I was sitting on the can when I realized I was being canned. I wish I was lying.
Scrolling through emails at 630 AM while relieving myself, I saw an email from our CEO saying that my program would be shut down at the end of the year.
“FUUUUCKKKKK!” I yelled from my throne.
A minute later I ran and told my wife: “I am gonna get laid off today!”
Moments later the calendar invite showed up: A tête-à-tête with my boss’ boss. Scheduled for 830-840 AM.
I wasn’t even wearing underwear when I got laid off. Commando, sporting a pair of XL mesh lacrosse shorts that may be old enough to buy a cigarette at this point.
Thanks to my previous experience getting laid off and my scandalously breathable drawers, I was able to handle this distressing situation with grace and aplomb.
Halfway through the conversation they told me that they would cut my network access in an hour.
Shock coupled with amusement is an extremely rare feeling.
“Wait, what? You are kicking me off the network in an hour? What do you think this is, Credit Suisse? Do you think I am going to execute a dodgy, $10 Million dollar trade just to spite the company!? We don’t really do……. What do you guys think we do here?”
What a blessing. I thought for sure they would make me stick around until the end of the year to close out the various boondoggles and frivolous client requests I was working on.
“Cool, send me the paperwork.”
Later that day one of the other rejects called me flummoxed and upset.
“Man, I know I have only been here 9 months but still. It’s like. It’s like. This whole year…. Nothing we did mattered!”
“Not in the slightest.” I responded. “Lett me tell you a story. My father spent two years in the Army back in the old country when it was a conscription army. The first 9 months they taught him to soldier, but after that they had nothing for him or the other conscripts to do. He said they would often make him dig a large ditch and then fill it back up at the end of the day. Other days they made him run around the base carrying a log. Sometimes he was asked to do repairs on the Sergeants’ cars. And you know what? At least he got some sun and exercise and might have fixed a leaky radiator or two. You. You on the other hand. You literally accomplished nothing except maybe worsen your posture sitting in front of that computer all day.”
He came looking to me for a verbal hug. Instead, he got a caustic dose of the truth. Real talk. No Vaseline.
Some of you may remember that this blog started when I got laid off in 2019. Now, 4.5 years and two shitty jobs later, I am back in the same spot. Emailing friends and past colleagues asking for favors. Writing letters to the LinkedIn Santa. Applicant # 573 for a specific job. The “job” is probably a giant catfish anyway by some Bangladeshi dude stealing your PII.
Worse yet, nowadays when you slide your LinkedIn status to “available”, your profile picture is automatically draped in a green sash that says: “Open to work”. A virtual ribbon of shame. I honestly would have preferred a mugshot style placard that says: “Unemployed loser”.
Fuck it. Corporate America is a giant ruse anyway. Nobody is actually producing anything. The government prints money and people downstream feign activity. We do nothing of value and can barely afford anything anymore. Reminds me of the old Soviet joke about the USSR’s economy:
“We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.”
There is a significant silver lining to all this though. Something that, much like in 2019, I am very much looking forward to:
To all my peeps at the California Employment Development Department: The E.D.D! Warm up those printers cause I’m back BABY!