Termination seems like such a dirty word. The societal stigma attached to it is enough to make you feel vile; rolled in the dregs of society and tossed out into the street for all to see and smell. You, left to feel like nothing more than an offense to the olfactory and beyond. Why is it I feel like I should embody that feeling, sulking further into my own self wallow?
There is this great aversion to getting fired. Nobody wants to hear it and most don’t want anybody to know it ever happened to them. That’s why our corporate forefathers came up with terms like “let go”, RIF (reduction in force), laid off, “opting out” and canceled contract. Like wrapping a blanket around a Billy club, is it merely to ease the blow to one’s ego? Or is it like a golden ray shining down from above, making employers feel at ease, almost angelic in letting you down softly and tiptoeing around the word fire or terminate.
This week, I’m learning to embrace being fired. I was ambushed. Walking back to my desk at the end of my shift late Friday night, there sat my boss. He magically reappeared, wearing the same damn clothes he left the office in four hours before. It wouldn’t have won him any awards for his performance but he tried to act sorrowful. He wasn’t soft about it at all. He didn’t even try to let me down easily. It’s the only time he’s ever really truly had the balls to act like a real manager and he managed me right out the front door.
The kick in the ass brought an end to two years of this Midwestern misery. They moved me 1800 miles away from home promising a long-term commitment. From day one though, it’s been anything but. I was sold a bill of goods and unfortunately drank the Kool-Aid. Each quaff left a taste in my mouth that grew more and more wretched. Luckily I choked and regurgitated the rotgut and am now cleaning house. One chapter is ending. Another one is beginning.
It’s ironic this has hall happened because just about two weeks ago T and sat down and made lists. Not for grocery shopping or things to do around this half-acre homestead. These lists were our priorities in life; a test to see where we each stood at this very portion of our lives. Little did we know that these lists would come into play just a few days later. Here is how my priorities panned out:
1) Make sure my T, my wife, and my darling daughter are taking care of emotionally, physically and financially
2) Find a job that makes me happy
3) Live life as sustainable as possible
4) Buy a farm, ranch or other plot of land to build a life on
5) Financial freedom: ditch the debt, save more
T’s priorities were surprisingly similar. Our thoughts and notions on what we wanted to achieve together weren’t as far off as we might have expected them to be. We never expected to be in the position of changing career paths this quickly. I had a contract that would leave us a year to think about our next moves but now that has shriveled and died right on the vine.
So another chapter begins. We have two months, possibly three, of funds to get us through until the next opportunity beckons. We’re looking at ways to stretch every possible dollar and every possible resource we use on a daily basis. It can only help us make it through and last even longer than some would anticipate. It will be the true test of our skills and desires to live life in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and happiness inducing way.
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