Sorry to mislead you, but I gotta get those page views from the freaks, yo – they make up like 89.9% of the internetz. If you really want, I could tell you the story about losing my virginity, but I’m trying to entertain you on your lunch break and that’d leave you with 58 minutes to read someone else’s blog.
But seriously folks, it’s been a minute. A long one. I know, I know. I’m a filthy liar. I got all ‘wise and enlightened’ after my 30th birthday, promising to post more often and travel the world and sheeeeeit. Now look at me. Haven’t posted in two months and the only traveling I be doin’ is between my bedroom and living room. I would give you your money back but this shit is free, so suck it.
40 days and 40 nights – of unemployment. It’s been 40 days since they took me into that goddamn little room to let me know my role was being eliminated. (For the record, every meeting room at my old workplace had a name; Galileo, Kubrick, Bowie. Guess which one they use to give you bad news so everyone avoids it like the plague? Rosa Parks.) 40 days since I was officially baptised into the church of advertising with my first layoff. All my industry (God, that term is so douchey) friends and colleagues tried to make me feel better with kind and gentle words;
“Get over it, it happens to all of us. I’ve been laid off three times.”
“That’s why I always say, never keep anything you like on your desk.”
“Welcome to advertising. Make sure you’re prepared next time.”
I guess I missed that part of orientation.
To go along with my lovely layoff, I was also given one week’s working notice. Do you know what that shit means? It means for one more week, you have to wake up every morning and get on that bus and sit at that desk for 8 hours. You have to go to work for a company that just took a huge shit on your life. You have to sit next to some asshole, who a week from now will still be getting a pay cheque, knowing you won’t be. People act realllll funny, too. One broad who I had been super cool with for two years literally never said a word to me again after I got my notice. NOT. ONE. WORD. She would awkwardly smile as we passed in the halls and then quickly look away as if she might catch unemployment from me. As I like to say since TLC’s Breaking Amish came into my life – I was shunned.
As awkward as it was going in after I had gotten the news, I have to admit, it was the best three days of work I’ve ever had in my life (yeah, three. By the Wednesday I let them know there was no way I’d be back after I left that day). Imagine going to work knowing you can’t get fired. The possibilities were endless. For those three days, I wandered to the desks of the people I liked. I would spend the hours before lunch socializing and gossiping (suddenly everyone wants to tell you who they always really hated). I would spend my lunch hour[s] socializing and gossiping. I would spend the hours after lunch sitting on MSN and Facebook and Twitter, socializing and gossiping. (Don’t even start with the ‘who still uses MSN?’ I do, son!) But do you know what the best part of those 3 days of ‘working notice’ was? The burden of any sort of accountability flying out that window faster than my EI application was submitted. Coming in to work late and leaving early. My lunch and non-lunch activities being indistinguishable. Going to meetings and texting my friends with nothing else to say except that I was sitting in a meeting and texting them (albeit to avoid smashing a chair in anyone’s face). Every time my conscience questioned whether what I was doing was going ‘too far’ my logic would respond with ‘what are they gonna do, fire me?’ Lying to Misleading people about work was something I came to enjoy in an almost disturbing way. For three days I had someone chasing me around for some copy. Every time he asked me, I told him I was on it. Yes, definitely at the top of my to-do list before I go. Totally. First priority, man. Won’t forget. If he’d come by my desk, I would go so far as to pretend to pull up the document on my desktop. Those three days became an ongoing game of “How many times can I pretend that I’m doing this work before he realizes I don’t give a shit,” and I was always beating my high score.
Since my last day at work, there has been a lot of Maury. In 40 days, I’ve probably learned the results of about 9653 paternity tests. I have forgotten what my alarm clock sounds like; there has been a lot of sleep. I think I’ve slept more in the last 40 days than I did throughout my ‘20s. I finally got my almost-6-year-old dog and 1-year-old puppy house trained. I’ve had time to watch some shit I never had time to watch, like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy. I’ve eaten at a bunch of restaurants I always wanted to try but never seemed to have ‘the time.’ I’ve enjoyed dates upon dates upon dates with my friends and family. I’ve had time to actually work at being in a relationship (crazy, right?) It’s a lot easier to plan to see people when there is only one schedule (theirs) to work around. I’ve cooked almost every day, rearranged my living room and organized my storage room. I can see how people can get used to not working as a living.
Being unemployed has been a strange contradictory trip thus far. While half my time is being completely wasted watching bad TV and sleeping, the other half is being spent enjoying some of the most quality time I have ever experienced. When I was working, it was always go-go-go. I had to fit in seeing my friends, seeing my family, dating, my dogs, cooking, binge drinking, cleaning, shopping, entertainment, errands, planning my world domination and everything else into my weeks. So even while I was with my friends, I was thinking about my doctor’s appointment the next day or a meeting at work I’m not prepared for. Everything essentially gets done half-assed. These 40 days have been a fantastic example of quality over quantity and I don’t want it to end anytime soon.
Well, that’s what I’d say if I didn’t miss shopping and frivolous spending so much. Maybe I’ll get started on that resume next week, there are a few more seasons of Sons of Anarchy I have to get through.