About 2 weeks ago I finally got my own desk in the editorial department at the alternative weekly where I work. The phone has my first name and last initial programmed into its face. I have a bookshelf. That's my favorite part of the desk really- the bookshelf. Books are not an easy commodity to store if you don't have a bookshelf, so you can imagine my delight. I even tacked a photograph of my son fishing into the feaux-bulletin board that makes up the feaux-cubicle. When the publisher called me into her office last Thursday I didn't think much of it. I didn't think of the print crisis, the downed economy or the imminent and mysterious sale of our company. Why? Because I'm an optimist. I'm willfully naive. And usually I'm just too busy thinking about myself. So I was shocked that what she offered me, instead of a new freelance opportunity, was a lay-off and a severance package! This is the perfect occasion for me to admit that I have never been laid off or fired before, which some may say is a miracle held over from biblical times. I felt like such a grownup! And part of an historical movement- the downsizing of newspapers, the takeover of technology and the new millennium, etc. Just to be clear, they gave me a signed letter proving that my termination was not performance related or personal or about anybody thinking I wasn't cool enough or skinny enough or beautiful and wonderful enough or anything like that. And they want me to still freelance- perhaps more than ever. It's about not being able to pay for an extra body at the front desk. So, my feelings aren't hurt. Really, I think it's an opportunity for the universe to keep me at my word. I said I would be there for a year and it was 14 months, so God-or somebody- was like- remember what you said?? Your year is up!! Out you go!!! So, for the next two weeks I get to REALLY really cash in on some jokes like if I'm a minute late, "What are they gonna do? FIRE ME??" or if somebody asks if I want anything from CVS, I can say "YEAH! A JOB!" Ha ha. So. If you need a marvellously talented, brilliant, gorgeous new employee that you can pay a lot to work not so much (or you know someone else who does) tell them about me! Or tell me about them! Please, no waitressing positions at Waffle House. Been there, done that.
In the meantime, my dear co-worker is starting to organize a canned food drive for our family Thanksgiving- send the succotash! And now, excuse me, I have to go clean out that beautiful new desk.