unemployed purgatory

One of the benefits that you are given when your department is eliminated on the grounds that you are focused on long term conceptual projects versus short term revenue goals is consulting from a placement company.  This consists of a number of things of course, webinars, networking events, use of a copier, printer and fax machine (or all in one as the kids call them).  We get a packet on the day we are presented with the paperwork sealing our fate and a suggestion is made to meet up with this company as soon as possible.  A phone call to an 800 number yields in giving your information and then a statement that you will be contacted in the next few days.  A few days go past and you get a phone call.  In fact, in my case I got two, from two different people in different offices telling me the same thing.  I needed to attend a webinar and could do it from home or meet at a hotel to do it.  The hotel sounded a bit fishy, but I digress.  I prefer my home base anyway so I elected that option.  The webinar was an introduction to their services, website and future webinars.  At the end of the session you are told you will have an appointment with a counsellor at their facility in your city and that’s where it gets interesting.

The facility at our disposal here in Rochester is reminiscent of your old high school.  The PCs are a few steps behind in both operating system and internet speed and get this, they don’t have wifi!  Are you kidding?  Everyone has wifi now!  Bars, Ethiopian restaurants, book stores, your parents’ house (okay maybe not YOUR parents), the local pool, seriously.  How much is a router?  You can get a good one for under $100.  You think they might want to spring for it?  Now granted, most of us had laptops that were taken away the day we were walked out, but some, like myself, have purchased their own and prefer those versus a more public PC where the desktop is protected so anything you save disappears and the USB ports don’t work for flash drives and the printer driver isn’t loaded on all the PCs.  Okay, I should stop.  I think you get the idea.

The reason I was there was for an appointment with a consultant.  We are provided counselling to help us with the transition.  I’m not sure I really need the counseling but as I walked in and noticed the poster on the wall, it seemed I was in the “denial” stage of the grief cycle.  There wasn’t the chance to take notes, but some of you probably know the S curved grief cycle that starts with anger, then denial, then shock, then acceptance, then a shift in moral character, compromise of your belief structure, elective surgery, swarms of locusts, frogs, the four horsemen, and finally you get a new job and all is right with the world. 

“How can I help you?” I was asked.  “How are you coping?”  Well, I’m on the computer most of the day using twitter, working on my resume and cover letter, sending follow up emails and taking calls from people I’ve met on Linked In through one group or another to expand my network.  Oh, and I had an interview last week that I should hear about this week and it seemed to go well.  “How is you health?”  Great, I joined a new gym, go five or six days a week and apart from my BMI being higher than I’d like, I’m in good health.  “You know, it’s okay to relax and have some down time.”  Well, my nature is to be busy.  I’m very project focused and I am now my latest project.  Plus, race season is right around the corner and I know my competition isn’t getting any slower.  “Well then, I’m not sure I can help you.  Did you bring a copy of your resume?”

So there you have it.  Unemployed purgatory.  Life’s little holding cell for job marketeers.  A place that time forgot sometime during the mid 90’s according to the internet access and operating systems.  On the positive side, it smelled okay in there, was well lit and there is a lounge with magazines and free coffee.  So we’ve got that going for us. 

Which is nice.


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