Exactly five months ago today, I was issued my walking papers by the company where I had spent the past 13 ½ years. And right now, I feel no closer to gainful employment than I was when I took the PATH train home to Hoboken that fateful day, several hours earlier than anticipated and in a mild state of shock.
If anyone would have told me back on Oct. 2 that I’d still be out of work five months later, I’d have laughed at them. Yet here I am, not appreciating this snow day as much as those folks who actually have jobs to go to.
Every day brings worse news, too: friends and colleagues losing their jobs; companies in my industry imposing massive layoffs; sobering figures about the unemployment rates; my 401k plummeting in value in lockstep with the stock market; and no end in sight.
The occasional glimmer of good news has found its way into my e-mail box. For example, today, one of my former co-workers landed a job that I think is a perfect fit for him. I’m very happy that he wasn’t out of work long (he was a January casualty) and that he’s staying in a field that he’s a bona-fide expert in. The only thing that sucks about it is that it doesn’t help me at all: Even if his new destination is still hiring, I have about as much interest in moving to Washington, D.C., as I do in moving to downtown Baghdad.
My mood isn’t helped by the fact that I’m sick as a dog right now. I haven’t left the house since Friday, and my wanna-be doctor friends have diagnosed my illness as the flu, bronchitis, an upper respiratory infection and walking pneumonia. It actually feels like a combination of the four. This sucks.
Something positive has to happen soon, doesn’t it?