We got it in writing on Wednesday ... the office is closing much sooner than we expected. My last day at work will be December 30th. Happy New Year.
My first thought was "I'm glad I didn't do much Christmas shopping yet." My second was "I'm glad Big Guy is still working." I'm ashamed to say it took me until the third thought to feel badly for N (our office manager / supervisor), who has a little one at home and whose husband's work has been somewhat sporadic lately (not his fault in the slightest, the work just isn't there).
So, here I am again - job-hunting in an economy that's as unsettled as it was the last time I was laid off, with even bleaker prospects in my particular field.
And in a corporate move that really adds insult to injury, I get to spend part of my remaining time at work training my replacement! Now, I'll do the very best I can with her in the inadequate time I have - because honestly, even if she spent a month sitting with me all day every day, it wouldn't be enough to teach her everything. But a couple of hours a day on the phone isn't going to cut it, and I feel badly for her. I'll do everything I can for her - none of this was her doing, and I'm certainly not going to throw her under the bus just because I'm not happy with upper management. I have to admit, though, that there's a not-so-nice part of me hoping that said management will shortly come to realize how badly they shot themselves in the foot with this particular decision. I'm also deriving a bit of satisfaction from hoping they all lie awake every night through the holiday season, feeling guilty about their execrably poor timing and the effect it's having on all of our families.
Yesterday's gathering went really well, even though there were some last-minute no-shows. We talked and laughed and ate - and ate - and ate - and enjoyed each others' company. I ended up pressing containers of food on everyone to take home, because there was so much more left than I expected. There are still enough leftovers that Big Guy and I won't have to make work lunches until at least Wednesday, and today I asked him to please not make anything large for tonight's dinner because there is no space in the fridge for any more leftovers!
Now it's time to get creative with gifts. The stocking stuffers will be easy - traditionally, everyone gets socks and a chocolate orange (addictive, those!) in their stockings, so there isn't too much space left to fill. A trip to the dollar store will take care of the stockings nicely, and with luck provide a few other gifts. Thrift stores are always good too - in fact, Value Village is daughter P's first choice for gift cards! I raised her well ... I just wish I'd known a couple of months ago that the layoff was coming; I would have made time to make more gifts myself.
I'll spend this afternoon redoing my shopping list, and shop on my way home from work every day. We have Friday the 23rd off, so anything I haven't acquired yet will have to be picked up then. Friday evening is Chinese food and Miracle On 34th Street with Mom and sister S, and Saturday is for wrapping and tree-trimming, and watching White Christmas and The Muppets' Christmas Carol and the original Grinch and Alistair Sim as Scrooge.
So ... my house is cleaned and decorated (except for the tree), I have plenty of homemade goodies on hand, and a plan for an affordable holiday. I'm more determined than ever to enjoy my family, count my blessings, and not let a little thing like unemployment stop me from having a wonderful time!