I was “gainfully” employed for awhile. Working for an outsourcing company. Then my job was outsourced to India. My friends think its hysterical! Things are actually pretty different around here. First, I’ve become a mother. No It’s not what you think. I haven’t been having that much fun. I adopted a Yorkshire terrier named Brie this past August and I’ve been too busy being trained that I have been able to write. It’s a dog’s life! She came from a very good neighborhood in Connecticut, and is adjusting to being an urban dog. Everyday I play her some rap music. And she got her first taste of good Jewish pot roast. Now she refuses to eat her kibble without kosher chicken. this dog lucked out! Also, Rita’s gotten really skinny. You wouldn’t recognize her and Gucci. Now I’m going to have to hear HER dating stories! And Abby just came back from another trip to Antarctica and looks almost mystically happy. I think she’s going to go off wondering again. So, here I am, living with a canine, about to call unemployment. Again. I think you are now up-to-date.
With this parting thought, I drag my frayed shoe box through the building, into the elevator, onto the street. I stand in a pink vapor, waiting for a taxi to rescue me. My heart aches. I feel naked and alone on a NYC street corner, except for a single pink slip clinging to my body. But the cars whiz by me as I am now invisible. I lean against steel, as the new icon of 2009. Workers, standing in front of office buildings. Worldly belongings shoved into torn cardboard boxes. No pink slip.
But somehow, at this dark moment, I see that the expanse of 9th Avenue is my Red Sea. I am liberated! I know I will travel through rough, frightening terrain. In this case, oncoming traffic. With all my soul, I understand, the journey of my life has finally begun.
I return through the dark corridor to collect my shoe farm. I forage for boxes, and I fortunately find one in the main conference room. I use my door “clicker” to be admitted to the inner sanctum for the last time. No one has moved or changed position since I left. They still sit like wax figures at the computer—eyes glued, guarding confidential company files. I gently arrange my shoes in the cardboard box like it’s a cradle. I have trouble breathing through the heavy silence. I start to panic!
“Where is my pink slip?” There’s absolutely no evidence that I’ve spent the past 12 months working 60 hour weeks. I type in my password on the computer. It’s frozen. I hear a familiar voice echo behind me “Let’s not drag this out!”
Do you ever wonder what it’s all about? Well, as the unemployment rate in NYC reaches 17%, I certainly do. I’m a Harvard Business School graduate without a job. And I’ve graduated Harvard not once, but twice! With fifteen years of work experience. You can relate. Now that I think of it, I’ve spent most of my life “searching”. For the right job. And for the right guy. But somehow my picket fence remains my 500 square foot studio on East 72nd Street Have you noticed that interviews and dating are pretty similar experiences? So, let me tell you about myself. I’m Jane, and I’m currently lying in my bed on the upper east side of Manhattan with my teddy bear, Solace. And multiple Hershey bar wrappers. Where does one go from here?
Most recently, I worked for an internet marketing start-up in NYC. Starting last January, business took a nose-dive as a result of the recession. During the summer, we couldn’t generate any new business. Nervous marketing managers slashed budgets. “Spend” became the new “four letter” word. Two weeks before my birthday last October, I’m handed my “pink slip”. Happy Birthday Jane!
I gathered my shoes, photos, and mouse pad before my computer unceremoniously goes black. Looking back, I saw it coming. But I wasn’t prepared. Now an outsider, I embark on a new journey. To figure “It” out. Life is a puzzle.
I must ask you, “Is your pink slip showing?”