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Friday, July 31, 2009

Unemployed

Today, I joined the ranks of the millions of other Americans whose jobs have been axed due to the economy...I got laid off.

As you might remember, I decided to take an extended leave of absence after my maternity leave ran out on May 19th. My plan was to take the entire summer off so that I could stay home with Grace and Harrison, and then to return to work in September when Grace starts school again. Harrison would go into day care, and I would return to work full time. That was the plan.

However, plans change. Today I got a call from my employer...my former employer...telling me that volumes are down at work and that I had two options. I could extend my leave indefinitely and technically remain an employee (who doesn't actually work) and then if a position opened up (highly unlikely), I could apply for it. Or, I could just be laid off and be in a status of "eligible for rehire". I went with the second option--at least in a lay off, I can claim unemployment.

I can't say that I am too surprised about all of this. I mean, the economy continues to suck, and my former employer has had to make cuts just like everyone else. And, I am super excited to be an official Stay At Home Mom. I plan to volunteer at Grace's school during the week--something I wouldn't have been able to do while I was working. And, I can rest assured that I will be able to witness all of Harrison's firsts that I might have missed had I been at work. I can't think of a more wonderful or fulfilling undertaking.

However, I can't help but feel a little disappointed about all of this as well. When I was working, I worked my ass off...there was rarely a night when I wasn't checking emails or doing other work long after Grace was asleep. I cared about my job, about my reputation at work, and about my rapport with my client. I cared so much, in fact, that the stress ended up affecting my health and the health of my child during the last few months of my pregnancy. I thought that I was an invaluable employee and that my employer would be so thrilled and relieved to have me back from leave. I thought that all the hard work I put in would somehow matter. I thought that the fact I did care so much would count for something. I thought it would matter that I was sticking it out and working even harder so that I could prove that I was still a valuable employee even though I was eight months pregnant and working from home.

But I'm not special. I'm not exempt. It didn't matter.

Come to think of it, I guess I'd rather spend my days with those who truly need and appreciate me.

2 comments:

Carrie said...

It's natural to feel a sense of rejection along with a layoff, but I hope the feeling fades quickly. After all, companies always make the stupidest choices about who to part with. At the Chronicle, a PULITZER PRIZE WINNER got laid off.

Anyway, I'm happy for you that you'll be staying home. For many women, I think this change is actually a portal to a different kind of career -- more self-defined and ultimately better. I hope I'm on that road myself; I'll let you know in a few years, lol.

Angie said...

hell yes you are important and needed by the most important people in your life. what a wonderful thing that you get to be with your kids. i for one, am happy for you. i know how much you love being a mom. :)

call me! let's catch up in person. xoxo!