Just like the people who run turkey farms, my company decided that to turn a profit they needed to chop some heads before Thanksgiving.
It turns out I’m one of those heads, and I have to tell you, I may just skip the bird this year, out of sheer fellow-feeling.
When I got in to work this morning, they were celebrating someone’s 20th anniversary. The security administrator had brought in doughnuts and muffins and, as usual, everyone was encouraging me to have some. Because of a wheat allergy, I don’t eat that stuff – it gives me gas – eye-watering, room-clearing, bio-hazardous gas. So, as usual, I declined.
We had thought the layoff might come today, because earlier in the week someone had noticed that our HR rep’s calendar was completely blocked today.
At 9:00 o’clock my boss came by to say he’d been called into a mandatory meeting in the CEO’s office at 9:30, so he was pretty sure he was gone.
At 9:37, we noticed his truck was no longer in the parking lot, so I ran a search against Active Directory and, sure enough, his name came up deleted. As we were sitting around, grumbling about how much that sucks, I refreshed my screen, and there was my name, also marked as deleted.
This made me start laughing, because I have an inappropriate sense of humor (more about that some other time) and my co-worker said, crossly, “That’s nothing to joke about.” I assured him that I wasn’t joking.
You know, I kind of wanted to get riffed, because I wanted more time to write (in addition to this blog, I have a novel I’m working on, and another that I shoved in the drawer a few years ago and have been meaning to get back to. And ideas for a couple more). And I knew my husband and I really couldn’t afford for me to just quit, but if I got laid off, between my severance package and unemployment, it might buy me enough time to establish a writing career that I could later supplement with a part-time job.
But as I was laughing, I was also feeling shock. You know how, when you strike a gong, the vibrations spread outward in waves? That’s how it felt – like someone had slammed a sledgehammer against my chest, and the reverberations were radiating out to my fingers and toes.
I took a couple of deep breaths, then packed up my desk and waited for them to walk me out.
And all I could think was, I should have eaten the muffin.