Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#027 In which our hero finally gets around to the first one.

I just wrote this terrible post about being a poor, misunderstood advertising writer which, I realized half-way though, was total shit. I tend to be overly didactic when I'm talking or writing about my career, and am boring to myself at times. I generally go under the assumption that everyone else in the world finds my job as fascinating as I do. History has shown that this is not the case. So even though I managed to work in the phrase "dank bowels," which I was very proud of, I tanked the entire thing.

Instead, I'm going to post something I write quite a while ago when I got laid-off (read: fired) from the last agency where I worked. I had originally intended this site to be a chronological series of events from me getting fired to the present day. But, I don't seem to have the focus to relate stories in a linear fashion, so that approach was quickly abandoned over the "whatever the hell pops into my head" approach.



Son of a bitch!

Laid off.

I should have seen it coming. I mean, it's my own fault that I was
caught unprepared. I've only been at the agency for two years, and I've already seen three rounds of lay-offs, and mandatory pay cuts both summers. Since I'm the new guy in my department, guess it's no surprise that it finally came down to me.

I'm a copywriter at the largest advertising agency in Ohio. Well,
it used to be the largest, but who knows now? We've been firing people like crazy, so maybe we're not so big anymore.

Goddamn fancy digs. I know I was really amazed and charmed when I first interviewed here, but now I wonder if we did business out of some crappy warehouse somewhere if I'd still have a job. Don't get me wrong, it's really impressive to show clients the view of Cleveland from the top three floors of a downtown skyscraper. Not that I'll be doing that
anymore... they deactivated my keycard the day after they dropped the hammer, I can't even get into the building anymore.

"Hey, Craig, can Dave and I talk to you in the conference room for a second?"

This from the Creative Director, my boss. Meet with him and the president of my division? Sure, no problem. Wonder what they want? I know my annual review has come past due, I kept bugging Dave about that, and he kept putting me off. We are just getting out of the latest pay cut, the one they said for sure would put us back into the black. But they did just fire those people in the interactive division -


My heart sunk. Maybe it was those thoughts that flashed through my mind, maybe it was the look on Dan's face. I'm getting fired. Or laid off. There once was a time when only steelworkers or other Union guys
got "laid off." And that meant that they would be rehired as soon as the plant got back on its feet.

But that doesn't happen anymore. Never did, in any industry outside of manufacturing, far as I can tell. Now when you get laid off, you get fired. Out the door, don't come back, last check is in the mail, don't call us we definitely won't be calling you.

I really like both the president and my boss. Hell, I invited both guys to my wedding! They even got us good gifts. Now, though pained expressions, they were firing me. Not that they said "fired," of course. And thankfully they didn't say "laid off," either. I was told that the agency had to make some more cuts, and I was one of the cuts.

Cuts. Ouch, it definitely hurt.

Told on Wednesday, get out by Friday. Wonder when the actually decision was made? How long did they have to tip-toe around me, knowing full well that I'd be cast off, set adrift in an economy that wasn't especially conducive to finding new work?

Hey, thanks George W! You blew the shit out of Iraq, didn't you? How about giving me a fraction of that War Money so I can afford to put food on the table?

I discovered I had made two major mistakes while at the agency. One, obviously, was to get too comfortable, not read the writing on the wall, see what was coming. Two, was bringing in so much crap. I had toys and books and plants... four armfuls of stuff to cart off to my car. That sucked the most.

"Hey Craig, what's - (spying the box of belongings) - oh. Sorry, man."

Yep, I'm a sorry man. With the last elevator ride down I started to tear up. Asshole. I should have been angry. Angry that the agency spent so much time on appearance and so little on substance. Angry that personal buddies of the president got to stay to retirement age - regardless if they contributed anything to the agency or not - while the young guys like me, probably making a fraction of their salaries, got shit-canned.

Choking back the tears I rode down, alone with my plant. Out to the car, drive back home.

What the hell now?

Could you tell I was a little bit angry about getting fired?

I'm much better now.


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