Doing the internet personals thing is weird. I've mentioned this before, right? What with all the actual old-fashioned going-out-on-dates one has to do? It's like getting set up on a blind date by your cousin, except your cousin is a poorly-designed web portal who asks a lot of lame questions. At least having to try to explain to a stranger who I am, in an hour or less, has made me much more comfortable in job interviews. And that's a skill I'll need, since tomorrow is my first day of official unemployment.
My to-do list for Monday:
Wake up sobbing
Buy cat food
Apply for unemployment
Have panic attack
Go to Post Office, mail off eBay items
Eat nothing but egg rolls
Look for jobs on craigslist and mediabistro
Stare at the boxes of crap taken from my office
Make more shrinky-dink earrings for dandie
And so on. Tuesday should be a little less grim, since a group of recently-canned coworkers are gathering to watch Ugly Betty and eat take-out all day. After that, the future opens up before me as an endless black void. And it's cold out there. So very, very cold.
Getting laid off due to downsizing is kind of nice in the way that getting to be at your own funeral is kind of nice. Sure, you're dead, and therefore no longer an active player in the story of your life (or career). But if you're lucky, like I am, you hear a lot of people saying a lot of genuinely nice things about you that you wouldn't have otherwise heard. You may be surprised at who comes to the funeral; there might be people you thought had forgotten about you. A few people you thought you might see won't show up at all. For the most part, I've felt incredibly supported, both with words of wisdom and with job leads. I still haven't used all of my networking contacts. I might feel differently when my severance pay is about to run out (late January) but for now I feel great. Terrified, but pretty hopeful, and determined to make the most out of this time of forced semi-retirement from the working world.