On August 28th, my wife lost her job. 24 hours later, I lost mine. This blog is part of the day-by-day chronicling of our emotional journey back to employment. This is bound to be upsetting, hilarious and hopeful.
September 3, 2014
Erin let me sleep in after a late night of doing everything I could to drive myself to distraction. I woke up so sick to my stomach I thought I was going to puke right there in my bed. Today was the day I went back to work to clear out my desk and talk to my old boss.
Lost another pound and a half overnight. I’ve learned this is how my body responds to stress: I lose all appetite. When I was younger and insecure and completely infatuated with a girl at school, I went about a year and a half sustained by very little. Food was gross. The act of eating was a chore. My stomach was so constantly empty that people around me would make a face at revulsion at the loud grumbling emanating from my mid section, but I couldn’t have cared less.
I haven’t really felt like that again until this week.
Erin accompanied me to help me pack up my workspace while I downloaded twelve years of personal files from off my computer. We went to Home Depot first for boxes. The shipping department later scolded us for that, saying they’d have been glad to provide. We just didn’t want to be a bother.
My old boss was in a meeting when we got there, but when he found out I was waiting to speak with him he left to come talk to me. He was much more than just a boss to me, and I was a lot more than an employee to him. We had a long talk that ultimately ended with a long hug and expressions of love. That’s one conversation I won’t be having in my head for the rest of my life because I actually got to have it.
There were lots of tears as Erin and I went around to all the offices to say goodbye. Even I teared up, and I’m not terribly prone to do that. The previous two and a half years were the best time I’ve ever had on a job. The people I worked with were largely responsible for that and I will miss them terribly.
Earlier in the morning I thought I might shake apart for all the anxiety I was feeling. Now, as Erin and I walked the parking lot back to our car for the last time, I smiled. I hadn’t been able to see past today since the moment I was let go. But just because they let me go didn’t mean I’d let them go. This was my turn. Now, it was over.
Erin insisted we go to my favorite nearby sandwich place, Sunnyside Deli, for lunch. We spent more money we don’t how to replenish, but at least I ate again. I ate an entire Hot Pastrami sandwich. Tasted so good I might have had another if it weren’t for the instant stomach ache it gave me.
When we got home, we played Mario Kart 8. I read a study recently that said playing Mario Kart relieves stress. I think that’s true.
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Once again friends blessed us by bringing by dinner. Since our emotional exhaustion seemed to be having such a physical impact and the last thing Erin could imagine doing was cooking, we were grateful.
I’ve been getting messages of support and a few donations from loyal readers of my online comic, The SuperFogeys. Many of them are recommending we put the comic up on Patreon to garner some actual, regular monetary support. It’s a different kind of love that suggestion–the love of strangers–but it’s nonetheless a suggestion that keeps this little gratitude train we’re on rolling. Who tells you they want to pay for something you’re giving away for free? People who care, that’s who.
Next steps had to be taken tonight, so Erin and I wasted no time this evening cracking open our brains and working on her resume. This is so very real. I officially separated from old job. Tomorrow is my first real day of unemployment.
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Had three brownies tonight after everyone went to bed. Didn’t throw up.