Saturday, April 18, 2009
A New Chapter
This evening marks a new chapter in my my life. Only a few minutes ago, I completed submitting my application for Unemployment Compensation Benefits. Yes, I have become another statistic in this economy, an unemployed husband and dad. I received that special folder from HR this past Friday telling me that my 14 years with the same employer have come to an end. Not with fanfare, not with a military flyover, but with a nice severance package and a slight hope that if business picks up, perhaps I might get a call to come back.
I'd seen this coming for a while now. The economy sucks, the industry sucks. I can't fault my former company for this. Everyone's heard the same stories over and over on the news lately. As cutbacks approached, I put myself in my boss' shoes many times and usually came up with the same conclusion he did. So there I was. On the deck in the middle of a Friday afternoon, enjoying an Oktoberfest. Ironic, since October is when the benefits run out.
Perhaps I'm an idiot. Perhaps I'm in shock. But the fact is, I'm a bit giddy about this. While I haven't done a lick of job hunting in 14 years, and the last copy of my resume is so yellowed that it resembles the Gettysburg Address, I'm frankly excited by this opportunity. I've got a chance to go out and find that new life, form new goals, and take on new opportunities. Since it's only been a day, I'm going to ignore all those horror stories about people getting laid off throughout the country and being unable to find jobs, and I'm going to go with the expectation that one way or another I will manage a successful outcome to this new adventure. And guess what. You're coming along for the ride.
Like I said, this is a new chapter in life and parenthood, and it's certainly a good excuse for some meaningful blogfodder. No, you're not going to see anything flaming my former company or coworkers here, I've got too much respect for the folks there and not enough stupidity to do something like that. Instead, I think this will be a good opportunity to map out the adventure, perhaps clue some folks in on what it's like to be free from The Man for (hopefully just a few) months, and get reconnected with my wife, kids, and life outside the office. Oh, and if you're hiring, let me know. I work for food.