Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Failure of the Day: What It's Not About

There are 2 ways to look at what happened yesterday.
  • I got $20K cash, a 2-week vacation, and a 30% pay increase.
  • I got laid off.
Both are true. Well, one of them is true for sure, and the other one is what I think is the jist of the situation. I am pretty sure of it, actually, but there is what I think, and what people are allowed to tell me, and there's no overlap between the two at all. There was a lot of "You know that thing we talked about last month? Well, we're not allowed to mention that right now." during my Big Meeting yesterday. So things are expressly not about what they are about right now, and that puts my brain in a bit of an awkward position, because it likes things to be about what they are about.

I've never been laid off before. I've been fired, but I've never just had my position eliminated. It's like the waiter clearing your plate while you're still eating. You're sort of stuck there, all ready with the fork but the food just vanishes. Except that's not entirely right either; the cooks are still back there making more food, and someone has to eat it, but if it's going to be me, I'm going have to eat it in a different way going forward. And to get back to what it's not about, the different way pays more. Presumably.

It's also a lot like going to your own funeral in that people spend the whole day talking about how awesome you are. Four and a half years there and no one ever told me I was awesome, even though I certainly do exceptionally good work. It's just not an atta boy kind of place. But yesterday, around a dozen people were on the verge of full-blown panic at the thought of having to trudge through the workflow without me. Even though we all on some level assume that I will be back in fairly short order, in some capacity or other. And so again, we all spent the day reacting to a situation that we all more or less believed was not actually going to turn out to be the situation. I mean, jesus, is it any wonder I'm a little bit nutso today?

For now, I am treating with liberal amounts of frozen yogurt and cable movies. Who knows what tomorrow will be about... or not about.

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