Don't Mince Words


My workplace sabbatical – Week 1

Posted on August 23, 2009 by Marna

It is fun to watch the expression on people’s faces when I tell them that every career move I have made, with the exception of a move to Richmond, Va. for grad school and my California move, has been a result of a layoff or to avoid one. Confusion and concern are dominant reactions. Like a wife married to a beater, layoffs are something I’ve come to expect as a marcom professional. I look forward to them like a vacation because I can get caught up on my reading, writing, crafts, and other randomness.

This layoff is different because I’m not alone. I have lots of friends that beat me to the curb, which means I have playmates. My first week was designated as approved slackness. I was going to get tan and drunk all week long. Unfortunately, the marine layer didn’t cooperate, so I finished a book, and had two lunch dates with my various unemployed friends who are not really looking because there is nothing out there.

My layoff required me to layoff my dog walker. Now I’m home all day with the dog and I’m beginning to understand why my mom friends hate summers with the kids. I can hear his “I’m bored” moans under his breath with those “hey, you are home let’s play” looks. I’m mentally prepared to stay out of work a long time, because that what “they” are saying, but I can tell you that going back to work is going to be hard on this old dog. He likes having a playmate too.

When I moved to LA, the joke was to get anywhere you need to go between 10 and 2. That’s no longer the case because traffic is all the time. Stores are full and everyone is on the roads… probably because they don’t have jobs. My local Starbucks is mixed with the usual skateboard slackers and normal people like me. Same is true during my mid-day Target and Ralph’s runs.

Ditch the economic models and take a walk around. That will give you a real state of the union.

This is going to be a long vacation. Better get some more SPF 30.

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  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

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