Posted by: Kate | November 18, 2008

Hanging in

I need a phrase. Something to respond to the ever-present, “How are you?” accompanied by the sympathetic head tilt and deep, grievous sigh.  I’ve been using, “Oh, hanging in there,” because I don’t want to lie and say I’m fine but I also don’t want to act like I’m wallowing in the depths of misery.

The truth is, I’m over the initial shock and am, in fact, hanging in there.  I cried this morning because it’s Tuesday and I should have been going to work.  I had the added bonus, this morning, of not only crying but of having absolutely no dignity whatsoever in the process… Willem poked his head in the bathroom as I was about to get in the shower and asked if I was OK, I started to answer in the negative and immediately started to blubber.  He was on his way to drop the kids off at school, so he was fully dressed including shoes and jacket, I was au naturel.  There’s nothing quite like a big, comforting hug whilst the two participants are on the opposite end of the clothedness spectrum.

But otherwise, I’m truly doing better today.  I’ve started writing lists and prioritizing errands, and am beginning to develop a semblance of a long-term plan.  I’m still easily distracted and find it difficult to concentrate on much of anything for more than a few minutes at a time, but I expect that to pass.

I have not yet gone to the unemployment office, but I think I have a reasonably legitimate reason to putting it off: I have a job interview set up for Thursday.  It’s for precisely the same position I just left, in a county north of here.  Much more of a commute for me, but otherwise it sounds like a short learning-curve, and after speaking with the director of Emergency Services this morning (Can you imagine?  They actually have a director, instead of just having the COO of the company sit in on staff meetings and call herself a supervisor!), I’m reasonably optimistic.  It sounds like they’ve been advertising for the position for a while and have not had any takers, which is not a surprise given how sparsely populated that area of the state is when it’s not Bike Week.  It’s a part-time position to start, with the option of expanding into full-time after a few months, which is really about as perfect a solution as possible.

So, I’ll drive up on Thursday, and we’ll see what happens.  I’m still not certain I want to hurry right back to work, but the want-ad sort of fell into my lap on Friday afternoon and I was able to apply with minimal effort on my part, so it would be stupid not to follow it through.

I also stopped by the former company’s headquarters today to pick up two letters: one a simple, two-line confirmation that I have lost my job effective Friday due to budget cuts, and the other a generic, “To Whom it May Concern” recommendation letter from Supervisor N.  It’s well-written and just effusive enough to make her look a little bit stupid for firing me in the first place.

I met my dad for lunch today – horrible that it takes both of us being involntarily unemployed to spur on a get-together, but nice to see him.  He’s been down this road several, several times, and knows the right things to say, plus he just gives good hugs.  I received an anonymous gift certificate for yesterday; funny, in the online world, that I know the first and last name of the giver but don’t know her username/email address, so I can’t offer a better thank-you than an acknowledgment here that it was so generous and so well-timed, and I’ve already placed an order and smile every time I think about it.  And right this second, I’m heating up a baked stuffed fish dish that Gretchen brought over yesterday, and it smells delicious.

So, there is goodness in the world still, and the potential for more.  And I have to admit, if I end up getting hired at this other place within a week of getting laid off, I will have officially had the lamest period of unemployment ever.

This would be OK with me.


  1. Kate, good luck with the interview. I sense some “upbeatness” in your post. That’s great to “hear”.

    Hope the hugs keep coming your way…and, a job, too.

  2. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this new job will happen. You might even love the bosses and co-workers! Anything to make the commute worthwhile is good!

  3. Long-distance hugs have been beaming up to you over the last several days. Hopefully, the vibes will continue to work! I’ll be thinking of you especially on Thursday.

    As for euphemisms, I’ve found that “surviving” is a good one…it doesn’t minimize the crap you’ve been dealing with, but if spoken with the right tinge of sarcasm, is enough to get people to drop the head-tilting.

  4. Good luck with the job… and assuming they’ll hire you (who wouldn’t… let’s be serious 😉 ) you could always ask for a couple weeks before you start to give you a little more time to get your head together.

    You’re definitely sounding more chipper. Hugs!

  5. Back in my younger days when I didn’t have so much to lose, I walked out on a job… I just couldn’t work there another minute. I was out of work for precisely four days. I felt a little cheated that I didn’t have more time to loaf! LOL. But, it was the right thing at the right time and it was a great match – I hope your interview on Thursday is just as perfect… it sounds like a wonderful opportunity!

  6. I wasn’t even unemployed one day. Got laid off on a Monday, freaked out that afternoon, had an interview the next morning at 9. At the end of the interview she told me I was hired. 🙂

  7. I can’t help it “git’er dun”. (no need to smack the back of my head in an upward swiping motion, I’ve delivered the blow myself). Best of luck getting the new gig.

  8. OMG. I missed a few posts. Crap. What a set of days. Been there done that. Sucks and has the ability and does tend to make you feel worthless. I worked for a company for 8.5 years and was laid off. Then my dog died and my mom disowned me (we emailed about her before)all within two weeks of that. Since you don’t have a dog no worries there. Since you have a MIL that is much like my mom, I raising a glass in toast and hope that the same will happen. Smile. Yes I have been that blubbering mess, melted to the bottom of the bathtub with a sweet husband asking are you ok. Sure just peachy a part of my identity just got taken away – be with you in five. Hello. It sucks. No it’s shitty. But you will pull yourself up by your bootstraps and carry on. Why? Because that is what women and mothers do. Hug your kids and appreciate them and while you do that, don’t forget to look yourself in the mirror and say “I love you.” Cheesy as it sounds. It helps. Good luck with your interview.

  9. Good luck on your job interview. I’m confident you’ll knock their socks off with your razor sharp clinical skills, – and that hair! I know it may not sound completely aboveboard, but I’d advise you not to tell them you’re planning to move until you’re really planning to move. Your personal life is really none of their business until it directly impacts them. Just my 2 cents. Have a wonderful day.

  10. good luck for this job

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