyebrows in that expression of sympathy and said; “Well, I wish I had better news for ya, darlin’. We’re only doing about half the business we should be now. We’re back to the numbers we saw in 2001.”

My heart fell. Nothing had changed. I made a little more small talk, then mumbled something about having to get going over to the unemployment office and I tried to move with some shred of dignity to the door.

It was hard to get out of bed for the next few days. I did, and I forced myself to go out and go through the motions of chores and errands, though I felt like a cinder block was sitting on my chest and a small, black cloud hung over me. I find it hard to reflect upon the day ahead and realize that I have no one to meet, and nothing of importance to do. The highlight of most of my days now is my walk with Rigby.

I realize now that I have to focus harder on finding a new job.


  1. i'm sorry. it's hard when you find a job that you really like and it ends. going into new places and presenting yourself over and over is not fun. the economy has to get better, it just has to. hold tight girl, better days are coming, your friend jack

  2. My work situation over the years has greatly changed. I've greatly changed too. Some of those changes I loved & embraced, some, NOT SO MUCH. I've been through times where I felt I had a very cloudy definition of my day. That is when I knew I needed to change it up. At least you realize it and will do something about it. ~Mary

  3. Dear Deedee, don´t say you have nothing of importance to do. There are many things you can do very well. I strongly believe that you have abilities that you don´t know you have. It happens to us, there is still a crisis in the world and we have to have imagination to deal with this situation. You have many gifts, just explore them. I wish you all the best in your journey,
    Best wishes,

  4. Deedee,
    I believe that nothing happens to us without a reason - like there is something that has your name on it out there and you are "free" to find it. OR - it could be the last administration made a FUBAR of everything and we're all going to starve and die. That being said, don't bother wearing the pantyhose!
    (seriously, I'm sending hugs)

  5. Firstly Deedee, Wow are you brave! Going back to visit your office like that. Getting all dressed up on top of it.

    Secondly, your name is still in my prayer basket and goes with me when I visit the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. You never did actually tell me what particular job title or position you're seeking, so I wrote down in nice large printing:


  6. What Color Is Your Parachute is full of info and encouragement for the job search... guerrilla tactics for the job search too. (And it's written by a Christian.)

    Tip-o-the-hat for venturing forth!


  7. Deedee, don't give up! I think it was something that you needed to do, go back to the office, if only for your own peace of mind. But I have to agree, everything in our lives happens for a reason, and you may not yet know what that reason is, but it will show itself in good time. I am thinking of you!! And you may not think that your days have purpose, but perhaps Rigby, who has been thru a lot before she came to live with you, is eating all that extra attention up! Her little heart must just be bursting with the love and attention you are pouring on her with so much time off. If nothing else you are filling her little heart and soul and your love!! and that can only be a good thing!! ciao, Debby

  8. Ohhh. That must have been very hard! I don't think I could have done it.
    I really hope you find something and it is more FABULOUS than that old job.
    Lots of GOOD luck to you!

  9. Thanks for sharing this, DeeDee. Everyone who has been "cut adrift" at one time or another thanks you for being so eloquent about it and admires you for being so brave about it. As Americans, we probably put way too much emphasis on our culture code of "work = who you are" (see Clotaire Rapaille), but as a culture we are what we are. All good wishes in your new search. [PS: Somehow, I was really bothered that the ex-boss called you "Darlin'"--seems pretty sexist & consdescending, but maybe he's a good old boy from the south...

  10. That must have been an awful experience, good luck with finding a new job, there will be something out there for you.

  11. Deedee
    I really do admire your courage and determination.
    I certanly do believe in the saying as one door shuts, another one opens.
    You deserve to find a good job. You are a good person.
    Rigby will help you through this, animals are wonderful at understanding the bad times as well as the good.

    Have a nice weekend.
    I wish you all the luck in the world.

    Warm Wishes

  12. Thank you so much. Bloggers are truly wonderful people.