This Is What I’m Really Mad About
Last night, my fiancé and I fought over nothing. He’d had a bad day at work. My day at work was fine; I was just bitching about my current situation — again — and how it shifted the dynamic between me and the friend I have there who isn’t losing her job.
But as I was lying on the bed, my head at the end and my feet propped on my pillow, staring at the ceiling, I asked myself, What are you really mad about?
What am I really mad about?
I think I’m mad that I still have to go to work for another month, and pretend like things are fine. Those of us who are getting laid off have started to tell some of the gym members that we’re close with, so that they’ll understand why, one day, we won’t be there when they come in anymore. Our manager doesn’t particularly want us to tell any of the members, and that makes us mad, because it’s not private company business — especially when everyone already knows about the corporate budget cutbacks. The fact that we’re being let go is our business. The people are going to find out soon, anyway.
I’m mad that, after putting more than a year’s worth of time and effort into this job, this company, it goes away just like that. I’m not surprised by it, of course. I know things like this happen. But it’s sad, and when I think about it, I alternate between feeling sadly resigned to it, and angry that this is what happens.
When I first found out, I think I took the news well. I thought I was fine. I was fine — until I had a breakdown several days later, and realized I wasn’t fine. Nothing about this situation was fine, and it took the smallest of straws to push me over the edge so that I realized that. It’s almost funny, what happened: I was eating dinner on the couch with my fiancé, watching TV, and I got up to pull on the fan cord because it was warm in the room, and the little fan piece on the end broke off in my hand. I looked at it, and I started laughing. Then I started sobbing, and I couldn’t stop until I had cried out everything I didn’t know I was feeling.
I’m mad for Cathy because she’s been here since the facility opened, she knows the computer system the best, and if anyone should get to stay, she is one of them.
I’m mad for Emma because she moved all the way from Pennsylvania to Texas for this.
I’m mad about Sam because this is a situation in which we can’t relate to each other at all, and I’m scared of what this will mean for our friendship, whether we’ll go back to just not talking like we did in college because we were never around each other at all — and if that’s what happens then I’m scared of it meaning that the friendship was superficial all along.
I’m mad at myself for not working my butt off during this time by writing more than I’ve ever written before, and applying to jobs, and working the hours I have left plus the maximum number of hours I can get at my part-time online job. Basically, I’m mad that I’m not a machine and can’t perform like one, and I’m mad that I’m not even trying to at this point. I’m mad at myself for being complacent. (Even though taking care of myself and not working 50 hours a week is not complacency.)
I’m scared, because I’m scared that I won’t find another job. Or that I won’t get an interview for any of the jobs I’ve looked at that I actually want. Or that I will get an interview, and not get the job.
Maybe I’m mad because I know that none of this is actually worth being mad about. It’s just par for the course in a capitalist society on the brink of recession. Having a negative attitude about where I’m at now is not going to make it better, and it will not help me find another job.
Part of me is even scared that writing about it will only hurt my search for a new job. People can easily read my work here and decide whether or not they like me, whether or not they’d want to work with me, despite maybe never having met me. And unlike Tim Denning, I don’t think I’m in a position to walk away from somebody offering me a job on the condition that I stop blogging.
Maybe I’m not actually mad because what I really am is terrified. Being a millennial in today’s economy sort of means that just having a job is everything. So for me, the future of everything hangs in the balance right now. That might not worth being mad about, but it’s sure as hell worth being afraid of.