For the very first time in my life, I will be unemployed. Can you believe that? Unemployed. That is at least if I do not find some other form of paying employment before the first of September. Bring in the bacon like any respectable father is supposed to do. That leaves me with less than ten days to get my act together, but I am not getting my hopes up. Less than ten days and counting.
The market and economy is plainly in bad shape for now, and I will have to accept that. Opportunities for folks my age and with similar experience and expertise are minimal. Bad chances. Survival of the fittest and all that muck. Bad chances.
Okay, let's rewind.
This morning my greatest of fears became a reality after a short and unemotional meeting with the manager of my department and the human resources manager. Two against one. This meeting lasted just under thirty minutes and it was quite unsettling for me. Very frustrating. I felt pretty helpless, angry and desperate, sad and nervous, all at the same time. In the back of my mind I wondered why things had turned out so sour this time around. As far as I was concerned, I had not done anything wrong. These two folks on either side of the table from me seemed distant, impersonal and formal. Masks and sounds and motions. A couple of nods, some so-called understanding glimpses, words emitted and then silence. Words came out like this: these are the facts, here you are, that's it, good luck, see you later. I nearly lost my cool on two occasions, but I caught myself just in time. There was also a short heated debate over whether or not I would receive some form of compensation because of this last minute announcement. I mean really, isn't it a bit at the last possible moment telling me bye-bye so near to the end of my contract? There is no time to prepare, two weeks is nothing, I will never find a job in time. In order to meet my financial requirements during the hiatus of unemployment, what now? But no go, as they told me further with the very same straight faces. I receive absolutely nothing, because my (temporary) contract was for one year only. Nothing more. Nada, rien, niets. One year sounds like a long time but it is not. I kept muttering to myself on the drive back home that I never should have accepted it (the contract) in the first place, but I didn't realize the grave risks at the time. That's how life is sometimes.
Isn't it strange and ironic that three wonderful weeks of a vacation can be followed by such a letdown? The pendulum swings back and forth, from one extreme to the other. Now is the time to join the grind of sending off job applications and feeling like you-know-what. Bad chances lead to new opportunities. Or so they say.
At least living with me is never boring and interestingly unpredictable (as my wife says).