Tuesday December 2, 2008
Thanks to my day of unconsciousness on Monday, my internal clock was all screwed up and I spent a lot of that night awake and repeatedly thinking "now what?" So, when I forced my sore eyes open Tuesday morning, I was profoundly tired. But I had done this before. I knew all too well that sleep is the enemy of the unemployed. You sleep until 9:00. Then 10:00. Okay, 10:30. Before you know it, you're barely functional before Noon, and still padding about in your PJs and Rocky The Flying Squirrel slippers until just before your wife gets home from work. I adore sleep, and I almost rationalized my way into another hour of it, but the voices kicked in.
It starts with my own voice. "Get up. Get up, you loser. Get up!"
(snooze snooze snooze)
The next voice is the wretched camp counselor from Camp Campingston Falls Summer Camp For The Performing Arts, from the "Camp" (one more "camp" won't kill us, will it?) episode of "Home Movies." It sneers "Get it together, Rabbit Troop," and then there's a kid's voice taunting "Rabbit Troop sucks!" What? Yes. Yes, I do watch a lot of cartoons. Have you seen television lately?
Time to bring out the Big Guns. Bambi's father. Yep. I try to cover my head with my pillow, but it's no use, as the big guy is in my head. "Get up, Bambi. Bambi, get up. GET UP. GET UP, Bambi. GET UP!!!" I don't know about you, but I don't care too much for being called Bambi. Plus, that buck sounded scary as hell.
So I got up. Normally, on Day Two -- How sad is it that I get laid off frequently enough that there's a routine for Day Two? A lot sad, would be my estimate. Anyway, normally this is the day for calling and emailing everyone to find out what the hell happened, for updating my accounts and search agents on Monster, CareerBuilder etc. and for scouring the boards for jobs and firing off a bunch of résumés. I usually also call my friends at the temp agency.
This Day Two was different, as this entire journey through joblessness has been (and is to this day). Having had a very early heads-up from Boss Lady, I had spent many months saving all the cash I could, and between that and the better-than-expected severance package she and our nice Controller got me, I wasn't going to be in financial trouble for at least a couple of months. That took a lot of the usual panic away. Also, having seen this one coming for so many months, including 75 days of official notice, there was no reeling to put a stop to. This trip down unemployment lane was also my first with professional recruiters, but those initial meetings had already taken place in October and November.
Bottom line: There was less to do than usual. I checked in with my fellow expendables and recruiters, sent out a résumé or two, stepped on the scale for the first time in too long (yikes!), packed away my workplace stuff after trashing half of it (how many company mugs does a non-coffee-drinker need, anyway?) and I organized some closets. It was very therapeutic.
I was planning on more or less taking December off, and this was the perfect start. It was sunny and 40 degrees, but winter was coming. I could feel it.