Sunday, May 04, 2008


Today is smoke-free day 321. I rarely post on Saturdays, and I rarely post about work. I also rarely, OK, never, until last night have actually experienced anything even approaching a mild version of survivor's guilt. In fact, I didn't know that it could apply in this situation until I was wandering around the Target unable to bring myself to purchase anything at all, not even something necessary like toilet paper. The whole time, I couldn't shake the idea that over on the other side of town at least one of my co-workers in particular was explaining to an unemployed spouse that there had been layoffs at a time when it can be so hard to find another job, when gas prices are through the roof, when so many are getting by on so many fewer bags of groceries. And there I was looking at frivolous crap I didn't need. No wonder I walked out empty handed and also feeling sort of empty on the inside, too.

Honestly, as grateful as I was and am to still be employed, I also felt like I'd been punched in the stomach and just felt so terrible. (Then I found on the Internets, where all the information lives, that, in fact, what I was feeling was common, and also a great analogy, too.) The one time I was at a place that closed down, the economy was closer to fine, and jobs were easy enough to find. In fact, it was almost like a mini-vacation. I get the feeling it will not be that way this time through for those involved, and my heart breaks, and it scares the living crap out of me.

When I return to work on Monday, my job will be changing in many ways, ways that are not yet entirely clear to me, and that's always a little scary, too. I'm determined to make the best of whatever changes, hoping that in some ways perhaps it could turn out better. If not, at least I'm employed.


  1. Amen to that!
    I too believe that we are living in very shaky times as the way everyone does business is changing. We've been a society of excess for much too long. We could all probably do without 50% of what we currently have and do just fine.

  2. I'm guilty as well, but am trying to change the way I shop and spend money. Our economy is very scary right now.

  3. Seems reasonable Maggie. I think what you are feeling is not only natural, it's a good thing.

    But don't let it eat away at you. Life is difficult, but we'll all get through it.

    Take care and stay strong.

  4. I know that feeling. They laid off several ppl at my company a few months ago. Luckily, it was people far higher up on the food chain, and I am a spec on the map. My salary is small enough no one at the same level as me was let go. So I just keep bustin my hump, and hopefully I will not ever get the axe.

  5. I agree with you all about the a society of excess, we have been living high up on the food chain for A LONG time now. I mean, when I lived with locals in Belize (a third world country) they use and reuse EVERYTHING including the egg crates. They take thier egg holder over and buy their eggs and put it in the container they alreay have and do not throw things away until you can no longer use them! What a should have seen me trying to wrap my American brain over recycling what we just automatically think of as disposable trash.

    BTW, What field do you work in Maggie? We are doing the hold your breath thing with the upcomming RIF (reducation in force) notices. Some people have already gotten theirs but are hoping that money will be found for the California budget and the cuts will not happen. I hope everyone is doing good this weeknend.

  6. Our company, strangely enough, is growing by leaps and bounds, economy be damned. We just hired 8 new folks in our MA office...and almost everyone except the President, COO, CFO and VPs will be doubling up in their offices. It's strange...but I guess we provide a service that is definitely needed.

  7. I do hope everything goes well for you tomorrow when you return to the changes. <3


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