Thursday, March 17, 2011
Is this thing on?
One of the the scariest things about the Internet is that nothing ever goes away.
Including this blog.
That's just one of the many things I know that politicians don't seem to understand. Or maybe they just don't care.
But luddite politicos aside, I'm shedding some new light on this dark planet to document some of the things that have happened to your narrator and his family since we last convened. For a lot of you, this will be old news from Facebook. But for the rest of you who care (yes, both of you), here's a rundown beginning from last October.
1. Things at work heat up. Carlos and I are tasked with creating a 12 minute documentary, shooting and editing as we go, for a show in November.
2. Molly and her fiance, Mark, move to Nashville, where Mark has a better job selling shoes than he had here. Hard to imagine, but it's true. Molly gives up her first employment in two years, a job she enjoys and is doing well, to be with the man she loves. We wish the young folks well and plan to stuff the rent we'd been paying on their house into a retirement account because between supporting Jenny's mother and now supporting Molly and Mark, we've got nothing put away for ourselves.
3. Work gets more intense and 60 hour weeks become common.
4. Around the middle of November, Molly moves back home. It appears that Mark, who moved to Nashville with a job, can't understand why Molly hasn't landed employment in a few weeks. Because, hey, the economy is booming, right?
5. Thanksgiving. Carlos and I work on the documentary on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We are the only people in the building.
Shortly after that, Molly checks herself into the hospital.
6. On December 14th, my sister calls saying my mother is in the hospital. Should I come out to Oklahoma? Should I wait until Mom's back home? My sister says to wait.
7. With Christmas approaching, the family becomes almost paralyzed with waiting. Meanwhile, work ramps up to more nights and weekends.
8. Christmas. I have bought presents for Jenny and Molly. My presents are from my sister, sent before Mom went into the ICU.
9. My sister calls. Mom has been sent home. It is a matter of days. By the luck of the cosmos, I get a check for a freelance gig I'd done last summer that pays for our flight to Oklahoma. Molly and I arrive on Wednesday afternoon. Mom opens her eyes and smiles. Tears fill her eyes and she closes them. The next day she is gone.
10. I fly home. Work is intense. I raise my voice to an account executive who has rewritten one of my headlines. HR tells me to go home for a week. It's the week of my colonoscopy, so I go.
11. My health is deteriorating and no one knows why. Work is back with a vengeance. Our department is told that we're unreliable and uncollaborative. We go back to logging 70 hours a week while the other departments, those who are reliable and collaborative, go home at 5.
12. Last week, as I approach my 61st birthday, I am called into HR and fired. They mumble some reasons why, none very compelling, and after five years, I pack all my shit in a box.
13. Yesterday, we learn that Jenny is getting let go, too. Her co-workers believe she's losing a step or two, and we fear they're right. We are faced with the prospect of far too much money going out, and no money coming in. I begin looking for work.
And that's where we are today.
As the next few months unfold, I'll be using The Planet to document what it's like to be over 60 and looking for work in this job market.
Stay tuned. It should be fun.