Monday, May 14 2001
I had it all planned out. When I got laid off today, I would toss my business cards into the air and watch them drift across Olympic. And better still, I'd videotape it all. It would be great. I had nothing really to do except keep a cool head and record the drama. I'd already cleaned out my desk.
I knew it was going to be a wild and crazy day when I saw a unfamiliar-looking man waiting around by the door of my building smoking a cigarette and looking at me suspiciously. Security. All the buildings had one of these guys to keep the proceedings peaceful.
Early on it was clear that there was something of a bloodbath going on over in hosting, the group I walk past every half hour or so for a cup of tea. But I think the majority of the carnage was over in the other two buildings. Among the causalities was Evan, the media engineering guy who got me this job in the first place. Unlike in most layoffs, the management was being pretty laid back about when exactly laid off employees had to leave the building. Evan chatted with me for a good while before about what had happened before he had to sign out and leave.
I couldn't really do anything all day except chat with people via AOL Instant Messenger. I was too nervous and agitated to work. Nobody else was working either; there was precious little email flowing and it seemed that the Information Systems department had turned off all the internal mail lists to suppress any tearful goodbye emails.
By early afternoon an email came from my boss announcing the "cuts" in the past tense, as if the corporate secrecy had worked and I couldn't have known about them. Underscoring the changes that had just taken place, there were only two other recipients of the email, and only one of those people do the sort of work I do. Against all expectations, it seemed, I hadn't been laid off, and (for that matter) neither had any of the producer types in the cubicles around me.
In the evening my housemate John was invited by his sister Maria to go out for sushi and Pinkis was supposed to go too, but then Pinkis started complaining that his stomach was in no fit shape for raw fish. So they changed plans and decided to go to Tacos Por Favor. By now I was interested in going but Maria wasn't.
Since Tacos Por Favor and the Punch Buggy Rust have a long history together under the Chris Johnson administration, it seemed only natural to drive it when we went. On the way, though, the weight of three grown men on the weak shocks caused the body to occasionally rub against the tire. I had to shift people around and do my best to correct some slight body damage that was aggravating the problem.
Unfortunately, though, Tacos Por Favor closes at 7 and it was already 8. So we drove to Westwood in John's Audi and got some New York Style pizza there instead. By now even my stomach was feeling weird, but poor Pinkis was in terrible shape. He had a big gas bubble trapped under his ribs and the only immediate relief would have been to stick him there with a long hypodermic needle and make him go psssssssssrscht! The first thing Pinkis did when we got back home was go into the bathroom for a good vavoom.
I saw that the share price of the company that employs me closed down two cents to 50 cents a share at the end of trading today.
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