I feel the twitter of change sending tremors through me, excitement, fear, surprise, and hope all intertwined in a strange dance of emotion.
Then it hits me: the sadness and sympathy.
I think over her words again: “There’s been a slight layoff,” she had said. “Four of our full time employees have been let go. I just wanted you to know, in case you noticed it was a little quieter around here.”
“I assume that means I was affected as well?” I asked, that twitter running through me.
“No. We’re keeping the seasonal employees on, since you guys expected your jobs to go away and we’ll be cutting back more as we get on in the year.”
My customer service job is my second job. I’m a seasonal employee, brought in for the Christmas rush, and while it’s been extremely slow since New Year’s, thanks to an excellent job by the warehouse, I expected to be one of the first to go. Instead, four full-time members of my department have disappeared, and I can’t help but feel like my presence here is unfair.
I almost want the job to go away. I want to focus on my job as a ski instructor, which is more fun and rewarding, albeit tiring, than my CS job. I want to have time to myself and days off again, a social life and opportunities to ski outside of work. I want to leave behind nine hour days in a cubicle and spend my waking hours beneath the sun and feeling the howl of the wind.
Instead, I’ve been given a second lease I didn’t especially want for a job I’m just about ready to leave behind.
I shouldn’t be so melancholy. The previous two days have been a high point in my year so far.
I completed my Children’s Certification for the Professional Ski Instructors of America, earning a slight raise and solid feeling of accomplishment. Unlike my Level 1 Certification, this cert left me relaxed, happy, and with feelings of utter joy and appreciation. The group I was with was full of great people and my examiner both covered the material well and in a manner that was utterly enjoyable. I got to play in the trees, ski the steeps, and talk about teaching, skiing, and all the things fresh on my mind.
And now, my presumptious business cards are viable, since I had them printed over two weeks prematurely, taking credit for a course I hadn’t even taken yet.
In addition, despite my status as part-time, seasonal, and utterly expendable, I have at least a few more weeks of work, which is better than not having that second bit of income given the economy.
The office seems quieter. Four fewer voices filling the void. We have a meeting in a little to discuss the changes. I expect it to be somber.
For most of my post-graduate life, I’ve been struggling to find a path in this world, bouncing from day job to day job, passion to passion, and life to life to a large degree. For those people who had been here for years, who felt it was family, I can’t imagine the pain.
Maybe I’ll last until I’m laid off too.
Or maybe the guilt of still being here will get to me.