Posted by: Kate | January 8, 2009


I don’t like to post personal news items here before talking to Willem, because it seems weird for him to learn something totally new via my blog.  But he left his phone at home today, and thus I can’t reach him, and therefore if he gets a shock from reading this, perhaps it will serve as a reminder to bring his phone with him in the mornings.  (And, to be fair, he very rarely forgets it – so the timing is exquisite.)

I get several emails in my inbox every day, from job-search robots.  Even though I have pretty well reached a point of comfort around the idea of not getting another job until after we move to Massachusetts – in five months, now – I can’t quite bring myself to stop checking local listings.  Who knows, perhaps there will be a four-month listing, maybe as a school psychologist just until the end of the semester, that I can jump in, earn some money, and then leave guiltlessly in a few months.  Otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense to me to sign on for a job right now, knowing I’ll be leaving so soon.  You’re barely done with training and orientation by that point, and it feels underhanded to not tell them (which I wouldn’t) that I was planning to move.

So, I had pretty well wrapped my head around it.  I would throw myself into home repairs and real estate searches, read up on the process of opening a B&B, and generally focus on the future, and just wait for the present to tick away.  Willem has kicked his job search into high gear, and so I had been sliding into a role of being supportive and running the household and generally feeling more at ease with my own circumstances.

But I still kept getting those emails, and I still kept reading them.

And so I suppose it’s fair enough, today, that I got such a kick in the throat, to open my email and see my old position listed.

The one I was laid off from in November.

The one that I thought I did a damn good job at, even when the coworkers and politics made me fear for my own sanity.

Oh, it hurt.

It hurt that no one called me to ask me to come back.  It hurt that I didn’t know they were going to hire again so quickly.  It hurt that it’s already being advertised publicly, instead of trying to hire in-house and leaving me and my awareness out of it.

I’ve already worked through some of the more personal/hysterical parts of my reaction, mostly by calling two of my former coworkers.  Perfect J, as always, put on her asshat and was singularly unhelpful and opinionless, and I knew as soon as the phone connected that I had wasted my time calling her.  If anything, she’s likely to sabotage my return, just out of her own sense of personal guilt; after all, she knew I was being laid off before I did, because she’s the one who took my position.  But then I called P, formerly of the Sanctimonious brand but in recent months – even before I had been laid off – was seeming to relax.  I think he will always be somewhat aloof, but a series of problems and tragedies in his life led him to loosen up around me, just enough to convince me that it was, indeed, aloofness and not a sense of holier-than-Kate.  So, I called him, and he talked to me for half an hour.  I can’t remember all of the conversation – this wil serve as a shock to Willem and some others, because normally I have a near-eidetic memory for spoken conversation and can use this memory skill to win almost any argument – but I was still reeling when I dialed his number.  I do remember two main things that he said to me: “I think you should apply for the job, right away,” and “If it was up to me, I would hire you back.”

Uggggggghhhhhhhh.  Thanks, but uuuggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.

So now I have to decide what to do.  And sooner rather than later, so as to be in a timely applicant pool.  I do have a call into the HR woman, with a message to the effect of, “I just wanted to make sure there was no official, personnel-file reason why I should not apply for this position before I do so.”  I already know the answer to this – no, there is nothing officially wrong with me or how I did the job, because if there was, the company could have told that to the Unemployment Office in order to stop or reduce my unemployment benefits.  And the more former employees that collect unemployment, the more it costs the company, so it is to their benefit to trash-talk me given the opportunity.  But I want to raise their awareness of me before I send in my resume, so that they have the chance to save me and themselves some time if there’s some nasty, lurking, conspiracy-theory subtext that I was unaware of.

Did I mention uuuuugggggghhhhhhhhh?  Because I really, really mean it.

This shouldn’t hurt like this.  I know I’m overpersonalizing; my former coworkers, at least the two I spoke with today, knew that the company was thinking of rehiring but didn’t know it had reached the point of public advertisement.  So their failure to call, or write, or send Christmas cards, that’s just because I was a coworker, out of sight, out of mind, nothing personal.  It’s a lesson I plan to take with me through life: that calling a laid-off colleague won’t actually feel like flaunting your continued employment, but will feel like a moment of true, human compassion and is worth doing even if it’s hard.

But it does hurt, because it does.  Because it means two months of completely reasonless misery, for so many people other than myself, when I could have told them they couldn’t function on one fewer full-time employee.  Because I thought I did a damn good job, in fact I know I did, and yet not good enough for them to seek me out right away.  Because I want to be seen as something special, not as expendable and replaceable.

Seriously, all together now: uuuuggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.



  1. Awwww Kate – that sucks for you. See? That’s the kind of shit that happens when we let dumbasses run things.

    *sending mucho positive energy*

  2. Uuuuuugggggghhhhh on your behalf!

  3. oy what a mess.

  4. Any chance the bastards re-listed the job because they knew you were planning to move in 5 months and just assumed you wouldn’t be interested? Still, they could have given you a courtesy call.

    Sounds like you’re going through a divorce of sorts.

    I hate each and every one of them for you.



  6. What a waste of time and energy for everyone, but most of all for you. It sucks.

    A hearty UGHHHHHHHH from me.

  7. Call them, get the job back, work for 5 months, give them 2weeks notice when you’re damned good and ready to roll to Mass and start the new life. Leave them in a lurch on your way out and feel smugly confidnet that they are going to have to deal with a monsterous search entirley anew when you drop them like a rag-doll. Serves them right, do and do it with a huge smile.

  8. Those fuckers…ugggh.



  10. Joining in the chorus … uuuuggggghhhhh.

    That’s just wrong, and just when you were starting to feel better about the situation. I hope it doesn’t sound immature to say that you don’t need them and you’re better than them … because you are.

  11. I agree screw ’em back!!! Get the joband then leave them in 5 months!!! what a bunch of idiots and all the other things that the have been called. I am so sorry that this whole thing feels so personal especially when you were moving on. Hang in there babe!

  12. Dude. Ugh, indeed.

  13. wow! Aren’t they supposed to call you back after a layoff like that, rather than posting it again? Does this give you grounds for a wrongful dismissal suit? Not that you have the energy for that…

    Good luck deciding what to do-my vote is with everyone else who has said screw em!

  14. What complete and total nicompoops! someone needs to be slapped!

  15. oh Kate….

    I’m sorry that this happened…wish I were closer to hug you in person.

  16. They are giant poo-poo heads, and I wish on them bad dandruff.

  17. Oh Kate – those asswipes. That is just really sucky…and seems unfair that you wouldn’t have been the first person on their list to call back when the position re-opened.

  18. Uuuuugh. That really does stink.

  19. […] Do Not Go Gently I’m a bit better now. […]

  20. Uuuuggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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