Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Execution Committee

Yesterday, our team members got “The Call.” Some of the writers, apparently, got some sort of reasonable job offer – at least those in the preferred location, although not all. One writer, who has an MBA, reportedly got a job offer in a company office in Florida. The status of the rest of the writers is unknown. They’re not talking, but one can make a pretty good guess.

The web designers, on the other hand, were totally out of luck. However, they still got job offers for the Atlanta and Dallas office which, at least yesterday, were considered “unreasonable.” What do the web designers, especially the designers housed in New Jersey, think of the offer now? Our supervisor said they had a few days to change their minds.

I received no job offers. Our Corporate office took me at my word, at least, when I said wasn’t mobile, and didn’t call me with an offer for a job in some other location. My poor supervisor, SD, was so upset that I was the only team member who wasn’t notified one way or the other. I tried to reassure her that I hadn’t been expecting any call, given that I’m not mobile. Those who did get “The Call” got it in the privacy of their home.

So that is that. As of March 30, 2012, I will be officially unemployed, with several months’ severance pay to take me through the summer and unemployment thereafter. I feel that I did get a “Call”; just a different type of “Call” for another task, which I’ve been chafing at my constraints to do. All this transition means is that now I’ll be free to do it.

How often do we shudder at the notion of taking a risk, taking that leap of faith to do something different with our lives? How many of us remain chained to jobs that we may or may not enjoy because of family and financial obligations? We work because we must. I enjoyed my 14 years (as of next month) as a writer and photographer with this company. While I could and did write business stories, my first love was interviews and department events. Our building was a happy place in its salad days. Who could forget the International Food Fest, when every floor of our building represented one (or two) of the inhabited continents?

Or the annual Halloween costume and cube designing contests? The Spring Walk Around the Pond? My personal favorite – Company Spirit Day? The Holiday Lunch and Founders Day (the company founder, not the Founding Fathers). The Summer Interns. The head scarf gathering for an employee who was suffering (and died from) cancer? In earlier times, the countless birthday, anniversary and retirement parties. The baby showers.

Then there were the road trips. From Pittsburgh to Boston to Long Island. I specifically asked for Long Island because the people there were a species unto themselves. One subject, upset at having their photo take (within a group) raised up their middle finger when they heard the camera click. Long Islanders.

There were also the inevitable executive visits. BC was my favorite. This man was a dynamo. He could light up a room just by walking into it. At first, he was miffed at having a photographer around all the time. But he soon got used to it and eventually welcomed it when he realized how much it meant to the employees to have their picture taken with him. Wish more execs were like him (he retired a few years ago).

But the company says, no more regional photographers. That only left writing and only writing for executives. Speeches, memos, e-mails. Bah. Might as well be taking dictation again as a secretary. Still, it would be a job and I guess even now I wouldn’t turn down an offer if they made one. One must be responsible.

They ought to reconsider making me an offer. This past week, I covered a meeting of leaders-in-training. One of the panelists revered to their membership as being part of “The Execution Committee.” I had to quickly stifle a serious giggle at that one. What were they thinking when they came up with that title? Of course, they meant “Implementation Committee.” They just didn’t stop to consider the other connation of “Execution.”

The Execution Committee is an apt name for whoever is behind Occupy Wall Street, though. Time Magazine crowed that the OWSers are more popular than the Tea Partiers. Popular with whom? Young, pot-smoking basement boys and grunge girls? The Media? Certainly, it’s no surprising that the Progressive Propaganda Promoters polish up the image of the OWSers, whitewashing their violence, their arrests, their lies, and their filth.

The Execution Committee is responsible for the San Francisco mayor (?) apologizing for the police officers who used rubber bullets and other non-lethal devices to control the OWSer mobs. The whole world must be turned upside down when police officers are reprimanded for doing their jobs: maintaining law and order. What kind of insanity are we practicing when a border agent is arrested for arresting an illegal immigrant?

Even the anchor on the televised Blaze Newscast caught the fever, seeming to cheer that a “transgender” boy is being allowed to join the Girl Scouts. I was made an “honorary” Boy Scout; but it was only an honorary honor. No matter how you sliced it, I was still a girl, even if I did hate the Girls Scouts and their demeaning door-to-door cookie sales.

Anything goes, it seems. Some pundits are saying, in response to the OWSer students’ complaint about the cost of a college education and their student loans, that college degrees aren’t necessary. They might want to tell that to my company, which placed a premium on education. In that company, if you a) aren’t willing to move and b) don’t have a college degree or aren’t willing to study for one, you won’t get far. They also expect you to take industry education.

Personally, I wanted to go down a different path. If I’m going to spend that much time (and money) studying a subject, I have to have a passion for it. That’s just the way I roll. The company I’m leaving is a fine company. This has been the happiest job I’ve ever had. But that job is going away and so will I.  The world is going to heck and I believe I have a job to perform to save it.  I can't do that if I'm writing memos.

I have one last request of the Execution Committee before they fire away: let me use the time left to prepare for my future. Unlike the OWSer students, I’ve barely asked for a cent for education. One speechwriting course and two books on economics. That was it. My success at what I intend depends on a great deal of reading.

This is seriously scary business, being laid off.  I'm concerned about finances.  But I spent yesterday afternoon cancelling the last of my more extravagant expenses.  I traded in my Cablevision DVR for a regular set box.  My savings have dwindled a bit in order to refurbish my study and stock up on the most important of the books and study guides I'll need.  My mortgage is now less than the cost of new, economy car.  I'll be calling my insurance agent to find ways to save on my car insurance (which is already quite low).  I believe in being prepared, and I've been preparing steadily since last December (and really, even before that). 

So, when the time comes, The Execution Committee won’t need to blindfold me. I’m not afraid.


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