Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Empire Strikes Back of Life

I'm not entirely sure what to call what happened to me on Wednesday. It's not exactly fired so far as I can tell. It's not exactly laid off. It's not exactly let go. I didn't exactly quit.What happened was that, as of 5:00 PM Wednesday afternoon I found myself completely unemployed. Here's how it went down...

I graduated in May, but I stayed on with the library because job hunting has been even less than unsuccessful. One awful interview the whole summer (I put in my time, got my piece of paper, where's my job?). So I stayed on with my school job, figuring they'd be willing to work with me come the fall.
Wednesday afternoon I'm sitting in our teaching classroom, a smaller room with about twenty computers. No one ever comes into the classroom, which is nice because it affords me the time to sit around and surf youtube, read wikipedia, and job hunt (usually in that order). My boss comes in with a group of the new recruits to use the classroom and give them a rough orientation on a lot of the software and services our office supports. But before that she takes the time to introduce the couple of people in the classroom already.

When she gets to me she says, “And this is Nathan, but you won't be seeing a whole lot of him because he's not going to be working with us come the start of the semester.”

Ok, I think and offer a perfunctory wave while I'm working on the flyer for some of the classes offered in the fall, that makes sense, I'm planning on moving out to Portland, Oregon and attempting to wing a bohemian life out there with the friends who've already headed out, and that's happening in October, a few months away.

Then I stop. Something doesn't jive with something else. The start of the semester. So I go to the school's website and search Academic calendar. Pull up Fall 2010, and see the starting date for the semester: 09/07/2010. Next Tuesday. Then another thought comes rushing out in an angry, confused fury. I don't work between Wednesday and Monday (and we're closed on Monday for Labor Day) Then the two thoughts jump together. My stomach lurches just to get in on the building shock. I don't work again between now and the start of the semester. Today is my last day. Would've been nice to have a heads up, I think.

I think about, after the class has split, stopping in my bosses office and confronting her, but if this is her way of saying I'm fired, it's really nonconfrontational, and I'm not feeling like stepping it up much and taking the higher road. When I get home I fire her an email asking her if, all things considered that makes today my last day.

“Yeah,” she says, “I guess it is.”

“Oh, ok,” I respond, “can I get a letter of reference?”

“Yep, not a problem,” she responds.

And that was it.

It's put everything else into a desperate perspective. Student loans are about to start rolling in, here with October so close. I'm not finding any work. I'm barely finding any potential, and those that I can apply for are rarely taking the time to write back and say “Sorry, we're not interested.”

I'm a graduate from the Univeristy of Michigan with a marketable degree in information literacy an library services. I'm articulate. I'm young, and driven. I'm stuck so far behind the eight-ball.

I don't know what I'm going to do.


Caroline September 7, 2010 at 12:39 AM  

Recommendation? Apply for unemployment. You certainly didn't quit.

RovingWeaver January 13, 2012 at 7:18 PM  

I think the only more horrible "end of job" story I have ever heard was when this girl I worked with came in to work, couldn't swipe her badge, so she filled out a form, then spent the entire day unable to sign in to the computer so she had other people verify her work for her... and then when she was ready to leave that day was told that she was actually fired, they had just let her work the entire day anyway.