That’s right. The weekend is here. Two whole days of not having to go to work. Two whole days of skipping the grind that pays the bills and keeps food in my belly and a roof over my head. It’s a beautiful day here in Rochester, NY. Blue sky without a cloud in sight. Moderate temperatures and low humidity, I think I’ll spend the bulk of it out on my patio, soaking it all in.
So for me, the day is starting off well. I got almost nine full hours of sleep. I can’t remember the last time that happened. Certainly well before my knock on the noggin. Lately, I seem to waken at all hours and find it nearly impossible to fall back asleep. When I’m healthy, I can deal with it. Often, my best story dialog formulates in my mind and I am anxious to get up and get it all down on paper (well computer screen these days). Doesn’t happen these days since my concussion. It’s frankly disconcerting. If I am not going to get the sleep I need, it had better be for a good cause.
When I started writing this blog, I was inspired by the fact that it is a beautiful day and I don’t have to go to work. Great for sure. Yet, I can’t help but be reminded of the days when I was forced to take extended days off from work. That is, when I was laid off and out of a job.
I’ve suffered three extended periods of unemployment. The first was in the mid-nineteen nineties. I was to sole breadwinner, a mortgage to be paid and a toddler to raise. My support system consisted of my wife who turned out to be a real bitch and my church. Yup, in those days, I was a church goer. Today, while I still talk to the MAN, I don’t use the crutch of an organized religion to do converse with him (her? To me, it doesn’t matter). I found out that they are just as much a user and hypocrite as the best of them. But that story is for another day, or not.
My second stint of unemployment was during the recession of the early 2000’s. I was one of over a thousand software engineer’s let go in a population that could not absorb them in other areas. When 9/11 hit and I was already out for nine months, I knew in an instant my joblessness would continue at least another six to nine months. It turned out to be a total of 26 months and it sucked. I lost my home, crashed with a friend and found a kind soul who threw me a place to live in exchange for managing his inner urban apartment building. Years later, I love him and thank my lucky stars for his kindness. I feel indebted to him even now though off course, he and his wife fluff it off. We hang out regularly and I enjoy spending time with them.
My last stint of unemployment occurred in 2009, when working for a not-for-profit agency hired me to run their IT infrastructure. That stint lasted 18 months. I was hired to coördinate the move of their corporate headquarters and server room. I worked hard and accomplished miracles on a limited budget. After it was done, I was publicly acknowledged and given a cash bonus. Six weeks later, I found myself on the streets again. I was literally discarded as soon as they finished chewing me up and sucking the marrow out of my bones. And before you say it, I was warned before I started with them but I had notion that I would be able to deal with it and overcome the challenges. Say-la-vie.
Today is a beautiful day and I have the weekend off. I am happy to have the weekend off. More importantly, I am grateful that come Monday, I have a job to go to that I enjoy, knowing what the alternatives could be.
As usual, comments are welcome and I love reading them. Feel free to toss me a line or two.