Well, it’s official. No one is reading my blog. It’s my own fault, I know that, but it is depressing to finally have to accept the fact that no one is reading it anymore. Spoiler alert…if you don’t post on a blog for almost a year, people will lose interest.
I’m averaging about three views per day now. I used to average 20 or 30. Okay, so that’s not very much either, but at least it was more than three. I started a full time job in April of 2012, and pretty much stopped posting. I couldn’t find the time, or so I told myself. The blog was kept afloat by a story I wrote back on June 24, 2011, and another I wrote in 2009, which I reposted on July 20, 2011. People think I’m an expert on who invented the light bulb, and how to back up a boat trailer. I’m an expert on neither.
I started that job, by the way, on April Fool’s day. That should have been a sign. On Friday, June 6th, the first “wave” of us is being laid off. I’ve already signed the severance agreement. The company is closing their Albuquerque office which has been here for over 20 years under three different entities and employed over 750 people. We’re being sent on our way with a few weeks of severance and the daunting task of finding a job in a stagnant economy all at the same time. And in my case, even more daunting, because I’m in that dreaded over 50 age group, way over 50 in fact. How far over 50 are you? I’m so far over 50 that my high school is having a combined 45th reunion this summer. They may have other reasons for doing it, but I think it’s a matter of getting enough live members of the classes of 1971, 1970, 1969, and 1968 to get the group rate at the motel.
So it’s starting to sink in, this week, this Monday morning, that in five short days I won’t have anywhere to get up at 4:30 to go. Worse, in a few short weeks, I won’t have any steady income. What the hell am I thinking? I literally hated this job. Hated getting up at 4:30 and coming in here every day, and yes, I didn’t miss a day in over two years. I didn’t get any training other than a few days sitting with someone that was doing the job I would be inheriting. I was expected to do things I had no experience doing, and received little if any help while I stumbled through trying to learn what to do next. I jokingly called it “training by osmosis.” The supervisors, however, clearly expected me to be immediately up to speed, and couldn’t fathom how I didn’t understand some complex process after being shown how to do it at least once.
I was afraid to take time off, because I had no way of getting the work done that was due during the week if I wasn’t there. It was up to me to find someone to do the work for me while I was out. I kid you not. So I haven’t taken a vacation now, of any sort, in more than four years. I firmly believe a person needs to get out of town once in a while. You sure as rain need to get away from the salt mine for at least a week once a year. Go somewhere. Relax. Do something fun.
I started as a temporary employee, and they dragged that out for months after my contract ran out, before they decided to put me on full-time. And I made the mistake of accepting the position. I had a choice… maybe. Of course I did, but I just would have had to look for a job sooner. They knew back when I was offered the job, that this place had no future. It wasn’t going to be here by the end of 2014 when their lease was up. But they didn’t say anything to me about that. I had to find that out by myself.
I’ve spent the last three months training my replacements. Yes, replacements. They have assigned two people to continue doing the work I was doing. I don’t know what that says, exactly, but I know I felt like I was buried in deliverables and work volume every week. But the final insult: This company I worked for actually believed that people who were being laid-off would facilitate a smooth transition to their relocated offices, and do all the necessary on-job training to accommodate that, totally invisible to the customer. But you know what; the employees did take ownership, and created that smooth transition, almost across the board. I don’t know if it was fear of losing the severance, (some employees will get up to 6 months), or some kind of blind loyalty for a company some had worked for, for over 30 years. But it wasn’t even the same company; it had been acquired twice during that period. No, I’m pretty sure we all did it for fear of being fired and losing that few weeks of severance, and the ability to qualify for unemployment insurance. The only ones that left found other employment, and opted for job security over the few weeks of paid hiatus.
The supervisors are still expecting us to work up to the final second of the final day of the final work week. Walking around making sure we’re busy. My supervisor is acting like he’s up for promotion, but he’s being laid off just like the rest of us. Me, I’m busy doing nothing and have been doing nothing for the past several weeks. It makes for very long and very boring days, only five more to go, but I have no loyalty to this company and I’ve already done more than my share as I see it.
What it really came down to, is I wasn’t cut out for this job. I never fully grasped it. I never felt like I got control of it. Come to think of it, I’ve never been cut out for any of the jobs I’ve had over the years; I’ve just done them to survive. None of them were jobs I dreamed of having when I was younger. But you wake up one morning and realize you have more years behind you than you have in front of you, and it’s an alarming realization. Oh my god, what have I really done, what do I do now?
Soon I’ll have more “free” time to write blogs, but I guess no one will be left to read them. And that’s not really okay, because I wanted to be Freshly Pressed. Because it works like Oprah’s Book Club; if you get Freshly Pressed, hundreds of people are drawn to your blog and sign up, just like you became an instant best-selling author if Oprah told people to read your book. You get to pretend like you’re a successful blogger, but I guess if you’re really any good, you should be able to do that by yourself. WTF.