It's just starting to sink in now. Earlier today, I felt quite casual about it, cavalier, maybe even slightly combative. But now I wash my face in the sink and watch water drain from my hair and try and let my mind blank but I can't. I'm just beginning to wrap my brain around the idea - "I've been laid off."

I knew it was coming, I'd been expecting it for about a year; but when the nuclear clock hangs at one second to midnight and shaky hands are on the Buttons of Absolute Screaming Doom 24/7/365, well, you get used to it. And you can't help but feel disappointed, a little hurt, when the launchpads suddenly go bright with burning propellant, when someone finally cuts the string and the Sword slices downward, pinpoint aim on your forehead.

And so tonight, I rest, putting my special Plan U into action in the morning. But I can't rest, not really, not with this damned tape loop in my head.


I had gone so far as to tell my bosses that I was looking for a new job, actively. I knew I'd be the first to go. I put my head on the chopping block, I dared the executioner to swing. And, after the cut was made, I found out I had company; out of the 15 coders, technical writers, and managers that collectively formed the Product Development department of TV Guide Networks, Inc., eight survived. Eight. And those eight look forward to a stretch of 80-hour workweeks as they try and piece the eggshell back together, as they try to coordinate with the Q&A and Database divisions, both deeply wounded as well, poor sots.

Fuck. It still smarts a bit.

I am without family, with little debt; no credit cards, no student loans, just a car that's still three years away from ownership. I have 8 weeks of severance pay, signed and delivered. I can move back in with my parents, cut costs, live on the cheap, no problem. I had a plan, I was ready and now the hour has arrived and it's time to move, to follow the scent of fresh opportunities and hound headhunters and cower weak HR servants into submission. And driving myself forward will lighten the load on my psyche.

But for tonight, and tonight only, I'll sit on my balcony and stare at the stars, lick a wound or two, and feel my stomach lurch about. Fuck.