Life is funny. If someone had tapped me on the shoulder a week ago and told me that I’d soon be back out on the job market again, I probably would have called the cops and then pressed charges. I would have more quickly believed that I’d won the Mega Millions jackpot even though I didn’t play. Or, I would have more easily been convinced that I’d landed the role of Katniss Everdeen in one of the “Hunger Games” sequels than believe that I’d soon be without a job. Nope, not possible. Not me. I’m allergic to unemployment.
But then it happened—kind of.
The day started out just like any other. The sun was shining. Birds were chirping. And only three pedestrians had ventured out into oncoming traffic, forcing me to slam on the brakes and spill my coffee during my five minute commute to work that morning. One of them gave me the finger. He was probably five.
Because I’d just renewed my lease that morning, I’d come up with a plan. May 2nd would be a year since I’d been with the company, and I was ready to grow. The week before, a higher-level position had opened up, and I had my sights clearly set on it. For once, the management team and I were on the same page. It was time to take on additional responsibility. I had earned it. My mind raced as I envisioned my new name tag: Michael Rochelle, Assistant Janitor. My mother would have been so proud.
When I got to my desk that morning, I’d barely taken a sip of my coffee—not Starbucks—before I saw the word that would completely throw off any thoughts or ideas I’d had about growth and stability: merger. But this wasn’t just any ole type of merger. No. This was more like a marriage where my company would clearly be the wife, losing our name and taking on new ownership. Yeah, I went there. Shout out to my friends getting married over the next few months. Hope you enjoy your new leashes…uh…I mean leases on life.
Although the outlook isn’t exactly good, I’m keeping a positive attitude. I mean, realistically, McDonald’s is always hiring—although they did reject my application for a cashier position a few years ago because I was highly underqualified. The problem is, as mentioned, I just started this job a year ago, so I clearly remember the months of sending out resumes and filling out applications before this opportunity came through. Oh, and I won’t even mention all the interviews where I was forced to sit there and talk about myself for an hour or two. And if you know anything about me, you know that talking about myself is the one thing I rarely ever do. Nope. I’m humble.
My favorite fish, Kim Kardashian, took the news the worst. I’ll just go ahead and put it out there: he’s a little high maintenance. I’m not exactly sure where he gets it from, but I hear he’s been associating with one of my other fish, Kanye West, a lot recently. In any case, Kim pulled me to the side the other day and told me that if I thought he was going to settle for some generic brand of fish flakes, I had another thing coming. So, I wasn’t surprised when I found him dead later that evening. Apparently, fish get depressed and suicidal too.
It was then that I began thinking about my options. Of course, I could always break my newly signed lease and move back in with my mother. I don’t how long that would work out, though. She’s very strict. And not just motherly strict, she’s military-boot-camp-sergeant strict. One time I visited her one afternoon and accidentally stayed past 9 PM and she sent me to my old room because it was past my bedtime. I was 32. When I complained and said I wanted to go home, she responded, “My house my rules. I brought you in this world, and I can take you out!!!” I don’t really see that arrangement working out too well.
Honestly, I won’t really know the status of my employment until sometime this summer, but if worst comes to worst and I find myself without a job, I could always devote some of the downtime to my alleged novel or to posting on my blog more frequently while I can still afford the electricity and internet access to do so. Based on how much I’ve saved over the past few years, I’d say I can keep up this lifestyle comfortably for about two whole days before I have to start posting items like my remaining fish or my used boxer shorts on eBay. Because I really want to connect and feel close to the new owners, I won’t even bother washing them before shipping them out. I’ll Febreze them upon request, though. I’ll even let the buyer choose the scent.
Speaking of cutting back, being unemployed will definitely cut into my Kohl’s and Starbucks budget. I may even have to drop down to only three or four visits a week. Oh the humanity!!! On the flip side, because food may soon become scarce, I probably won’t have to worry about my weight or cholesterol level in a few months. That’s a good thing. Hey, I’m just trying to stay positive. Remember, you have to look at the glass as being half full even when it is really half empty.
Maybe some downtime would give me the opportunity to throw myself more into my schoolwork. I could finally turn in that research paper that was due two semesters ago. Or, maybe this is the push that I need to finally figure out what it is that I want to do with my life. We all know that I write, but what’s next for me in terms of a career? Everything up until now has definitely been a job—unless you count that rough patch a few years back when I had to resort to stripping to make ends meet. Maybe I could bring my old stripper alter ego, Caramel Macchiato Thunder, back to the stage for a few more performances. I made some good money back then. Five whole dollars a night! Hmmm. Maybe it’s time to dust off those stripper boots.
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