Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two (aghrivaine) wrote,
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two
aghrivaine

Don't Give Up

So, last week I lost my job. The manner of going was particularly rotten - Drexel, like all Pennsylvania employers, is an "at will" employer. What that means is that they can let anyone go at any time, for any reason. Which means that they give no severance pacakages to people they lay off - they just tell you to pack your stuff and go, because technically you weren't laid off, you were fired. And the law allows for this - there's no legal repurcussion for firing people just for the heck of it. My boss is such a prick bastard that he tends to wait for important days to let people go, too. Before me, a previous employee (who was really volatile, and really *should* have been fired) got sacked the day before his 20th Anniversary of hire. Me, they waited for the last business day before my birthday. I'm quite sure this is intentional - this guy has never had a kind word for anyone, but is quick to insult people and call them his "slaves".

So, I should be entitled to be upset, right? But I didn't really get particularly upset. Sure, it stings losing my job -and the financial timing was pretty bad. But, I cancelled my long planned trip to WorldCon this year, and saved some money that way -- got some unemployment, and I'll get by.

I realized how unhappy I was there. Sure, I loved the Aikido club, the gym, and being a part of an academic environment. But my manager and director were so unpleasant, so universally negative, that the work itself wasn't very rewarding. I found myself only putting forth 100% effort if something was outright broken, and I needed to fix it, and otherwise taking my time on projects. The day after I got let go, I felt not mad or bitter, but relieved. I know I'm supposed to be upset. I know I'm supposed to feel like my identity is threatened, that work is who I am - and without work, I am nothing. But I don't. And I think that tells me something important about the work I'm doing, and whether it's really the path for me.

In a goofy cosmic way, I feel like there's something else I'm meant to be doing it, and Drexel simply isn't it. I could have coasted there, I'm sure - taking classes was rewarding, and I was certainly capable of the work... but it was missing something to really fire me up and inspire me, and I failed to provide that inspiration myself. I'm not sorry to be gone. Though I suppose I'm sorry not to be paid...

So anyway, my 31st birthday pretty much sucked. Only three of my friends showed at the Lord of the Rings showing at the Troc, which was seriously disappointing, as dozens promised they would be there. Two had the courtesy to express regrets for not being there.. the rest simply no-showed. I feel so loved!

This week should be quite a corker, however. I'm headed downashore with Mark - we're going to go sea-kayaking (I'm instructed to bring my rowing muscles, which I suppose I might have otherwise forgotten) and bike riding -- I'm bringing both of the bikes so we can do a long ride. I'll also be doing my marathon training running - which today involves four miles, and tomorrow, and then 8 on Saturday. And of course, we'll be building a sandcastle - which traditionally brings good luck afterwards.

Early next week, I'm going to visit friends in the DC area, as well as perhaps hand out resumes and interview, if I get really really lucky. I'm also bringing the bikes, because I think I might have the chance to ride a famous bike trail down there with a friend. Sure, she's a friend, but she's the sort of friend that makes me feel all butterfly-riot in my stomach, too.

And hey, after all that - Medieval Total War comes out. It shan't be hard keeping myself busy - plus of course, there's the zen garden here in my community, right down the street really. Working in it was quite interesting, I finally wrapped my head around why zen monks will do redundant things, like raking sand, for hours and hours. I told Hiroshi-san that I wanted to do one thing perfectly, and through it, know perfection. He said, "What you do perfectly?" and I replied, "Catch poison ivy!"

And I was right.

So, I'm dilly-dallying - it's time to pack and head off to the shore. For weeks I've been waiting for this - there's something so simple and reassuring and relaxing. Maybe it's the stark uncluttered contrast between sea and sky. Maybe it's just the vibe of a whole town full of people with nowhere to be, and nothin' in particular to do. Perhaps childhood memories of retreats to the shore - I don't know.

I just know I can't wait to build that sandcastle.
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