Sympathy for the Dvl


Well, where do I begin? Not sure if I can make this interesting enough for anyone to read, but the very act of typing (venting) is making me feel a bit better. First off, there is a nice foundation of the blues underlying the basic situation. My e-mail address is themagichat. I like telling ‘Hat’ stories if the setting is right (campfire, etc.). It is a ubiquitous part of me, and anyone who knows me can easily pick me out of a huge crowd just by looking for it. As befits its name, it is a rather magical Hat that came to me in quite an unusual way - it is not replaceable with a quick trip to the store or by an understanding True Blave. Nope - the end of an era arrived yesterday when it became unreparably ripped. It is as real as Hobbes or the Velveteen Rabbit, and it met its end through no trauma other then the icy grip of time and natural wear. It retained well-worn dignity to the end, and I can only hope I’ll meet Thanatos with the same poise.


What next? Oh, here is something to add a bit of gloom - I was laid off today. I have ‘till Friday in the office, then I join the ranks of the unemployed. Crap crap crippity crap crapbing! Well hell, I majored in Econ, so I really can’t bitch too much about how the economy treats me, so please allow me to bitch about my particular circumstances.

First off, it came way too soon. The main contract that supports this office runs out in November. We knew we weren’t eligible to rebid (it was a small business set-aside, and we’ve outgrown the parameters since first getting the contract) so impending layoffs were expected. We all had say, eight to ten months notice. But two weeks ago, we found out another bit of news - keeping this as brief as possible, the client (a Fed department) just told us that as of LAST November, we need to cut our hours down twenty-five percent. We find this out at the end of January?! &$#*@!!! So now the office has to cut billing by about thirty percent or so to make up the difference. How? Well, again I can’t bitch about the decisions per se, but myself and a few others are out the door. I should be glad I had some notice, but this sucks.


Here’s another kicker. I had planned on applying to law schools next year, but finding out that September / October would be the end of this office, I jumped on the applications right away. So right now I have six apps out there waiting for rejection letters. So? Well, the letters won’t come out until mid to late April, so until that time I can’t really look for a permanent position. I’ve done the temp thing before and have already spoken with my old agency, but the salary is going to be about one third what I am making here. And what if a miracle happens? Well then, I’ll have to start saving for a move in August, again on a temp’s wage. Crippity crapitty crappoo!

Can I bitch about the company for just a moment? I really like the people, and they have treated us very well. Not one word of derision for the management or staff. EXCEPT - where the hell is the business plan!? I did quite a bit of sales before going to college. Managed a bit, sold a bit, know the ropes as they would apply to any company. Get this situation. We have a spacious office inside the beltway virtually paid for by one contract. It would have been extraordinarily little effort to bring in some marketing folks either here or down in our home office to bring in additional work for the office. [Steve Martin]But Noooooooooooo!!![/Steve Martin] We have some smaller contracts, but not nearly enough to keep the office afloat. We had one hell of a chance to build a strong presence here in DC, and that chance is gone. Crappadamn Crapopolis!


Here’s a bit more sodium chloride for the mix. When I was hired here a couple years ago, I was brought on at 25% admin support, 75% technical. Last August, I got my own office, moved up to 100% technical and they hired someone to take over the admin aspects of my job. Great, thought I. My own office, a bit more responsibility, and no more answering phones. Well, guess who gets to keep their job ‘till the contract end? Arrrgh! Again, I can’t make the slightest deprecating remark about the reasons behind the decision nor the folks who stay, but hot-damn this sucks! Moved up and out.


And looking for a job? That certainly looks to be fun. Right now, the economy is looking to turn south, and with the Republicans on the Hill it looks like I’ll be doing my job search along with a host of recently unemployed Fed workers. Not only those who directly worked with the last administration, but all those who had support contracts. Crappalinga!


What else to bitch about? Well, there are the law school apps themselves. With only a couple weeks to get ready I basically threw them together as best I could. And since the date is so close, Law Services (the folks who forward my LSAT scores, transcripts, etc) won’t get my information to the schools in time for the Feb. first cutoff. So not only were my chances slim to begin with (I skipped out sending apps to ‘safe’ schools until next year) they are microscopic now. So they are preventing me from looking for comparable work for little to no reason. Sheet.


Ahh, what about this for icing on the cake? My hard drive just shit the bed. At work one of the hats I wear is the local IT resource. I am not a tech expert by any stretch, but a pretty good amateur. I usually work with the “real” IT folks at the home office, because they can get me to do things without hold in my hand. No need to explain what a jumper is, no need to detail how to get to a DOS prompt, etc. I am always after folks here to keep their work on the nice, safe, nightly-backed-up Server. Me too, except for temporary personal work. Guess where all of my law school applications are? Guess where my resume is? Guess whose up the creek without a paddle? Tried changing out cables, jumpers, BIOS setup, even ran Data Advisor on it, no luck. It is being FedExed down to the main office tonight, in case of a miracle. But just another log feeding the fire of the blues. Damn.


How about this from the irony files? Back in 1993 I was laid off from a job with two weeks severance pay. I took that money and a chip on my shoulder and went to my local community college. “Not going to let that happen again!” was my mantra. Well, I worked pretty damn hard - I failed out of high school and eventually graduated from an Ivy League school. Nope, not going to let myself get laid off again, going to have a good ‘ol set of skills. HA! Not anything to particularly bitch about, but I just though someone might appreciate the irony of my situation. Here I am again looking to go to school, and again facing a layoff. Ugh.

Sheeeeee-Yit! Well, that’s ‘bout enough crabbing for one post. There’s a few other things floating about in the mix, but I think I hit enough. If anyone is still reading by this time, send a bit of sympathy my way, and if you are in the DC area and know of any short-term work, let me know.

Thanks for listening!


Well, first I gotta echo your wise words: “Crap crap crippity crap crapbing!” Indeed. I’m afraid that I cannot give you any advice as to your hat, but I do have a bit of insight into your other, shall we say complicated situation.

About 5 years ago, my wife was in much the same situation. Of course, I hadn’t met her yet, but I have heard the story plenty of times. She was laid off from her job in Feb. They gave her two weeks to pack up and get out. In that time she looked for a job. She was having no luck what so ever. She had planned on going back and getting her MBA, just not so soon and classes didn’t start until late Aug. So, being the resourceful girl she is, she found some under the table work for a marketing agency she had worked for in college and went on unemployment. Sure, unemployment isn’t as much as you were making at your job, but it’s not too bad. That, plus the marketing work she was doing paid the bills until she went to grad school. She had to fulfill the requirement that the Unemployment office had of so many resumes/interviews a week. Other than that, she had a lot of time to get ready for grad school.

Idea #2 is that you get a full time job. You will be leaving to go to law school before long, but who cares. You should know by now that painfully few companies have ANY loyalty to their employees. Why should you feel any deep seated loyalty to a company. This is the route that I took when I went back for my MBA. I knew that I would be in the job less than 7 months and that was fine by me. Now, I did work for those months and didn’t just goof off, but I didn’t feel bad when I went in to give my notice.

So, Rythmdvl, buck up. Sure you are in a tight spot, but your position is not untenable. You have lots of options, you just have to open your eyes to them. Good luck.

Hoo. I thought I was having a bad week.


I am soooo sorry! I am sending all good positive thoughts your way. Wish I could do more.
If I knew the way, I would take you home.
La la la de da.