I have been a little out of sorts this week, and couldn’t figure out why. I think it may be because a year ago on Friday, I was laid off from a job.
I had a spate of very bad career luck from 2006 until January of this year. Summer of 2006, merger restructure forced me back onto the market. I spent 3 months in this shack of an office, between a woman whose patterns of speech resembled Eric Cartman, if Eric Cartman had Tourette’s and a girl who was frequently crusted over with mouth consuming cold sores, then 9 months in a surreal environment requiring a 2 hour, one-way commute with a carsick infant (who would sometimes vomit 3 times before we could get to or from the daycare–he still gets carsick, but now he’s old enough to purge himself daintily, whereas before, it was projectile warfare.), and finally ended up as the Andy Sachs to a version of Miranda Priestly for 21 months til I was laid off (that’s 17 months longer than any other Andys lasted, and 3 months less than The Emily preceding me lasted. I wear that dubious honor with some kind of sick pride, and wish the current Andy buen suerte–may she take my crown and become the New Emily.) After that layoff sent me sprawling back onto the pavement, I had a brief stint with another company, where I was [information redacted per legal agreement.]
As you can see, I’ve had an interesting time of it. So has my salary.
From 2006 to 2007, I saw my salary increase by nearly 40%. From 2009 to now, my salary has decreased by 75%. Horrifying, isn’t it? Granted, if you’re going to work for Miranda Priestly, they’d better be paying you!
I always feel a little nervous when I consider my current rate of pay. Fortunately, my husband has been very smart with our finances, and we live debt free. We bought a house well under what we could afford and cars that were well within our budget, so that evens out the cell phone and internet fees. But we still feel a 75% cut.
You know what I am not feeling, though? Sick.
From mid-2007 through February of this year, I was having migraine headaches on a regular, weekly basis, severe jaw pain, and my bowels were bleeding. Since settling into this job, I have not had a single bleed, my jaw is in great shape, and I’ve only had a couple of migraines. I’ve also gained a few pounds of happy fat, which I am now trying to turn into happy healthy weight loss, so I can fit into my pants.
Once Thor is in school and out of daycare, we’ll feel some financial relief, and I hope that I’ll be able to promote in due time, but I am feeling hopeful for the first time in a long time. Hopeful feels good.
I have had a few good managers, including the wonderful Charlcye, and a lot of brilliant coworkers, but this is the first time in my career that I can say I have a great boss and entirely great coworkers, and great executives in charge all at the same time. Small office or large, I have never worked with such a good group of people.
I shouldn’t be feeling out of sorts. I should be feeling happy. I guess after such a run of bad luck, I’m a little gunshy.