Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What I Did On My Summer Break(Down) Pt. III - I Joined The Ranks of the Unemployed




As much as I enjoy sharing intimate stories of my unhealthy eating habits and involuntary bowel movements, I don't often talk about many of the more personal stuff that happens in my life, including my job.

Sure, I've complained about it every once in awhile, but for the most part I've kept my job experiences off the Interwebs. Mostly because we all hate our jobs (right?), and because I lived in constant fear that my bosses would somehow stumble across this site and, being the technophobic luddites that they are (there is no talking on cell phones, web surfing or IMing allowed at my place of business), they'd fire me on the spot.

I had not been happy with my job for many months and had been planning an exit. Recently, our agency lost a major account (through no fault of our own; they were getting bought out and needed to suspend all ongoing marketing efforts) and because of this (and some other stuff) productivity and billable hours across the office were down, and there was a sense that things would not be improving anytime real soon. I saw this development as one opportunity for me to discuss my eventual exit in a rational manner with my bosses.

To make a long story short, I found myself one day in a conversation with my boss where I suddenly decided it would be a good time to talk about the future. For the sake of brevity and simplification, the conversation(s) went like this:

Scene I:
Me: "Boss, I don't think this job has been a good fit for me and I think it is time to discuss a transition strategy. And since we just lost a major account, I think this is as good a time as any."
Boss (rather offended): "I'm well aware of the financial stability of this company and don't need you to tell me. Let me think about it and get back to you."

Scene II (a few hours later):
I get a call from my boss to come into the conference room. I enter the room and see him and the other partner sitting with a small stack of papers.
Boss: "We've discussed the conversation from this morning and we've decided that we don't want to pay you to sit around and look for another job and that your last day of employment with this company will be today."
Me: "..."
Boss: "So you have two options. You can work through the end of today, or you can sign these papers here and leave right now. We've cut you a check to cover you through the middle of the month, plus another check for your owed vacation time. The choice is yours.
Me: "..."
Boss: "..."
Me: "I will just leave now, then."

And in a matter of 30 minutes I had cleaned my desk, handed over my keys and was a free man. And the thing is, I think I was/am supposed to feel bad or upset about it, but the truth is that I had been feeling extremely free and optimistic. Sure, it is not the way I wanted it to end, but I've already started a new job (I've started my own consulting business -- wow,it feels weird to write that -- where I'm making good money, can essentially set my own hours, work from home, not have to put on pants) but I now realize how much more of a stress and source of unhappiness that job was for me now that I am out of it. I've used my free time to enjoy the sunshine, connect with friends, and start exercising again. I've stopped shaving and am loving it.


I also started taking classes again so that I can apply to nursing school - but that is another story entirely.


PS - If you're looking for a good online distraction, especially while at work (because really, when and where else would you possibly be looking for a good online distraction anyway?), I highly recommend the game "Five Minutes To Kill (Yourself)" from AdultSwim.com. In it, you run around the office to find items and co-workers to help kill you off so that you don't have to attend that team meeting in 5 minutes. Good fun.

36 comments:

Todd said...

Bravo to you! I know you are going to have great success moving forward.

minijonb said...

congrats on the new adventure!

...i tried playing that game for a couple of minutes. i was able to blow myself up and become a human pinyata before a co-worker walked in on me. a real life co-worker. i may have to play this a few more times. thanks. thanks a lot.

=:-)

Michael5000 said...

This is a heartwarming story. I like the part where you leave and don't have to deal with the jackass boss anymore.

classyandfancy said...

Stopped shaving and no pants, eh? I don't know if you are trying to make us feel scared or randy or both.

JUSTIN said...

That's bad-ass! Congrats!

Mood Indigo said...

Wow - I wish my impending firing could segue to lucrative consulting - that is awesome. I'm not actually qualified to do what I do, so there's that.

Either way - congrats on making the move - however it happened - and good luck with the new biz!

Airam said...

Yay! I'm so happy that you took that step! Congratulations on your freedom!!!

Alison said...

Congrats!

Actually, I know quite a few people who are going through similar transisions right now and it's hard not to envy all the options they have.

