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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

The First Day of the Rest of My Life?

Hey, if at least ten people read this, I get to count it as community service!

Welcome back, folks. I’m afraid (and you’re probably happy) that I won’t have time to get too worked up tonight. This laid-off thing isn’t apparently all that it’s cracked up to be, at least not yet. See, even with my out-of-work, will-genuflect-for-food status, I still have to get up and be shaven and presentable at 9am tomorrow morning.

(Actually, the ‘still’ isn’t even really appropriate; I generally rolled into my last job at around 10:30 or so, so this is pretty much new territory for me. Or at least really, really crappy old and forgotten territory from my days in school. Either way, this territory sucks ass.)

Anyway, tomorrow is the first half of a two-day seminar offered by an outplacement service that was hired by my old company to deal with those of us who’ve been herded off the ranch. I think it’s officially titled, ‘Why Your Resume Blows Donkeys and You’ll Never Get Another Job Again‘. I’m crossing my fingers that the subtitle is then, ‘Without Our Help‘, and that they fix all that ails me and show me how to get that beer-tasting gig I’ve always dreamed of. But I’m not holding my breath.

So we’ll see how it goes, but I can’t expect to stay up until my customary wee hours, and then be able to focus in the morning on actual words spoken in my direction. Or to keep myself from drooling all over the front of my shirt, for that matter, or to even put my pants on facing the right direction.

(I may have mentioned that early morning — meaning anything before about eleven — is not my best time of day. If not, then consider it mentioned. Don’t make me mention it again.)

It’s all I can manage to keep my tongue from lolling out of the side of my mouth at nine, so we’ll see what happens over the next two days. And after that, assuming that the employers won’t (yet!) be lining up outside my door to kiss my ring and sign me up, I’ll go back to my newfound state of ‘temporary retirement’.

With that in mind, I’ll tell you a little about my first day sans job, and you can decide for yourself who’s life you’d rather be leading. Please, don’t all of you get jealous at once, folks. Form a single-file line, or I’ll have to send you out and start over again. Thank you.

  • 8:53am: Woke up. Didn’t really want to get up, with a full one-third of the morning remaining, but I decided to be motivated and courageous and will myself up to face the world. Oh, wait, no — that was the dream I was having a few minutes before I woke up. Yeah, if I hadn’t had to pee so badly, I’d’ve stayed in bed until noon. Or later.
  • 9:05am: Finished peeing (see, I told you I really had to go!), and contemplated going back to bed. Dog looked at me disdainfully and shamed me into staying up.
  • 9:58am: Finally completed the blog post that I had A) started the day before, 2) planned to finish that night, and then iii) put off after playing softball and drinking far too many Guinness (which was the major cause of the bladder-busting bolus of bile mentioned above).
  • 10:58am: Made the rounds of the blogs on my list; noticed that Hilatron used my entry for her first Blogatron blogcation post. Had another Guinness to celebrate.
  • 11:16am: Finished post to thank Hilatron, officially ending List of Things to Do to Put Off Getting Anything Useful Accomplished. Drank a Guinness to mourn.
  • 11:30am: Let dog out to pee; had breakfast while standing over kitchen sink.
  • 11:42am: Took shower. Wondered when ‘laid-off routine’ was going to start differenng from ‘working routine’.
  • 12:07pm: Started looking at questionnaire to be filled out for seminar tomorrow. Saw that it asked for fifteen accomplishments and thirty-eight additional questions to be answered. Tried counting to thirty-eight. Foamed at mouth. Foaming made me hungry.
  • 12:19pm: Had lunch (microwave burritos) and started watching television. Learned about paella, polenta, and eggplant antipasto on Food Network. Wondered whether today’s drivel was brought to us by the letter ‘P’. Wondered how the hell I watched nearly two hours of Food Network without seeing Emeril or Iron Chef. Caught parts of Alec Baldwin and Neve Campbell SNLs during commercials. Giggled, but only slightly.
  • 2:03pm: Tried starting seminar questionnaire again. Read question #26: ‘What habits do you have that you believe might be at least mildly annoying to others?‘ Ran out of paper while trying to finish question. Curled into fetal position.
  • 3:14pm: Recovered, and continued filling in questionnaire. Ran out of accomplishments. Listed ‘Made burritos for lunch today‘ as accomplishment number three. Realized that I’d forgotten to microwave said burritos. Suddenly felt nauseous and returned to fetal position.
  • 3:55pm: Returned to questionnaire. Reached question #6: ‘How would poeple have described your personality growing up?‘ Lost myself briefly in thoughts of childhood. Unrepressed several memories. Had three more Guinness and resumed place in fetal position.
  • 4:03pm: Wondered again when schedule would begin to differ significantly from working life. Decided that even questionnaire wasn’t as horrific as being tech support monkey. Had Guinness and started working on questionnaire again.
  • 5:19pm: Reached question #25: ‘Do you feel lucky?‘ Answered ‘Punk? Well, do ya?‘. Went to get Guinness to celebrate cleverness. Found empty refrigerator. Swore loudly, fainted, and curled into fetal position.
  • 5:32pm: Discovered that forehead was frostbitten. Made mental note to close refrigerator door before fainting in future. Microwaved forehead and burrito for snack. Ate burrito, but saved forehead for later.
  • 6:29pm: Abandoned questionnaire to watch Simpsons, then Seinfeld, then Simpsons. Mmmm. Seinfeld sandwich.
  • 8:03pm: Tried to finish questionnaire while watching Fear Factor. For question #29, ‘What are your non-business-related skills?‘, listed ‘climbing rope ladders, falling from scaffolds, and eating bull snouts‘.
  • 8:28pm: Decided to wait until Fear Factor was over to finish questionnaire.
  • 8:41pm: Wondered whether bull snouts taste like chicken.
  • 8:43pm: Wondered whether chickens have snouts.
  • 8:47pm: Wondered whether a really good psychiatrist would be able to help me.
  • 9:02pm: Finished questionnaire while watching MLB Home Run Derby contest on ESPN. Answered final twelve questions by asking self, ‘What would Gary Sheffield say to this?‘ Expect to be escorted from building at some point tomorrow.
  • 10:55pm: Went to computer room to see all the hits routed from Blogatron post. Briefly did the Cabbage Patch on top of desk. Pulled a muscle. Whimpered softly.
  • 11:48pm: Started writing this post. Wondered yet again when schedule would differ from usual routine.
  • 11:52pm: Wondered whether chicken snouts taste like beef. Banged frostbitten forehead on table until wondering ceased.
  • 12:55am, approximately: Going to bed. If have trouble falling asleep, will recall that house has no Guinness left. Will immediately tuck into fetal position and cry myself to sleep.

So that’s it, folks. Life as an unemployed software engineer / smartass punk isn’t pretty, but it’s mine, all mine. Just wait until this seminar’s over, and I can stop shaving, and — you know — wearing pants and all. Then we’ll have some fun, eh, kiddies? Until then, wish me luck!

(And somebody, for the love of all that is sacred, please bring me some Guinness! I’m beggin’ ya!)

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