That’s right folks, I am unemployed again. Last Friday morning my bosses asked me to come up to the conference room. I thought I was in trouble for talking about inappropriate things at work (bestiality, necrophilia, parasites, whether or not a gerbil went up Richard Geer’s rectum, etc.). After I sat down one of my bosses got to the point, which I appreciate, and said they had to let me go. I thought it was a joke at first, but no one was laughing and both of them looked very serious. We shook hands, I went back downstairs, said goodbye and hugged a few people, then went home.
When I got home I immediately called and emailed almost everyone I know to see if I could find some work. I was in shock, so I was in a good mood because it hadn’t hit me yet. Late Saturday evening it finally hit me and I felt like shit. I drove around in the rain for a bit and then went to bed. I slept in really late the next morning. I felt much better when I finally woke up. Ever since then I’ve just been staying busy to stave off boredom.
It’s weird, two years ago to the day I was laid off from my last job. Luckily, I’m in better shape than last time: I’m not alone, I have a better network of friends and colleagues, my living expenses will be going down soon, I have a better idea of what I want to do, and having been laid off before I know the routine.
This time I wasn’t laid off because some ass clown spammed a bunch of MySpace users, was caught, and slapped with a multi-million dollar lawsuit that drove the parent company I worked for out of business. No, I was laid off for the same reason everyone many others have been: the economy sucks and times are tough. The way things looked I knew someone was going to be laid off, but I didn’t think I’d be the first to go. (One of my coworkers, the newest designer they hired, was also let go a few minutes after me). I wish I knew more about the economy, but I failed economics in high school (by a fraction of a point), which prevented me from getting a diploma and is why I have a GED (Good Enough Degree).
I don’t know what I’m going to do, other than go on unemployment. I’l figure something out. For now, I’m just going to enjoy my vacation and not panic. The last time I was laid off turned out to be a good thing because I was burnt out and needed a change. Maybe this time will be a good thing too and I’ll finally find my dream job: working for myself doing odd jobs and ditch that annoying zombie routine of working from nine to five in an office. I know being a free agent is tough and unpredictable, but I think I’d like it. I’d be able to spend more time with Magpie.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know has any work that I’d be interested in, please contact me.
Exactly one year ago, I got laid… ahem, laid off that is, from my job as art director of Computer Games Magazine when it shutdown due to reasons I’m still not sure about. I worked there for three and a half years; I was ready to leave after two years — I was very unhappy, burnt out, and creatively suffocated. Plus, although I loved doing editorial design, I had no interest in computer or video games.
Thinking of this reminded me how miserable I was at this time last year. In addition to getting laid off, I had fallen for someone — a very rare occurrence — and then… let’s just say I’m an idiot, an easily confused idiot. Also, a condition I’ve had my entire life was hitting me hard (made worse by the other two events). My future was frighteningly blank and I felt very alone — boo-fucking-hoo.
The first couple of weeks were the hardest — I didn’t leave my apartment for a week. I spent most of my time pacing around my apartment, watching TV, and just (over)thinking. I wasn’t eating, smoked way too much, and was tempted to use crutches. I felt like a total loser. It’s a miracle I made it out alive.
My friends and family were very supportive, alas, I’m stubborn and refuse help. A couple people in particular were very helpful: my dad, who went through something similar at the same age, helped a great deal; and a friend sent me job leads, dropped my name, and helped in other ways. I have yet to find a way to express my gratitude to either of them.
I eventually picked myself up by my bootstraps. I realized that getting laid off was a good thing. It allowed me to take time off and collect myself. I realized if I wanted to be content, I’d have stop worrying about failure or embarrassment and just do what I felt passionate about.
Even though some feelings haven’t waned and I’ll always have to deal with my condition (I’m still learning about both and getting better at dealing with them), these days are much better. Some of it has to do with getting my work out of my workroom and into the world (virtually and physically). I don’t have a huge ego that needs to be caressed (I’ve been told I don’t have one at all). I simply like knowing my work is being seen and possibly enjoyed. Also, having a job I like makes life a lot more tolerable, especially when the work is steady, projects vary, it’s interesting, and coworkers are pleasant to work with. Since I’ve been there, I’ve become a better designer: more skilled, more confident, and clearer in my thinking. I can further myself there, unlike my last job where there was no where to go.
I’m still working on getting myself out there, but I tend to keep to myself and just don’t have time to meet people. I have met a few people I enjoy being around and vice versa. Unfortunately, I still don’t know anyone I can call to come over to do nothing or help me with a project (right now for example, I need bodies to trace and photograph).
I don’t want to get all mushy and optimistic, but I have a feeling good things will happen in the next year. Of course, in 10 minutes, an hour, or two weeks I might have the feeling everything is going to fall apart, but I’ll deal with that then. Right now, I want to enjoy the good feeling.