Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What to Do When You Get Laid Off

Surge from your chair like Shamu breaching the surface of the show pool at Sea World and grab the edge of your desk, forcing them to peel your fingers loose.

Ask your boss: "Is this because I caught you doing the nasty with that blonde from the mailroom?"

Haggle over the severance package. Compare it to mythical packages from other companies.

Deface the framed poster that lists the company's core values with the single word "Bullshit" scrawled in dry erase marker.

Sing "Zippedee-doo-dah" at the top of your lungs as you pack your stuff. Bellow the part that goes, "My, oh, my, what a wonderful day!"

Make up a rap song about the HR lady and serenade her, complete with simulated turntable noises.

Do Brando in Streetcar, dropping to your knees and wailing your CEO's name.

Shout: "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I'm free at last!" as you exit the building.

Stop at a bar on the way home and knock back a shot of Jack Daniels with a beer chaser at ten in the morning, thinking about your family history of alcoholism -- what better time to exploit that legacy than now?

Visualize what the department will be like for those left behind. Picture them posting a sign that says, "Take a Number: 50. Now Serving: 3."

Imagine a scenario where your boss realizes he made a mistake and calls you and begs you to come back, giving you a raise by way of apology.

Make a deal with God that if he'll just let this not be true, you'll start tithing like you promised.

Think about the woman who was laid off in the last restructuring. She had nine years of experience and an MBA and she's now working as a telemarketer.

Pull into your driveway promptly at 5:23 like nothing's wrong.

Go through the motions of eating dinner, gnawing your way through meatloaf that morphs into granite when it hits your stomach.

Notice that your daughter's front teeth are starting to overlap and think about your dental insurance, which expires at midnight.

Listen, for the umpteenth time, as your wife brings up the Caribbean cruise she's been lobbying for.

Tell her everything is fine until your voice becomes brittle and too loud and she falls silent.

See the look on her face when she comes back from the garage and realize she's seen the box perched on your back seat, and she knows, she knows.

Tutor your son on the impact of the Monroe Doctrine on current events and wonder where you get off teaching him anything when it's clear that if you knew your ass from a hole in the ground you'd still be employed.

Watch "CSI” until the kids are packed off to bed and it's just you and her, staring at each other.

Sit beside your wife on the couch and hold her as she cries and tell her you love her, and it'll be okay, and you'll figure something out.

(Author's Note: I wrote this several years ago, after an earlier round of cuts, when we laid off a guy who had three kids with Muscular Dystrophy, all chairbound.)


  1. As the day after Thanksgiving begins, Mr. Horton wanted Ms. Raisy to know that he has contacted at least 40 plus people via e-mail and word of mouth. He is unsure about whether or not his posts are received. This is kind of a test message. Is it approved?

  2. I think I tried everything on the list, or at least strongly considered all.


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