With minimal regret, I must report that I’ve been laid off at AIG.
I lasted physically for two years, two months, and five days. I had been absent mentally since November, when the first round of layoffs was announced.
My suspicions concerning unemployment were confirmed in Amsterdam. I was checking my email in the hotel lobby, which allowed marijuana smoke, but not the cigarette variety.
My pot tolerance is admittedly low, but the consistent thick haze was enough to give a veteran a contact high. With my mind functioning at 58% I first considered the most recent life-changing news.
The ‘upset’ emotion wasn’t evoked. Instead, I dreaded walking back into the office and saying goodbye to everyone. I didn’t want to deal with the overly firm handshakes or the unlikely ‘keep in touch’s.’ I didn’t want to fill a cardboard box with items that I will never go through. And I certainly didn’t want to face the prospect that I might not be able to figure something else out, and I could end up in an eerily similar cubicle a month later.
I walked outside for some fresh air, and was greeted by the insoluble mix that is the Red Light District and daylight. The long shadows of night weren’t there to cover the urine stained walls, and the florescent lights were pathetic beneath a clear blue sky.
I felt bad for the stocky middle-aged day shifters that inhabited the booths, as well as the bargain hunting clients they successfully seduced. In that moment my future was put in perspective. I will not grant myself a second of self-pity.
C'est la vie to my 12 square feet of blandly carpeted space, the 52 mile roundtrip commute, and Excel spreadsheets that that need to go beyond the 70,000 row limit.