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Friday, December 07, 2012

Abrupt change

Holy fuck, I lost my job today. The chair called me in and said they were terminating me. I've got 3 weeks to find a new job right in the middle of the holiday season (I feel like Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs Kramer). I can't believe how cold the chair was, not even a "sorry" or "thanks for 5 years of your life." Wow.

It wasn't totally unexpected - I knew the department had serious financial problems, and I half expected the chair to fire me as soon as he arrived this summer. But so much time had gone by since July 1, that I thought I had dodged the bullet. Frank was very optimistic after he met with the chair this fall, and I was just in his office a couple weeks ago for a quality assurance project. And they need a research person. But they will no doubt hire someone else, a research nurse like Kim, despite crying poor.  I would bet on that.

They certainly could have given me more notice, or let me go at a less difficult time of year. And it was rather galling to ride up in the elevator with lunch for the staff (a new weekly tradition apparently) and then be told they have no money. 

But it was never a very good fit.  Most of the faculty was completely dismissive of me, almost hostile, except when they needed something. And I was so under-utilized - I hardly did anything except the projects that Frank designed for us, and lots of low level tasks that any secretary could do, like IRB paperwork and Excel spreadsheets. A little editing. This really could be a blessing in disguise, if I can find something more challenging or more satisfying or more meaningful. Except for the money and the health benefits, I'm glad to be quit of the place.

But it's gonna be tough to get something else - I've been looking off and on for several years. Most of the time, I don't even get a boilerplate rejection letter.  I've only gotten 2 interviews and I've applied for at least a dozen jobs. Super scary.

Thank goodness I've lined up the teaching job for the spring. It's not much money, but it could lead to something more.

Two big advantages over my last Syracuse job search - I can collect unemployment this time, so I won't be completely broke. And I know about a gazillion people now - I've already sent my resume to several people, and already applied for an awesome-looking research position at SU regarding veterans returning to school.

If I don't get something lined up by the end of the year, and I'm pretty sure I won't, it will actually be nice to have some time to do projects around the house. And I'm always complaining that I have no time to use all the Groupons I bought - I can finally do that!

Except for losing the money and health benefits, it will be nice to have some time off.  Funny thing, I just placed a huge order with No Nonsense, so I'm stocked with pantyhose that I won't be needing.

Time to review expenses and make some choices. That's not gonna be fun. (I sure wish I'd known a month ago - I would have cut way back on the holiday shopping!) And the trip to Hawaii is looming, and of course Cal's bar mitzvah. I guess that's why they invented credit cards.



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