There comes a time in everybody’s life, I imagine, when you find yourself sitting at an oversized conference table listening to your boss explain your severance package.
“We ask that you look over this release and sign it when you’re ready. Take all the time you need.”
You hear yourself say “thank you”.
Wait, did you really just say thank you for being laid off? Shouldn’t they be thanking you for not jumping on the table and screaming at the top of your lungs? Shouldn’t they be thanking you for all your hard work and dedication?
“Do you have any questions?” your boss of two-minutes ago asks.
“Huh? About what?” Blood is pounding in your ears and you’re trying not to cry.
“Nope, I think things seem pretty clear,” you say with a sarcastic chuckle and you’re immediately embarrassed by your immaturity. This is just how you handle breakups.
You’re dismissed from the conference room and the tears have finally broken through your defenses. You go back to your desk and exchange blank looks with your coworkers who have either already gotten the speech or who are just about to. Swearing, you begin to go through your belongings. You’re surprised by how much you can just throw away now. You empty entire drawers into the garbage, get your mug from the kitchen and make a beeline for the door.
You’ll come back tomorrow to deal with the rest of the shit. You’ve got to clear out your computer, “tie up lose ends” and “transition your responsibilities”. You want to scream.
“That’s the life of a startup,” they say with a shrug. “But isn’t it my life too?” you wonder.
You sit on the subway and cry. Men look away awkwardly and women glance at you with concern. You’re in New York City… they’ve seen weirder.
You trudge pathetically to your apartment and actually kick a plastic water bottle on the sidewalk for half of the walk. You’re wallowing and you know it. But you don’t care, because life just projectile vomited in your face.
Stop at a deli and buy two chocolate bars. Make blood-shot eye contact with the cashier. Dare him to ask you what’s wrong.
Get into your apartment and shove the chocolate into your face. Call your parents. Cryptically tell whoever is on gchat that “you lost your job”. Update your Facebook and Twitter accounts with something dramatic and vague and then crawl into bed at 2pm in the clothes you wore to work that morning.
Wake up 4 hours later feeling like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, like you’ve had a tumor removed. You remember that your job sucked. You remember that you had been applying to jobs anyways. And hey… at least you hadn’t been fired. It’s not your fault the company folded.
The next day you get two freelance job offers.