Saturday, November 28, 2009

Congratulations! We’re Letting You Go.

Three weeks ago, I was given “the talk” by my boss. After 15 years, with the company, my position was being eliminated. In all honesty, this was not a surprise. The company had been trimming the fat (me being the fat in this scenario) little by little. “This is no reflection on your performance… corporate downsizing… budgetary efficiency… blah blah blah… yada yada yada”. The reason didn’t matter. Once the decision was made and announced, I could either sit there in a stupor wondering how the hell they could do this to me, or I could figure out what the hell I was going to do.

I still have a month to go. So I walk in every day trying not to look as if my tail is between my legs. I spend my days finishing up projects, updating my resume, and thinking of nasty things to say to my boss that I won’t actually say.

However, I do have a few items I want to review with my coworkers before I depart. Things I’ve been meaning to discuss for some time.

Here they are in order of most irritating to least:

1. It is FLESH out an idea, not FLUSH. To flesh out an idea is to give it life by elaborating on it as a painter does when he gives a flesh color to his subjects. To flush something out is to drive it out in the open and expose it. I am constantly being asked to flush out an idea. I usually respond with “I only flush out the bad ones” and leave it at that.

2. PENULTIMATE is a big word. Don’t use it unless you really know what you’re doing. This word means “second to last” and nothing else. It does NOT mean the very pinnacle of ultimate. It does not mean the position you strive to achieve (unless there are only two contenders in the race). Look it up if you don’t believe me. An executive at our company once announced “We will make ours the penultimate website!” Personally, I think he should aim higher.

3. “A lot” is two words. Always has been, always will be. No matter how many times you type it that way, it will never be one word. Not even alittle.

4. You do not “loose” the bid or “loose” money in overages. You LOSE them. It may look right in an email, but it’s wrong. Got it?

5. And to all my dear friends who at the end of the workday bid me “Drive careful!” I love you, and thank-you for the sentiment. (Should I tell them that it’s “carefully?”)

If I can leave any kind of legacy at all, let these lessons be it. Forget all of the revenue I helped to generate, the last-minute presentations I put together when the future of the company depended on it. Don’t take into consideration that I played an integral part in bringing in new clients. And forget 15 years of loyalty and hard work.

Seriously, all bitterness aside, I’m actually grateful it’s happened. I’m generally a person who sees the good in any situation. After this much time, however, extracting the good takes a little more skill. But good there is. There are three especially good things I get out of this situation. Time with my daughter, time with my son, and time with my husband. Because of my longevity with the company, I will receive a nice severance pay. I can take a month or two off and see what it’s like to be home when the kids come home from school. I can have dinner on the table more often and not have to pick up Happy Meals on the way home. I will have time to bake cupcakes for the class. Time to sew costumes for the school play. Time to chaperone on field trips. And time to shoot baskets before dark. I get the gift of time with my family, something I ached for with every utterly exhausted fiber of my being.

The ‘powers that be’ have no idea what a gift they’ve given me. Although, I’m not sure I want to tell them this. It would be nice if they were losing a little sleep from the guilt over letting me go. However in all likelihood, I’m guessing not so much. I suppose I’d settle for them adhering to the above listed guidelines.


  1. Totally with you on misuse of the English language. These are some new ones I had not heard (flush out an idea? hubby does that quite regularly - he does his best thinking in the can!)

  2. Naw, the powers that be aren't losing any sleep. They may, however, be loosing sleep. bwhahaha! OMG I thought it was only young 20-somethings and under who screw that one up regularly. Tell me you worked in a sweat shop with child labor.