Morale was low, and geeks with low morale only ever think about World of Warcraft. That is, except for myself. I, of course, was spending my time thinking of ways to be a better almost-husband. It was Monday, December 3rd, and I got into the office a little late. The drive to Sioux Falls was getting worse and worse, and I was despising the job more and more. And yet, I was loyal. I was setting my stuff down when Mike walked in.
“You’re late, so you’re fired,” he mused, humorlessly, as he entered the room. I knew by the tone of his voice that he was serious. When Mike has particularly bad news, he tends to break it with a shocking pseudo-joke which he follows up with a “No, really.” statement. He’s always had a way with easing into bad news.
The Sioux Falls branch of The CERTUS Company (hereby dubbed Certastrophe) was being shut down, and we had all been laid off. This five-man massacre was following hot on the heels of a four-man culling that took place a couple months earlier. What it meant for the other branches of the company, and John Webster, himself, I knew not. Nor did I care. Looking around the room, no one looked surprised, but no one looked happy either.
I put everything that I’d brought or owned into a plastic bag, forgetting some things I had in the fridge, and I drove all the way back to Madison. It was a long trip. The first thing that happens when you lose your job is that everyone you tell apologizes for not knowing of any job openings or they give you advice. Which is nice if it’s your first unemployment (like mine) but would probably get old if I keep losing my job.
I did try getting unemployment insurance benefits, but that was a fiasco. I tried using the draconian website, created strictly for use with Windows and Internet Explorer, and when I got all done with it, it didn’t work. Instead of allowing me to resubmit the form to correct errors, they instead chose to mail me the problems and ask me to mail back the corrections. On top of that, I accidentally put my gender down as female. So, I hate unemployment insurance, and I never did get any money from the government.
I did finally get motivated to make a resume website, the design of which I’ve since become ashamed of, but the structure of which I’m very proud of. I’ll let you know how the job search is going later.