Catalytic Upheaval (non fiction)

March 30, 2007



 Within ten seconds of sitting down this morning a co-worker asked me “So what are you plans now that you are laid off?” I stared a moment. “you should probably check your email” he supplied helpfully. Turns out he was right;  at the top of the box in big red letters was:

Dear AJ,

 Moving helpdesk to India, your services are no longer need.

Love and kisses,

Your corporate overlords  

  I went to see my boss proper and the email was legit; in a couple months my adventure in the tech world will have reached its uninspired conclusion.  Earlier in the week Esmeralda and I very lovingly and mutually agreed the romantic component of our friendship had also reach its natural end point. Though I’ve expected and embraced both outcomes for a while now, there is degree of catalytic upheaval to the close timing. For the first time in my adult life I find myself without root or obligation. It’s a little strange, but invigorating.

  The romantic change of state is by far the easier to adapt to. It was a wonderful relationship that ran its course; leaving a sense of warmth, and growth, and deep satisfaction in its wake. It’s surprising how easy these things are when there is genuine love and respect on both sides; no fearful clinging or wounded animosity. There is no rupture of intimacy or trust, just a gentle recognition of the path the other has to walk. And I realize how saccharine and implausibly civil all that sounds, but it is what it is: our relationship was this cool, easy, deeply loving thing that managed to defy a lifetime pattern of car crash dysfunction on my part. Amazing girl that I am a vastly better person for having known and loved. And will continue to know and love.

 The employment front is much bigger test of my coping skills. I’ve never actually attempted to acquire gainful employment. Outside of minimum wage summer jobs I’ve only ever held my current one; which I don’t even recall applying for. One day I woke up and my sister informed me I’d been hired by some company I’d never heard of…to do a job I was grossly unqualified for. At some point therein I acquired a Psych degree and a handful of technical skills with which to do my job.

 It is now six years later and I’ve still never written a proper resume or had a interview; and not only do I not own a suit, all my silk ties are kinked from having been tied to bed frames. I’ll have all sorts of profound things to say about it once I adjust, but at the moment my relative indifference to my career prospects has come crashing home.

 I do have a certain amount of time and freedom to consider my options. My termination date is three months away, and I’ll be getting about six month’s severance due to the blur of time I spent there. I could likely get a different placing at the same company, but I have no real interest in cramming myself into a new office niche. I’ve considered the overseas English teacher thing (provided I acquire a passport), but on some level that would be an attempt to extend my already extended adolescence. The writer thing is appealing, but I still lack the technical skill and experience to rely upon it to feed and house myself…or generate any amount of income really. Outside of gigolo/drug dealer my past doesn’t really lend it’s to any concrete vocation… so I guess I’ll have to find out what sorts of jobs grown ups have that meet my aptitudes, then rapidly aspire towards that.       


33 Responses to “Catalytic Upheaval (non fiction)”

  1. damewiggy Says:

    All good things must come to an end, mah friend (and better man).

    And I find that picture strangely arousing. Oops.

  2. max Says:

    That is quite a day you are having.

    What was the part about silk ties again?

  3. Wiggy: I dreamt of having one those Strap barrel outfits when I was a kid. Then I found out a good barell actual cost quite a bit than cheap clothing…goddamn greedy coopers ruining my fantasy.

  4. “What was the part about silk ties again?”

    I take alot of hostages.

  5. max Says:

    That is a life skill.

  6. Wait a minute. Are you saying you are SINGLE NOW?

  7. Yeah, Max, I managed to finish the rest of the post and saw the silk tie thing.

    Well, AJ, I bet you’d be good at being a personal assistant for someone really cool who gives you intelligent responsibility, not just shit duty. Hmm.

  8. It hasn’t gone over my head that there are only chicks responding to this thread.

  9. max Says:

    Max will now demonstrate her supreme mastery of Southern Belle Jitsu by clapping a clorophome soaked rag over Stilletto’s mouth and dragging her into a closet.

  10. engtech Says:

    Ah, for the months of hyper-attention to career development after the layoff… before the soulless slavery of a new job dulls it’s edge.

    I’m really interested to see what you do with this new development. My dreams of seeing you as the crazy hobo in Central Park providing wise instruction to the inner city youths may one day prove true.

  11. damewiggy Says:

    AJmeister, the fact that you dreamt of such things as a kid makes the concept even more strangely arousing. I’m gonna’ have weird dreams.

    Might I suggest teaming up with Menard’s and Karl Lagerfeld?

    Okay, that’s really weird. In a cool kinda’ randy way. I’m leaving now.


  12. w0rmwood Says:

    Wow, I leave for a weekend and there’s a paradigm shift that could well leave hyper-intelligent fungi ruling over hairless-ape kind as benevolent tyrants.

    Alot to take in all in one day.

    We shall go forth and celebrate beginnings and ends, the glory of change, and infinite possibility of the great unknowns.


