#081 In which our hero gets some very bad news.
Here we go again.
Last Monday, shortly after I posted my dumb ramblings about shoes, my boss called me into his office. Actually, he met me at the door to his office and gave me a “let’s go this way” hand motion. So I follow him to “executive row.”
A little aside so you can better appreciate this tale: the advertising agency at which I work is housed in a renovated warehouse. I think I’ve mentioned before that advertising folk are crazy about renovated warehouses. Don’t ask me why. But they love it. So the president bought this warehouse and had it renovated. So understand, it was a warehouse, just a big empty box. It was tastefully done and not the typical mish-mash of exposed brick, diamond plate steel, chrome, and glass which seems so in favor. Anyway, the executive offices (president, VP and business development director) are all clustered together. Most everyone else has a cubicle. But, to get to this cluster of offices you have to walk up three steps. I don’t know if it was the architect’s idea or the president’s, but it always struck me as stupid that there was this useless elevation in the middle of the agency. Of course, you can draw your own conclusions about the mindset that requires upper management to be physically elevated over the rest of us rank and file drones. Anyway.
So I follow my boss up to executive row, assuming that we’re going to meet with the president to talk about some job. Instead, we go into the vice-president’s office. He gets up and closes his door.
Suddenly, I realize that this situation is very, very familiar.
ME: Are you firing me?!Then came to typical “let me stress that it has nothing to do with your job performance” bullshit that I heard less than two years ago. Now, when I got laid off from my last agency job I was really busted up about it. I loved working there, and I especially loved the people. My boss was fantastic. Matter of fact, it wasn’t until I went to work for the human cock that was sitting next to me while I was getting fired that I realized just how great my last boss was.
VP: Unfortunately, because of the state of the agency, we have to lay you off --
ME: Son of a bitch!
To make it even better, I was told that “this move does not benefit the agency.” And y’know what? They’re right. This move sure as fuck does not benefit the agency, it hurts it. And I’m not saying that just to be egotistical, but because they have cut their creative department down to one fulltime person. And now they have no writers on staff. No one to ask, “hey, is it ‘will’ or ‘shall?’” Or, “what’s a better word for ‘facilitate?’”Nor will they have anyone to proofread materials, or create new materials for that reason.
But their plan for that last item is to keep me around as a freelancer. I’m not thrilled by the notion of still doing the same work but getting paid less for it. But, the situation is such that I have no choice. And I told them so. Actually, what I said was, “Sure, I’ll freelance for you. I have no choice. I have a new mortgage and a baby on the way, so as much as I’d like to tell you all [and here I turned to look at my boss] ‘Fuck you,’ and walk away, I can’t.”
More than anything, what angers me is that not six months ago, I went to the president of the company and asked about my future. I told him that my wife and I were expecting, and we were thinking of buying a new house, and if something drastic was going to happen, I needed to know, so I could plan. And at that time he assured me that the agency had always had a copywriter on staff, and always would. “So just fucking relax,” he told me with his giant cheeseball smile. “Buy your house, take care of your family. It’ll be fine.”
Naturally, I mentioned this, and was given the run around… “I don’t know what the situation was then, but the situation now is…” blah, blah, blah. What are they going to say? “Yeah, the president is a ball-less lying fuck that couldn’t even be bothered to come in here and face you in person.”
So now, The Scientist and I are shitting our pants. The situation is grim. I need to find another job paying at least as much as I was making, or we’re fucked. Well, that’s not entirely true, both our families have offered to bail us out, and we’re really lucky in that regard… but we’d rather not have to borrow a bunch of money if we can avoid it. But we’re certainly not so proud that we’d turn it down if it comes to it.
And we’re having another baby in two months. I hope that eats at the people that just fired me; I hope they feel shitty about it for years to come.
Now… reassess, retool, restock.
Plan for the near future.
Don’t freak out.
Wipe your ass.