Best of luck and enjoy yourself!

blythe said...

holy balls! awesome5000! the same thing happened to me, but i ended up moving to oklahoma, so, obviously, you made the right choice to, you know, start your own business instead. also, rock the nursing school! i know a good one in the OKC...

ReckenRoll said...

This means more time to play with ReckenRoll and Kate in October. Only good can come from that!

I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw said...

WOW! I thought I heard a *rumor* about this. Congrats friend! So does this mean I can move to Chicago now and work for your consulting company?

Dyck!! said...

Good for you! I would like to hire your consulting company to consult with my consulting company. We're trying to think of a good name for our client, another consulting company.

ADW said...

I felt sooo much better when I finally left my old job and it is good that you are trying to follow your dream.

How much fun will I have with that game. Thanks for that one.

KateR - Seattle/London/wherever said...

congratulations! But to clarify - did you mean no pants in the American sense or the British sense? Fine with me either way really but just want to make sure I have the RIGHT image in my head of Zolna Consultancy...

chuckdaddy2000 said...

It sounds like your boss was a royal dickwad.

Congratulations though, it definitely sounds like you made the right decision.

Airam said...

I really suck at killing myself.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

MiniJB:: Glad I could help. I love becoming the pinata, although you don't rack up a tlot of points with that one.

M5K:: Heartwarming? Really?

Classy:: Like all of my posts, I am trying to make you scared.

Justin:: Thanks, but it is much less bad ass then it reads.

Indigo:: Thanks. If you get fired it is just your opportunity to do something better.

Airam:: Thanks!

Alison:: Not much to be envious of on my end, but thanks!

Blythe:: A good school in OK? I don't believe you...

Wingman:: You betcha! You know that I'm working with your company, right??

CB:: I don't have a dental plan. But you should move to Chicago anyway.

Dyck:: Let me consult on that for a while.

ADW:: Glad to help. It is a pretty fun game!

KateR:: In general, I meant the American sense, but for a little while today I was doing the UK way!

CD2K:: I agree with you more every day!

Airam:: The game is hard!! I too have yet to kill myself!

carolyn says said...

Congratulations on the loss of your job and the beginning of a better life!

kgill said...

gawd, i think i love you more....

KAZ said...

Perhaps your boss didn't understand the term 'Transition Strategy'.
You did absolutely the right thing.
Oh - I don't know the difference between our No Pants and yours. Either way sounds good.

Mr. Shain said...

i can't say that was entirely unexpected.

blythe said...

cherry - ouch.

also, shain's in milwaukee. call him! guaranteed to make you feel better about things. why do you think i keep him around?

Chris said...

After having been self-employed for the past ten years, I don't think I could ever go back to working at a big firm for a boss. You're gonna love it!

Congrats! Enjoy all that sunshine and facial hair!

captain corky said...

Congrats on improving the quality of your life! I'd love to quit my job and work from home, but I don't think I would ever get anything done.

Ryan Charisma said...

You're my hero.

Julie_Gong said...

that game is awesome.

you are awesome.

beards are awesome.

awesome is awesome.

Jenny! said...

Wow...that was kind of shocking! At least you got out with a check!

You don't wear pants and are not shaving...do you look like the cavemen from the Geiko commericials yet???

Alannah said...

This news made me quite happy. Good for you for doing what you want to do, not what you have to do.

5 of 9er said...

Is becoming a paperboy really considered a "consulting business"?

Loaf said...

Sounds like a great move! Hope it goes well being self-employed.

Love the way you guys word things: "time to discuss a transition strategy". Last review with my boss, I simply told him "If they don't give a decent pay rise this year, I'm fucking off elsewhere!"

Guilty Secret said...

Great news!

By the way, I love my job. I just sit here and blog :)

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

I've made a lot of money with my pants off too, so, from my stand-point, this is a wise career move for you.

Rey a.k.a. "Mr. Secret" said...

Wow, good for you! I love self-empowerment stories... especially when they contain a severence check!

Good luck on the next chapter!

Laaw-yuhr said...

I am currently unemployed myself, although you seem to be better at it than I am.

ridiculous said...

wow, i got away for a scant two weeks and look what happens...unbelievable.

jk, jk...CONGRATS on taking the leap!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.