Saturday, December 20, 2008

Things That Make Me Happy Today

I didn't dream last night-or at least I don't remember my dreams, which is OK with me. I went to bed early not only because I was tired from Thursday's supper club/drinks at a bar but also because I just wanted yesterday to be over. It wasn't a good day.

There were, however, so many friends who emailed me, called me, facebooked me...all to say how much they will miss me, or how wonderful I am, or to remind me that I'm strong and that I will make it through this. I am truly blessed to have all of you (and those who don't read too) in my life.

Today's a new day (thanks captain obvious!) and when I woke up, I wasn't depressed or hollow or even numb. It might be that it just hasn't really hit me yet, but for now, I'm hoping it's just a sign that I've accepted what happened and am going to be able to just jump right back up and start over. I've already gotten a call from one recruiter and will speak with her on Monday to see what she has. (Do you think I should pick up the best diet pill before then?)

Here are a few things that made me smile today so far:
My Mickey Christmas balls, hung on my curtains instead of my non-existent tree
My real garland, even though I hate the way it loos on the top, it brings a little Christmas to me.
My wine rack, which is full and looks pretty.
My Santa. He's just pretty.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Ax

It happened at 9:03am. I'm not sure you can get much earlier than that-remember, the later the meeting the better your chance at having a job on Monday....9:03am I got the call to go into my boss's office. It was quick-I didn't feel like talking or sitting around hearing them tell me how sorry they are and that it's not a reflection on me, blah, blah, blah.

I was laid off. I have no job. I will be OK eventually, but right now, it feels pretty scary & I don't know what to do with myself.

I think that I was the 2nd person to go, but the first to clear out my belonging and walk out crying. I saw 3 of my friends on the way out and one hugged me-they others I blew past because I just didn't want to say goodbye.

I loved that job.

PS. I had a sinking feeling this morning when I read today's horoscope:

Upsets in the home or near neighborhood may lead to a sudden decision to move, necessitating a great deal of activity. At this point you might not be quite sure where you're going to be moving to. Organization and discipline are vital at times like this. You might find it helpful to make lists and cross off each task as it's done. Don't panic. This could well turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. It might just be your opportunity to buy a few talking watches

Thoughts or Preamble 2

As I sat in my living room and looked around at the people I now consider friends, I was grateful for the small diversion supper club provided. We're all doing the best we can to stay positive-to try to laugh it off and make each other smile. But with every laugh, we secretly cry, and wonder if it'll be us.

And if we're spared, which of our friends will be spared too.

A job is a job. I know this. It's not my life and I will land on my feet, some how, some way. I always do. But it doesn't make it suck any less.

After supper club a few of us went our to a bar for a few drinks. I hate bars, but I was anxious to spend as much time as I could with friends who were employed by the same company I was. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but for tonight, I hung out with my friends and tried to pretend like everything was going to be OK.

If I had the courage I would tell my friends this:

I've never really felt like I've fit in. Anywhere. When I moved to Boston last year, my hope was that I would expand my horizons, get more involved with life and meet new and exciting people. My first year here was fantastic and I truly enjoyed just being here in a new place and finally having a real social life. But still, I did not truly fit in. It seemed like I was a visitor, just here for the sites and when I was done I'd go back home.

And then I came to work at V&^%$##. Not only did everyone welcome me with open arms, I seemingly found the "Disney World of Boston". Slowly, I started getting to know you and in doing so, I began to feel as though I belonged.

You appreciated me. You accepted me. You wanted to spend time with me. In the short time that I've been here, you've become my friends and more than the paycheck and the security, if I am laid off in the morning, I am going to miss you.

It's just a job. I know. If I am on "the list" it will be devastating at first. But as I hugged you all goodnight I realized that numerically, we all might not return on Monday and that a few of you will move away just as I was starting to get to know you. And that, more than not being able to pay the rent, makes me sad.

I'll miss the world that I've grown to know and love, even as dysfunctional as it can be. I'll miss IM's and meetings and hearing your laughter during snack days or gossiping in the kitchen over breakfast. I'll miss being a part of a firm that make me feel like I belong, even though I am the new girl, and even though you've all known each other for years.

I'll miss what I've grown to love. As I get ready to lay down for bed after way too many drinks, I'll continue to pray that tomorrow we'll all be safe and that on Monday, we'll just have another crazy story to tell at our next supper club.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Burgerlicious

As you know, this girl loves a good smelling man. Even if he's butt ugly-if he walks by me and smells like heaven, I'll turn around to look. And as someone who's got a freakishly good sense of smell, I am easily offended by those who smell...odd. My guess is that "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat" would fall into this category.

First of all, what, pray tell, is the precise "scent of seduction"? Cheese is sexy, yes, but I don't think that it makes women want to take their clothes off. And flame-broiled meat? Are they serious? Last I checked, meat is not on the list of aphrodisiacs. Why then, would I want my man to smell like a burger?

Are people actually going to buy this? The answer is probably (and unfortunately) yes. Can you imagine getting stuck in an elevator with someone wearing this "Flame"? Or being shut in an underground train while they're clearing away bodies?

