Thursday, June 14, 2007

Guess everybody has to go through it at some point...

I am sitting here wondering when (or if) I will ever officially get over the fact that I lost my job in March.

I tell myself:

-At least you're not supporting four kids. At least you have a roof over your head. At least you're not starving. At least you have really pretty hair.
-You were way overqualified for that job anyway.
-They have no idea what they threw away...you are a hard worker and you made them all laugh and brightened that place up a bit.
-You took every demeaning order with a smile on your face and YOU ARE FABULOUS and any office that doesn't want you STINKS!

It doesn't help though...in fact, it makes things worse. I would have preferred it if I had been caught stealing, or called out sick four times a week and blew off my responsibilities and they finally just had to fire me...but I really did try! I did my best! And it hurts a lot that it came to that.

Maybe I never will get over it, the same way I still am scarred over not being accepted into the Young Authors Conference in the 4th grade. (Yup, still am. And I'm going to dedicate my first novel to the teacher who was in charge of that conference and denied my story.)

However, my rejection from the Young Authors Conference just gave me ammunition to keep writing and not give up and perhaps that is what getting laid-off should do for me as well.

After two years of the most frustrating jobhunt on the planet, I got what seemed like a dream job, and it all finally made sense...things had worked out like they were supposed to and there really WAS a reason for everything (and that wasn't just something people said when times were rough to keep everybody from going insane! Maybe that whole "you find love when you least expect to" adage is true as well!!!!)

I lost that dream job a week before my 25th birthday. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANA!)

Now, this was especially frustrating for me, because, for the past year, I had bought every last one of my colleagues birthday cards and cakes. I would find just the right card and make sure everybody signed it. I would find out if they preferred chocolate or cheesecake or white cake, and that is exactly what they would get. And, then they let me go right before my own birthday, and I never got my own cake or card. It’s a very sad tale, really.

I deserved my own cake and card. Heck, I also deserved a parade.

My boss and the HR head pretty much sat me down and said, “You have done a great job…everybody loves you…now, go pack up your desk and get lost and never return.”

(In so many words. Does it really matter how they phrase it?)

The end result is the same…I no longer had a job. After one year of being the absolute best I could have been for them, I was being “let-go”.

My boss stood there as I packed up my desk and watched me sympathetically.

(Or, perhaps, he was concerned I was going to steal paperclips. I wish I had. The one thing I truly miss about that job was getting to order all the office supplies.)

As I walked down 42nd Street, I sobbed to myself.

Of course, it was raining. Doesn’t it always rain on days like that?

And worse yet, I had tickets to see Les Miserables that night. Probably not the best show to go see when you are feeling blue. I bawled throughout the entire show, grateful I wasn’t dying in the French Revolution, but frustrated and scared of what was going to become of me. I didn’t deserve this. I worked hard and did my best and just didn't understand why this had to happen to ME.

The prospect of going back on the job sites and interviews and pinchy shoes was daunting. I just couldn't do it. I barely had the energy to stand up.

Three days after I lost my job and part of my mind and had my soul stomped on, I accompanied my older sister on a businesstrip to San Francisco. It was my first time to the other coast, and it was an extremely short stay (less than twenty-four hours.)

During the flight there (on the flight returning home, my sister and I just watched a King of Queens DVD for six hours...nothing like a little Jerry Stiller to cheer you up), I looked down at the world, and realized that, in the grand scheme of things, a little underpaid secretary job really wasn’t too important.

There was a big, grand earth out there...there was a lot out there besides the theatre district and even the entire island of Manhattan.

Things were most likely going to be okay...in fact, maybe things already WERE okay.

It has been three months, and I am yet to find another dream job.

I spend most of my time hypnotised on MediaBistro.com and HotJobs.com. My head spins. I have already been on about twenty job interviews, and some have gone incredibly well and I come out dancing in the street. (I never hear from them again.) I'm confused, and frustrated, and jobhunting in the summertime is awful. (You're in your dark business clothes, walking by happy tourists in sundresses and flipflops. And I consistently forget to bring along rubber bands to tie back my hair with.)

But, in my heart, I know I'll once again have that feeling when I look back and go, "Ah, yes...everything DOES happen for a reason..."

I hope it comes sooner rather than later...

Diana Rissetto

"What's a beanie baby?"

Every so often, I feel quite old.

The other night, I watched my cousin's children. The six-year-old was very excited to show me his "Webkinz." When I saw what a "Webkinz" was...small and furry and each different animal had its own name...I said, "Ah, yes...it's like a Beanie Baby!"

Dylan looked up at me and went, "What's a Beanie Baby?" and he grabbed his little sister's baby doll and held it up and asked, "Is THIS a Beanie Baby???"

I shook my head at this clueless, dear little soul.

Children have never heard of Beanie Babies.

We are getting old.

I work with the children of my parish. They are 10 to 14. (I used to think that I only liked very little children, but these preteens have grown on me.) We were putting together care packages for the troops and flipped on the television for some background music.

The movie Titanic was on.

Remember the Titanic craze of nine years ago? You couldn't go ANYWHERE without hearing about the movie, Leo and Kate's beautiful, shining young faces on the cover of every magazine.

My church children started saying stuff like, "Oh, I think I've heard of this movie!" and "My mom loves this movie!"

Wow.

WOW.

KIDS DON'T KNOW THE MOVIE TITANIC.

How old ARE we anyway???

A few months ago, I had a dreadful cold and could barely speak. I rolled out of bed and went ot Rite-Aid, in my pajamas, for some cough syrup.

The pre-pubesent child behind the counter asked me for my ID.

Me: Wait...are you kidding?
Boy: (giggles) Do I LOOK like I am kidding?

I handed him my ID, thinking, smugly..."I still got it! I'm not that old!"

Boy: DUDE! 1982!!! You're older than ME!

Sigh.

Diana Rissetto