Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Seven days

Friday, September 7, 10:35 a.m.

“Heather, when you have a minute, could you stop by my office?”

“Sure thing, let me dump this at my desk,” I say, dragging the booth and other crap in from a two-day user group conference in Schaumburg.

I didn’t really want to drive into the office that morning. It would’ve been much easier to head straight home from the show and take the rest of the day off – especially since I’d worked 12+ hours the day before, staying late for an inane nerd-ridden networky thing.

I plop down in his office with the Mac on my lap like always, fully expecting to hear about some new idea or direction or project that I’ll have to spend part of my weekend making happen for Monday.

It didn’t go that way. And I can’t share what he said because of the severance agreement.

But I was unexpectedly out of a job. Let go. Axed. Fired. RIF’d. Pink-slipped.

For the first time in my life.

It was unbelievably fucked up. It made no sense.

Knocked me on my ass.
Saturday, September 8, 1:05 p.m.

I drive to the office again, this time to clean out my desk.

I park illegally out front of the Opera House daring the gods to ticket or tow me. Surely I’m worthy of a little mercy at this point.

Insult to injury: Someone has STOLEN the un-opened fifth of Jack Daniels hidden behind some software on my shelf. It was a Christmas gift from one of the sales reps – destined to be tapped on a yet to be determined Special Occasion. Unbelievable.

I'm in and out in less than 15 minutes with just a pause to contemplate peeing on someone’s desk.

I forego going. No point pissing off (or on) the gods in this fragile karmic condition.

Back out front – no tickets, no tows – and I’m gone-daddy-gone from that infernal office forever.
Wednesday, September 12, 6:32 p.m.

“So how was your day?” Jim asks, fresh home from work.

“I’m unemployed,” I say from the couch. “And drowning my sorrows in The Devil Wears Prada and peanut butter.”

“Well,” he says, wiggling his eyebrows. “I’ve got a JOB for you. Doesn’t pay much…”
Friday, September 14, 11 a.m.

A good first interview gives my withering self-esteem a smallish boost but the blisters keep me sequestered for the rest of the weekend.
Monday, September 17, 7:37 p.m.

Me: Still in my pajamas, no shower, attached to the couch.

“How was today?” Jim asks, but he already knows based on my appearance.

“Nothing,” I say. “Nothing. Even the people I thought for sure would call, didn’t.”

“Do I need to keep you away from sharp objects?” he asks.
Tuesday, September 18, 12:35 p.m.

A good second interview. A three-on-one situation (shut it, you) and I’m cool under pressure.

“Thanks for coming in again,” says Jeff, a partner with the firm. “We’ll call you soon to talk about next steps.”

We do the thank-you dance but after two and a half hours on the hot seat I can’t think of much but the fact that I’ve gotta PEE. RIGHT. NOW.

Stopping off at the old office for a well-placed pee stop pops into my head. But karma keeps me proper and on the potty.

“Could you point me to the restrooms please?” I ask, walking out.

“You need a key; let me get it for you.”

I walk back to return the key and that same partner is waiting for me in the lobby.

“Walk with me, Heather,” he says.


I follow him back down the hallway to the hot seat in the conference room. Same three guys. They're smiling.

“We want to hire you. When can you start?”
Half of Friday. Five business days, plus Monday. Half of yesterday.

And I have a job. A great opportunity. Starting October 1.

Seven business days.

It’s gotta be some kind of record.

Especially with all of the sobbing and sulking and mulling and moping in between.

It’s gotta be.
I meet Jim the IT Guy for lunch at Bar Louie in Printer’s Row after the interview. It's the first time I’ve seen him since the Friday I was fired.

Apparently I’m not the only one who is confused about why this happened.

“We still don’t understand it,” he says. “It makes no sense. Listen, my analogies are never good, but I know you’ll understand this: Firing you was like dumping a chick that gives phenomenal head. You just don’t do it. Ever."

“That’s IT!” I say, laughing/choking on my second celebratory Jack & Coke. “That explains why I was fired! I didn't SUCK!”

Definitely something to keep in mind for the next job. Or not.
I am listening to: The Killers – Read My Mind
I am reading: Harry Potter 6
And I am: Employed!


msmoo1 said...

Celebrate good times - come on!!

And so a new chapter starts..I can’t wait to read the book!

Now will you come out and play?


Mom said...

Oh so proud of you Hedy!!! No need to follow in Monica's foot steps. You are smart, hard working, dedicated, and to top it all off very pretty. I realize all this is coming out of the mouth of your mother, but anyone who knows you will & has said the same. Give Hedy a job, and without a wink of the eye she is full steam ahead. You gave your life to that place,(Jim & I both saw it), and where did it get you. Also you forgot to mention 2 weeks before the assholes let you go, you & Jim hosted the company party,(requested by them)at your house, to the tune of 100 people.To put it in your words Hedy, FUCK'EM. Bigger & better days ahead. Love you, Mudder

msmoo1 said...

Way to go "FUCK'EM" Mom - now we know where Hedy gets her spark from...and it was for free!

not far from the tree

Hedy said...

Thanks for all the support over the past week. It was a silly situation and I'm so glad to be moving on.

Posolxstvo said...

I am impressed, but not surprised. you are a (semmingly) capable person and the market is pretty sweet.

But I am a little disappointed that you didn't take my advice to pursue journalism school. Oh well. Bills to pay, lifestyle to maintain. Blah blah blah.

You best not be slacking off on this here blog shit, pal.

DewMama said...

It's a good thing ya had to pee, huh??!!

Dave said...

Now that all has ended well and all, I'm a bit disappointed. Even with a non-disclosure, I thought I have at least a couple of weeks ennui filled prose.

One sided arguments with Gromit in which you just sat there sulking, not responding to his well intentioned, but smothering aphorisms.

A post after the IT guy called and told you you'd been replaced by the fake email address consultant chick, he thought, because there was sucking and then there was sucking.

The statute of limitations on breach of contract tends to be four or six years, depending on the state. I'm waiting.


Hedy said...

"There's sucking and then there's sucking."

Thanks, Dave for the new banner under HedyBlog.

Gromit, while quick with the well-intentioned aphorism, was mostly about "SHE'S HOME AGAIN, I REALLY WISH SHE'D SHOWER ONCE IN A WHILE, BUT HEY I GET SCRATCHES!" Thanks so much for making me laugh at this whole thing.

Dave said...

I knew I should have patented or copyrighted or trademarked (I never took Intellectual Property in law school) that phrase.


Much Congratulations on your new gig! You deserve it-and then some.

Perhaps a landscaping bill forwarded to your former firm advising THEM of the damage their selfish feet and wooden bags did to your lawn.