This is so much on my mind right now. As some know, I was laid off from my job back in March. I took it pretty well, this being the third time now I’ve been through this. I knew the struggle to find a new job awaited me, but deep down inside somewhere I welcomed being freed from the tyranny of Corporate America.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my job, my co-workers, and my boss. The environment was pleasant enough, the pay, while not great, was sufficient. And in 2 1/2 years there I never once dreaded going in in the morning. I never had those Sundays that were ruined by the thought of the inevitable arrival of Monday. The only thing that got me down about this lay-off was the idea that I would not end up in such a good atmosphere again. It was pure luck to land in that situation and I know it and am grateful. I’ve been in the other place so I really do know how fortunate I was this time. Despite all that, as an introvert, the idea of having to deal with people all day long exhausts me. But society has no use for introverts.
As fate would have it, I came down with a nasty flu the week following the lay-off. It was that lingering flu that seemed to hang on for a month when anyone caught it. The first week I was just flat on my back in bed, hardly even ate. So I had that excuse for not beginning the job search right away. I thought at the time that if I’d still been employed they would have had to put me on short-term disability. I got a little severance from the job to tide me over so I had some time to pull myself together, though not as much as I would have liked.
Now I am on the dole, drawing unemployment (received first check yesterday, May 18). The longer I’m away from Corporate America, the happier I am. As much as I’m a creature of habit, I. Am. Tired. Of. It.
I am, however, dutifully applying to jobs as required by the Employment Dept., but I admit I have no enthusiasm for it. I don’t know how anyone can have enthusiasm for some of these awful jobs. I don’t want to spend my days creating Powerpoint presentations for a marketing department because I really don’t care what they’re selling. I don’t want to answer phones and listen to angry customers. I don’t want to sort and distribute mail. I don’t want to take meeting minutes. So much of what people do is useless drudgery. And yet, we must eat so off we go.
I am tired of trying to pretend I fit in with corporate culture. I’ve never managed to pick up the corporate jargon that comes so easily to others (“ask” as a noun, for instance). I put on my happy face in the office, when really all I wanted was to be home writing. I despise the conformist attire as much as the attitude. If I showed up in the office dressed like Stevie Nicks circa 1978 with my Tarot cards and crystals, I’m pretty sure they’d have a problem. Conform conform conform. I used to risk wearing my pentacle or goddess pendant in the office because I figured most of them would never know what either one was.
Am I old enough to be a crazy old lady now? Probably not quite. But I may yet decide to run around dressed like Stevie Nicks anyway. This is Portland, after all.