Four years ago today I got the call. My manager called up to tell me that two weeks hence, my position would no longer exist. If only Fired! had existed back then, I might have felt a lot better about it. But at the time, it wasn’t a good IT market, I’d been with the company for 7 years and I was not looking forward to being out there on the market again, so to speak. I was moody for over a week, I was stuck in my apartment with an increasingly impossible to live with roommate, my relationship completely suffered and shortly ended. It’s sort of a wonder that I ever did bounce back from all that.
It’s not really the kind of news you want to hear just shy of a week from your birthday. In an odd coincidence, the same day I got news about the layoff, I met Tom at a party that evening. Maybe first impressions are the kind of thing that should never be posted to the internet, but the mood that I was in, I was really just looking for the wine and he was in expectant father mode and was quite chatty about it. Drunk as I was that evening, I recalled him as a chatterbox, with the next morning’s hangover I recalled the conversation as being pretty cool.
About two months later, I would interview with Tom’s team. Tom was in meetings and couldn’t make it. And just about a week after that, they offered me the job. I didn’t actually come face to face with Tom again until my first day on the job. During our first conversation he asked me, “So how’s Christopher?” — that’s right, he knew my ex, unfortunately didn’t know he was an ex, and decided to ask how he was. It’s not exactly what I’d call getting off to a good start, but it makes for a great “first day at work” story. And hey, work is work!
If I have the chance tonight, I’ll raise a glass and toast having gone through that and hopefully to never having to go through it again.
The other day my fed boss said to me, “You’ll uh.. you’ll let me know if you’re planning on leaving, right?” I told him that it will depend on the new Starbucks opening up on our corner. If the coffee’s horrible, then I’m outta here. So I guess I’ve got the opposite now, the company is hoping that I don’t leave.