Monday, July 27, 2009

Things that cut into my yarn budget: Downsizing

It's very, very early Monday morning. I slept soundly for a few hours, but around 3:30 I woke up. After almost two hours, I gave up on going back to sleep.

The past four days have been crazy on so many levels.

On Friday I got laid off.

I saw it coming. When I returned to work, I realized I had missed something major the week before. There were a lot of empty seats.

The word was they thought they were done letting people go.

I got sucked into another project with another team when I returned. But I slowly realized my team was doing a lot of finishing, and not enough starting.

And then Thursday, they scheduled a meeting. My supervisor asked if I could come in early (since I still had about a week of part time left.) He seemed way too concerned about everyone being there. Yet he never told us what the meeting was about.

And that's when I knew.

Friday morning I had an appointment to see the doctor about my elbow. (More on that later on.) The practice my family has been going to for years is just minutes from my parents' house. So I had already planned to spend the night there to avoid having to drive across town twice in a row during rush hour.

I wasn't going to say anything to them about it at first. But when Dad asked how work was going, I spilled everything.

We did a lot of talking that night. Maybe I was wrong. Things would be ok if I was right.

When I woke up Friday morning I convinced myself I was working myself up for nothing.

Then I thought they couldn't possibly cut all of us. Maybe I'd be one of the "safe" ones.

I went to the doctor, and headed back up to North Austin. I didn't have to be at work until the meeting (remember, I was still part time.) I didn't want to go home. So I just wandered.

I ended up at Borders, but they didn't open until 10 a.m. So I drove down the road and decided to have a bite to eat at Einstein's Bagels. I sat near two women who were having an intense conversation that seemed to be work related. I almost jumped in and asked them if their company was downsizing like mine. But I kept my mouth shut.

Then I went back to Borders. I set the alarm on my phone so I wouldn't be late, but wouldn't be early enough to be around during the awkward moments before the meeting.

I was too distracted to really read anything. I didn't even go to the knitting section. I wandered around flipping through various books. I considered getting a card to say goodbye. I decided that was premature. I flipped through various self help books. In the humor section I found a bank featuring Lucy from the Peanuts. She was at her famous "Psychiatric Help 5 cents" booth. It would have been a nice edition to my desk.

Ball and Chain by Social Distortion was on the radio on the drive to work. I sang the chorus as loud as I could all the way there.

We were whisked into the meeting almost immediately when I got in. When I saw the HR guy in the room, I knew my fears were confirmed.

The client hadn't renewed it's contract with our company. It was that simple.

After some discussion of the HR stuff, I was the one who broke the awkward silence. I couldn't tell you exactly what I said. Basically that it was nobody's fault, that we all did the best we could and that this company had treated us well. I cried and a box of tissues somehow appeared in front of me.

We aren't completely done. We have one week together as a team. Then there are three optional days in the first week of August, where we can work on a special project. Working these days will allow us to keep our benefits for another month. There is a possibility of being rehired, but we can't count on anything.

However, we were given the rest of Friday off with pay. Most of us ended up at a nearby pub. I was there at least four hours. We played a lot of "Monday morning quarterback." I still maintain that we all did the best we could. I know it sounds a cliche, but it's the economy. It's not personal, and it's not our fault.

I called my Mom and Dad and cried. I called Jules and cried. We went back to Mom and Dad's for dinner. Katie and Aaron were there to support me, and when I hugged them, I cried.

I'm pretty cried out right now. But I still tear up at times.

At times I complained about work. At times I celebrated work. I'm not that worried about getting a job. (Well, I am a little bit.) I'm grieving a loss. I'm attached to that place and the people in it.

But I think the universe is giving me an opening to move on to the next phase of my life.

I'm going back full time a little early. I was pacing myself for a marathon, but now I'm sprinting for the finish line.

Going back to work for the next few days is going to be tough. I may not be at the top of my game this week, but I'm going to do my best. Some may goof off the whole time. Some may not return at all.

But I'm not going out like that.

Now it's time for me to get dressed for work. I have some calls to make.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'd give my left foot for my right elbow

I'm settling into my part time work schedule, with plans to go back full time in the future. Jules is settling into his new job at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, where they make burgers good enough for Obama:

Jules' new job gives me a little more time to myself. It's a good time to try to get my blogging groove back.

Believe it or not, I have been knitting fairly steadily throughout this little break from my normal life. I just haven't documented my knitting here like I normally do. I started an awesome (but top secret) project, and made a lot of progress. And on Thursday, I got my Photogenic Scarf out of my desk at work. I even worked on it during my break.

But in the last week or two, my right elbow's been sore. I found my self putting down my knitting sooner than normal because of the pain.

This pain is completely unrelated to what put me out of work. Knitting (and a little crochet, more on that later) was something I could do while I was out of work. It's been a coping mechanism. But now I think I've done it so much that I've given myself some sort of repetitive stress injury.

If you search for "Knitter's Elbow" there's all sorts of advice, and different descriptions of symptoms. For the time being, I'm just not going to knit until I see my family doctor Friday morning (that was the earliest appointment I can get.) The pain itself isn't that bad, but I don't want to risk having a more serious injury that will hinder my knitting for a longer period of time.

I'm realizing how much I use my elbows, especially my right elbow. (I'm right handed.) Using the computer hurts my elbow some too, but not as bad.

Sleeping, believe it or not, is hard on my elbow. I'm a stomach/side sleeper, and all my most comfortable sleeping positions seem to involve bending my right elbow and putting the weight of my head on it.

I'd draw a diagram, but it would be hard on my elbow.

At least I can work the remote control with my left hand.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Slow and Unsteady

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I haven't had the blog in me for a while now. But I finally found a lolcat that expresses my feelings, and I decided it was time. (Of course, it's an lolcat without a cat, but that's beside the point.)

Tomorrow is my first day back at work since early June. It's time to start living my life again. Slowly. Very slowly. I'm starting by going back part time.

And I'm starting blogging again with a very short entry.