Wednesday, March 18, 2009

“Oh, What I wouldn't give for a holocaust cloak”

So I signed off kinda abruptly last week and, except for the P-I's obit on Tuesday, I haven't written anything since my “Awwww, Damn!” post. There is a reason for this and, continuing a theme, Let me 'splain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Last Wednesday around 11 a.m. I lost my job. Not right then at that exact moment, but for all intents and purposes, I was about to become a statistic the government announces each week.

Long story short(er), I work on a government contract. Since October my company's been rebidding the contract and, after all those months of work, we got underbid by a competitor named after a euphemism for alcohol.

Let's just say I've been in better meetings than the one where our business group president, division V.P. and account lead broke the news. I was seriously concerned for one of my co-workers who's six months pregnant, and it truly hurt to see my production manager trying valiantly not to cry – and not totally succeeding in her efforts.

Mother. Fucker.

Don't know if anyone reading this has ever lost a job, but it's a pretty shitty experience. Everything after “We lost the contract” was pretty meaningless. I worked as a reporter for a long time and I like to think I'm pretty good at telling when someone is either A) bullshitting me, or B) just plain flat out lying their ass off. The first time I heard “Our main concern right now if for you,” (it was actually said about four times in total) I knew that as a group the people I'd worked with for more than three years were pretty much screwed.

That doesn't leave much time for dilly-dallying.

The contract I work on ends March 28 (actually the 27th since the 28th is a Saturday). Two and a half weeks to find a new job. Sixteen and a half days before the paychecks stop coming. No severance.

Anyone care for a little advice? Unlike most things it's free and, in this case, worth more than you're paying.

One: Keep your resume current. If you haven't updated your resume in the last three months, pull it out, shake the dust off and make sure the lies you told when you wrote it still stand up to the light of day. There are few things higher on the “Sucks Scale" than having to start a job search by rewriting your resume.

Two: Drink less, save more. Even though I had a hard unemployment date rushing at me like a pissed off hippopotamus, I wasn't yet between the rock and the hard place. Part of every paycheck since I moved to D.C. has gone straight into a savings account. It's my “raining cats and fucking dogs and if I don't need it for that a down payment on a house” fund.

I've always heard you should sock away six months salary just in case, but a better measure would be six months of living expenses. What does it cost you to pay your rent, eat, keep the Internet flowing into your house and, here's the biggie, buy health insurance every month? (And remember, you're going to be paying the full price for your insurance.)

You got that number figured? Good, now multiply by six and start saving.

Three: network. I really can't overemphasize this point. Talk to your friends. Talk to their friends. Talk to the people in the next office around the water cooler. Go to alumni events. Call old girl/boyfriends. Leave no stone unturned.

I've always been a quick healer. What are our liabilities?

So, what have I done over the past week? Well, Friday morning just before I was set to spend the day lounging on my giant couch while watching the ACC Tournament, I spent 15 minutes on the phone with the guy who runs another contract in my office.

Then I sent him my up-to-date resume around 11 a.m.

Monday I interview with the government client.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday (today when I wrote this) I signed an offer letter.

For a better job.

It's possible, Pig, I might be bluffing. It's conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I'm only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again... perhaps I have the strength after all.


Like a fairy tale, this story too has a happy ending. I end one job next Friday and, after a relaxing weekend, I walk back into the same office and start another.

You know what? I can't wait to see what's on the other side of sunset.

9 a.m. Update
How's this for funny: I just got a call from my current company's corporate recruiter. She'd like to schedule an interview for me tomorrow with one of the other business groups.

Just a bit outside.

A day late and, as good as my company's been to me, probably a couple grand short. My word is my bond and the offer I accepted is really good. No turning back now.


charlotteharris said...

nice work keeping it together for a quick recovery!

Shannon said...

Congratulations! I knew you'd get the job!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. That's fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I glad it worked out for you. Sound advice, too.

"and, here's the biggie, buy health insurance every month? (And remember, you're going to be paying the full price for your insurance.)"

It shouldn't, but this just blows my pinko socialist Canadian mind.

FoggyDew said...

charlotte - Greased Lightning, that's me.

Shannon - Thank you, thank you very much. Next round's on me.

Single Girl - It is, isn't it? Check back for the update...

Fearless - But pink looks so good on you.

Zipcode said...

Congrats, I was getting ready to draft an email to you before getting to the end of the post to tell you to send me a resume and I would try and help ya out.

Glad things worked out for you.

Lisa said...

You had me so nervous for you at the beginning of this post. Congratulations! Fast thinking and fast work! You could totally be Westley.

restaurant refugee said...

I am very, very happy for you, my friend. Know if you can give some advice on finding Buttercup it would be greatly appreciated.

Liebchen said...

Congrats on finding that so quickly! That's really amazing. And I *love* the Princess Bride tie-in.

If this job hadn't worked out, maybe there's an opening for the next Dread Pirate Roberts?

FoggyDew said...

Zip - If you'd sent one, I'd have been ready.

Lisa - You like that suspense I was trying to build, eh? Now if I only had a black mask.

Ref - I don't think there's anything I can tell you about finding a Buttercup.

Liebchen - Piracy is always good work when you can find it. Wonder if they have a dental plan?

Shannon said...

Why would anyone want a Buttercup, anyhow? I always thought she was kind of a whiny bitch.

FoggyDew said...

Shannon - Buttercup has, "atributes" that make it easier to put up with the whining.

I'm sure somewhere there is a Barney Stinson-like chart showing the level of whining men are willing to overlook in comparison to a woman's other "attributes."

Hannah said...

Sorry to hear you lost your job but it sounds like your bouncing back pretty well. Best of luck! :)

FoggyDew said...

Hannah - It was touch-and-go there for a few minutes, but I came up smelling like roses in the end.

Titania said...

Wow, that must have been hell for a couple of days. I can't imagine what I'd do in your shoes. Congratulations on the new job, moreover since it is better!

Thinking Fool said...

Congratulations on "getting it done!"

FoggyDew said...

Titania - I wouldn't quite say it was Hell, but it was a bit uncomfortable. Wednesday, driving home from work, it was like a giant weight had been lifted from my chest. Kinda like getting over a surprise break-up.

Fool - Thank you sir! We here at the Foggy Dew pride ourselves on "Gitin' er don."

LiLu said...

I know I gave you a bigass skwudge in person, but again, Congrats, my dear.