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My job ends in two and a half weeks. There is no employment on my horizon. I can't wait to stop working here, although I'm a little less enthusiastic about the paychecks ending. Two months of resume-and-clips mailing hasn't yielded a single phone call from a prospective employer. As much as I fantasized about a smooth transition from old, dead job to new, shiny job, I'm starting to come to grips with the reality that I will soon be Unemployed. Indefinitely.

Our office vibe has become deeply weird since we all got the ax in February but were expected to keep working through the end of May. My boss (who's keeping his job, by the way) travels and "works at home" a lot these days and cannot maintain eye contact with us when he's here. The rest of us vacillate regularly between we're-all-in-this-together defeatist jocularity and sudden, narrow-eyed hostility. Fortunately, we're not competing for the same jobs. I can't imagine the mood here if that were the case.

As you might imagine, motivation has suffered. There's almost nothing to do these days, the last batch of publications having gone to the printer two weeks ago. I have three small projects to finish, but I can't bear to work on them -- a newsletter that usually takes me about 6 hours to whip together is now in its fourth day of writing. I would have to work about ten times harder to be doing a half-assed job at this point. My ass, workwise anyway, is fractional.

Most of us don't even bother to show up much anymore. I've been burning through my sick time since it won't be part of my severance package. I still have 14 sick-pay hours left, and a bunch of movies I want to see. Which sounds like it should be fun. But it isn't.

The dragged-out death of my job has been sucking the life out of my life for weeks. I've stopped e-mailing a lot of my friends, the jewelry projects I started to take my mind off things sit unfinished, I can't concentrate. I spend a lot of time staring. And worrying. And even though I know it's not the case, I feel like I have to wait until after May 30 to do anything about it. Like, once I'm freed from this job I'll be able to drag my (entire) ass out of this rut and make decisions again. I'll get serious about going back to school. I'll use my unemployed time to complete all the personal projects I've been putting off. I'll finish that stack of books, I'll work out more, I'll become that steely-eyed go-getter that lands a new job and gets a master's and lives happily ever after.

Just 11 more work days.

Replies: 3 Confessions

So I read in the Chronicle of Higher Education that teaching good grammar is pointless because what matters is that writing should be PASSIONATE, and also, who cares about a thesis statement. Well, no. This entry demonstrates the power of good grammer to make writing effective. Good word choice, variation of sentence structure, and logical ordering add additional force, as does the choice of forceful active verbs over wimpy adjectives. Where adjectives appear, they are vivid and evocative and carry consistent metaphors (in this case, a lot about eyes and alot about asses - somebody else can deconstruct that). Naturally, having good ideas helps. I also like the absence of self-serving subtext - no sneaky rhetoric or hidden appeals. While this piece is up front about you, underneath it is about the Spectre of Unemployment Blah - I see what you mean about the benefits of studying journalism. I'll say it again: Come help me teach students to write in the Fall.

elavil @ 05/14/2003 09:35 AM CST


Oh, come now. All this praise will go to my head, and I'll become insufferable.

amyc @ 05/14/2003 09:51 AM CST


And then I will blast you for it. Fair is fair.

elavil @ 05/14/2003 10:11 AM CST


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