  13. max Says:

    Valliant, I am sending out Saint Bernards if I do not see a post from you around here soon. I know, you are a big strong man, but that was a rough week and I want to know you are not in some cheap hotel testing the cutting ability of pottery shards and dull spoons on various extremeties.

  14. Both your concern and inpending manhunt are appreciated. Don’t worry: I’m processing and planning, not brooding.

    I’ve decided take a serious shot at pursing the writing thing so have begun plotting out the long term logistics required to develop my technical ability and industry awareness, create a varied portfolio, then saturation bomb low end publishers and literary contests enough something sticks, so I can then apply for one our fancy Canadian arts grants.

    I realize the irony in that last sentence being so poorly written.

    I’d post my notes but it’s a terribly dry and pragmatic two year action plan that involves me making virtually no money [1] and receiving minimal recognition. The intent by the end of it is to have the polished ability, and minimal credentials to at least start attempting to make a living with language.

    I don’t know how realistic an aspiration it is, but I decided I’d rather spend the rest of my life failing at this, then succeeding at anything else.

    [1] I am making financial plans apart from my creative ones. While I’m not particularly material person I haven’t decided to join the tattered rag and soup kitchen set just yet.

  15. max Says:

    It is a God awful profession, but it is not unrealistic.

    I am glad you are well. I will call the Saint Bernards back.

  16. Webomatica Says:

    I’ve been laid off twice and it sucks every time. But each time I’ve gotten more focus and better prepared for whatever happens next. Like anything else in life it’s the experiences.

    Just getting back from a week vacation, I’m refreshed but dreading going back to the office. your three months of continued employment plus six months severace frankly sounds flipping awesome. You could surely get another job in that time.

    Lastly each time it happens I get more liberal, so the corporate overlords have more to fear.

  17. Good luck with your future endeavors. From reading your current works I think you’ll be very successful. Of course, I’m a sucker for a pretty face but really, I think it is your calling.

    That and man handling women lol

  18. Jennifer, make mine Belgian, please!

  19. Thank you S.Girl, it’s much appreciated.

    Jennifer: I’m a Gin and Tonic man, but the thought was kind.

  20. What sort of gin? Bombay Sapphire? Raincoaster ( swears by this stuff that is now discontinued. She doesn’t know this but I actually called some liquor stores in LA hoping to find a bottle, just one bottle, and send it to her. I got the tip somewhere off the net. To no avail though.

  21. monkey Says:

    Woah, this internet moment was brought to me by … ah who cares.

    AJ, for all your doubtless strength – I wish you more of it, especially given the career choice. An email with some links that may come-in useful is forthcoming.

    By the by, it is my birthday soon and I would love to have you and the rest of the beatsentropy crowd over for drinks and topically varied banter.

  22. NotMike Says:

    Can I actually see this Psych degree, or have you still not applied to graduate?

  23. dael Says:

    “Well, AJ, I bet you’d be good at being a personal assistant for someone really cool who gives you intelligent responsibility, not just shit duty. Hmm.”

    Ha. I have such a desperate need of a personal assistant it’s funny. I’m looking for someone part time, if you get desperate for work.

  24. baredfeetandteeth Says:

    If you’re serious about the TESL thing, I can have you a job for Monday :)

    Seriously though, if you are interested, I can advise…somewhat. More about Korea than anywhere else, but I’ve got a bit of general knowledge stashed away somewhere. I’m all for extended adolescence. You stop being young and you cease to live. Anyway, I don’t look at it as a break from my ‘real life’, just another part of it, spent in a different place.

    Whatever you end up doing, life upheaval is usually a good. You’ll come out of it on top and learn a pile of shit you never wanted to know about yourself. I wish you sincere good luck, lad.

  25. “If you’re serious about the TESL thing, I can have you a job for Monday :)”

    Hmmm, I’m going to have to put some more thought in the teaching thing. I will definitely suck the every loving knowledge from you If I do decide to go down that road.

    “I wish you sincere good luck, lad.”

    Thank ye, Lass.

  26. “Ha. I have such a desperate need of a personal assistant it’s funny. I’m looking for someone part time, if you get desperate for work.”

    I feel guilty about how poorly I run my own life, and I’m doing it for free. I’m fairly sure I would wind up in the special hell reserved for incompetent bureaucrats if I inflicted my organization skills on a per diem basis.

    The offer is appreciated though :)

  27. baredfeetandteeth Says:

    ” I will definitely suck the every loving knowledge from you If I do decide to go down that road.”

    Why must everything be about sex with you people?

  28. Dang, where do you keep your knowledge?

  29. baredfeetandteeth Says:

    …that’s between me and my conscience

  30. engtech Says:

    where do you keep your conscience?

  31. Ouch, Engtech lol

    Oh wait, I thought you were talking to AJ.

  32. baredfeetandteeth Says:

    “where do you keep your conscience?”

    it’s around here somewhere, I’m sure.

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