These burger boys could never walk past a dog unharmed and it wouldn't be the dogs fault. Poor Fido would simply think he was getting a tasty flame broiled treat, when in fact, all he'd be getting was a ticket to the pound.

I wonder if they are going to sell it alone or in a package with different options. A #1 would include refreshing cola body wash and a #2 would would come with a "toy". (After all, what's a little seduction without one?)

As you can tell, I feel very strongly about this. In fact, if I ever walk by a man who smells like a burger-flame broiled or not-I will be angry. I might even punch him in the face.

Word on the Street...

I've been saying that a lot today for some reason. I don't know why...it's a weird saying in this day and age. People rarely talk to each other on the street now days and if they do, it's usually to yell at them. Anyway...

Word on the street is, the later your meeting tomorrow, the better your chance of having a job. So, pray that I don't get talked to until late afternoon. That'll mean that I've been spared and that I can still come to work on Monday...

(They will meet with all employees tomorrow, beginning with the ones they are laying off.)

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

I need a drink. Or six.

Naked

I started writing this post yesterday but go, um, "sidetracked" when I started searching for a photo to go on the post. See the title? You get the point...

*****


I've dreamed about him before and each time I wake up feeling sad. Or empty. Or vulnerable. And every time, I wonder why he's entered my dreams; I don't make a habit of thinking of him on a daily basis.

In fact, as time goes by, he's in my thoughts less and less...

He's always the same-condescending, manipulative and mean and he always tries to make me feel bad about myself. Sometimes he succeeds, other times not so much but once I wake I am annoyed that he's taken something from me again.

This week, he's visited me every night.

And I think I now know why: I am feeling vulnerable; naked. I am living in a week of uncertainty, wondering whether or not I will be able to pay rent next month, get my medication at an affordable price or to buy food. I am restless and anxious and this is when Jamie was always at his best.

When he could take advantage of my weakness.

Though I am still irked that he visits me like this and that I can not seem to break free of the memories I have, I am happy to recognize why he appears seemingly out of the blue. Now I can work on NOT being vulnerable to him anymore...even though I though I already was immune.

Things here at work are not any better-people are sad and scared and rightfully so. I keep praying over and over in my head to let me be spared but I know that what happens, happens and that I have no control over it. So I am trying to stay positive and productive.

We'll see how that goes...

TODAY IS SUPPER CLUB!!! YAY!!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Commis Cap

I know this is petty, but it really annoys me that Ariane on Top Chef insists on wearing a commis cap. Once I graduated from school I pretty much threw those out. You own your own "4 star" restaurant lady. Graduate yourself to a different hat.

Most kitchens I've been in don't use the "proper" chef hats anymore. Lots have gone to baseball caps or bandanna's which is OK to me, though baseball hats tend to be really hot. However, if you insist on wearing a proper hat, at least wear the one you're supposed to!

Commis chefs tend to be younger (in experience) and usually "hop around" the kitchen until they find one that fits. They have to be very flexible and willing and able to learn a lot. It's not a bad thing to be a commis, just...this lady clearly OWNS a restaurant...

Gah!

Randomivity


The free manicure I got last week to make up for the crappy one I got last month wasn't much better. In fact, it's pretty crappy. I'm not sure why this spa insists on filing down my nails to nothing, but it's rather annoying. I won't go back.

Kindness comes in many forms. I am blessed to have seen a lot of it this past week.

Beer pong is fun, but it's probably more fun when played in your work's office.

When someones father is weird, it only makes sense that his son is weird too..."You're dad probably won't approve of that, huh?"

Having a cut in your nostril isn't fun. At all.

When we got called into the conference room, I didn't think people would get laid off. I just thought it was a cutting costs kind of meeting. Looking around the room, I saw that others thought the same thing. It's not fun to see the faces of people you've grown fond of fall.

I found real live garland on sale for $8 so I bought some and put it up on my arch in my living room. When I was putting lights on it, I got shocked. Literally shocked! It was the weirdest feeling...in any case, those were my only lights (the rest are in CT) so the garland is plain.

We are still having supper club on Thursday and I couldn't be happier. It would have been sad not to have this "holiday" version of the club, especially knowing that on Friday we might not all work in the same place anymore. :(

The Biggest Loser finales always amaze me. I know that at one point I was almost that tiny but today, it seems so long ago. Maybe I should really get some Lipovox.

I emailed my parents right after "the meeting" on Monday letting them know about Friday. They are the only ones I emailed who have not yet responded in some way. A "It'll be OK" or "I'm sorry to hear that" would have been nice...

I've let my farm go. Mainly because I'm obsessed with decorating my house. *sigh*

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Toosdae ?'s

Again, 1000 times thanks for all of your comments and emails yesterday. It makes my heart smile to know that so many people care about me. I have to admit it though, I am still very scared about what is going to happen. I can't change Friday's outcome though, so I'm trying to focus on what I'll do if I do in fact lose my job...not come up with much right now, but I'm thinking, and I have a few people looking out for me for jobs around the area.

