Thirty-One (21 of 31)

I spent an extra hour in the office on Wednesday to try and finish up a project before we close up shop for the holidays. I won’t be back there until January 3, so it seems only fitting that today was so absolutely insane. In the end, everything worked out, but there was a lot of swearing at the computer in the latter stages of the day. I don’t get nearly as mad at my machine at this job as I did at the last one, but it does still give me fits from time to time.

This got me thinking about how miserable I was at my last job and that put everything in perspective. Even a bad day at the job I have now is actually a good day by comparison, because it doesn’t make me feel like shit, because my boss appreciates me and what I do, and because I believe in the purpose of the organization.

So, I tried to find a throwback entry that summed up how hard it was at my last job, but there were just too many entries to choose from. In the end, I chose one from the beginning of the end, from the Monday just before I was let go. I don’t think any one entry from that period can sum up how frustrating and demoralizing it was to work at that place, but this one gives you an idea of the mixed emotions I had when reading the writing on the wall.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I’m sitting here alone in my new house, my new car parked outside, wondering if I’ve successfully deciphered the writing on the wall. The head of my company has decided he wants me to train someone else how to do one of the two things I do on a regular basis. It’s been established that the other thing I do isn’t producing spectacular results. All signs are pointing towards something I’ve seen as inevitable for months, maybe even for the entire time I’ve worked there. I’m trying hard not to think about what losing my job might entail but all my effort is really like a couple of half-filled sandbags trying to stave off a monsoon.

The upside is that with Stephanie away for a couple of days and with the house all to myself, I actually decided to do something constructive with my evening. I decided to finish reading Empire Falls. I read and I read and I read some more and it made me feel so good, in spite of everything. I feel like I’m on the verge of tears now, now that I’m away from the book, but I’ll be off to bed soon and then my own writing will be waiting for me in the morning.

I sent out some e-mails tonight with the new address and such. One of the e-mails went to my brother John. In the body of the message I addressed my concerns that by Friday I might be, once again, among the ranks of the unemployed. He wrote back something that made me smile. I’m not sure what he meant by it. Maybe he was just making fun of the way I closed my letter: "Love, Chris & Stef". Whatever the case, what he wrote is the thought I’d like to leave you with tonight, the thought I’d like to keep in my head as I go off to bed.

He said, "love yourself dude".

I’m going to try and do just that.