I've decided not to get a Christmas tree this year (which makes me very sad, actually) because I can't afford to waste money (I have to find somewhere to put the toys now that they won't be under the tree!). In any case, here are this weeks questions. Comments are free today, so answer away!

1. You're at a party with an open bar, but you can only choose 1 thing to drink all night. What do you choose?

2. How many drinks does it take to make you silly? How many more does it take to make you stupid?

3. Have you ever returned something to the store after wearing it?

1. As long as I didn't have too much to drink the night before, my drink of choice would be red wine-specifically Pinot Noir because I think it's easy to drink. If, however, I have had too much to drink (gee, do you think I'm a speaking from experience?!) the night before I'd choose ice cold light beer.

2. I usually drink wine, and after about 2 or 3 I start to get silly-after that, I get stupid-but really I just get tired.

3. Yes. The first thing that comes to mind is a dress I wore in 1998 to a dance. It was the dress that cemented my relationship with my ex-husband as I asked him to be my date and he couldn't keep his eyes off of me. It was the first time people knew about our secret relationship (he was my trainer). It cost me $65-I made $9/hour at the time and was VERY broke, so I kept the tags on and was very careful not to spill anything on it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Preamble

It was a pretty glum day in the office today after our meeting. Consultants and analysts who usually laugh and joke were moping around with blank looks in their eyes. They make up the bulk of our company, so they really have reason to worry. With them, it really can be anyone-at least I feel I have a very good chance of being one of the people let go. They have no idea, I'd imagine.

I was doing OK when I got home from work though I wasn't by any means feeling at ease. I'm still worried and scared and nervous about what will happen. I know I'll make it through, I know I'm strong and that I will land on my feet like I always do. It's the getting there that's scaring me.

It's strange that I can keep myself together until someone asks me about it. Just after the meeting I was feeling pretty fragile, so I came home to let it out and regroup. Later, a friend of mine (who may also lose her job) came over to see if we were OK. I wasn't and said so. She made a joke but I wasn't up for it. I know I was short with her and later emailed her to say I was sorry-I knew she was just trying to lighten things up and to try to make it better, if even for a few minutes-but as I told her, I needed some time to build my walls. Once they are built, I can joke around and be positive in the face of uncertainty and only those closest to me will see my fear. It's just another side effect of being an adult child of an alcoholic...making things seem like they are perfect when in fact, they are not.

In a way, that's a good thing, I think. It's how I "trick" myself into being positive; trick myself into surviving no matter what. It's my own built in wireless security system
if you will.

Tomorrow's another day, and for now I will try to rest, try to use all of my resources and talents to find other opportunities in case I need them, and search for new ways to further my culinary career.

I just hope that I'll have the choice to take my time...thanks to you all-for calling, emailing and commenting. It's your love and support that reminds me to stay focused and strong, even when I don't want to be.

Scared

I'm home for lunch mainly because I did not want to cry in front of all my new friends, even though some of them are likely to be crying too. We just had a meeting with the entire firm, telling us that on Friday 25% of us will be laid off.

I am non-essential, new and likely to be one of the unfortunate ones who will have no place to go next Monday.

I'm scared. I know that people with families should be spared, but what about people who have no one else but themselves to rely on? I have no one to come home to on Friday afternoon and no one to help me pay the bills. It's just me, myself and I and I'm scared that I am about to lose everything I love about my new life.

All of my new friends, my great apartment, food...what am I going to do? I know that some of you are going to tell me to stop being dramatic; that I might not even lose my job. I suppose you are partially right. However the 2 people I support don't even work in our office-they are remote-and one of the barely uses me as it is. The others have been there for years and support higher level partners and if push comes to shove, easily will be able to take on my 2. Yes, I make less than them and that could be looked at as a plus, but really, in this company I'm pretty sure that's not how they'll look at it.

They think they are being nice and respectable by telling us that on Friday we'll lose our jobs, but really, it's just agonizing. Instead, they won't tell us WHO will lose their jobs (they claim not to know yet) just that 25% of us will.

I know it's going to be me and I am so scared I don't know what to do. I've never lost a job in my life and sitting here in my apartment I wonder how I am going to cope. I've contacted my recruiter but I know it's the end of the year and no one really hires now.

Nice of them to let us go right before Christmas. They think they're being nice, I think it's horrible. Looks like I won't be buying at Audemars Piguet anytime soon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Dad's Cooler Than Your Dad


My Dad's company Christmas party was last night and he and a few of his employees got together and played a bit of music for us. They're not "tight" as he said, but for practicing only twice together (for 1 hour each time!) they sound pretty good! My Dad's the guy on the left in the very nice blue argyle sweater (that I got him for his birthday).

He's also the one playing the solo. :)

***I can't get the video to upload*** :( Working on it tomorrow...


Rye Bread is the blond in the sparkly dress dancing up a storm.

They played a few other songs as well and the drummer's wife sang with them for a while too. It was very cool to see my dad up there playing for us all because he loves it and hasn't preformed in a long while...