For Everyone Who Got Fired
Lately, my life has been toggling between sleeping all day and staying up all night. Dreaming vividly or passed out absolutely dreamless.
I lost my job. I can’t say I got laid off because I did not get laid off. I got fired and there is a very big difference between the two.
When who pays you to make money for them don’t have their shit together and run into losses, and have no option but cut back on people getting paychecks, then we can say someone got laid off.
But when everything is going fine and they are happy to pay you piece of the big lot that you, with the other people, make for them and you lose your shit, fuck it up, and are asked to leave…. then that’s getting fired.
I think ‘a bad dream you can’t get up from’ is a pretty overused metaphor, but this is exactly how I had felt. Up till that fine Monday, the last week of April.
I had arrived yet again. Ready to restart yet again. “What’s done is done, it was an accident,” I kept repeating to myself tacitly.
I watched the city getting up and get to another week and felt the last horrendous weekend slipping away from my smooth consciousness without leaving any apparent scar. No, not on my soul.
On my body it had. That gash on my chin that had bled profusely. The one with the mark I never want to be faded away. This hurt had surrendered to my indifference, drying into a crust that I had a hard time not yanking. What is it sometimes that gets your will power validated in such a vain way?
Infected and poisonous it will get, and I will pay for it heavily I kept scaring myself.
As the elevator got pulled up, my heart, as usual, started to bounce. Everyone who gets stoned on the sly knows this feeling. When you are pretty sure no one can figure out that you are baked; still you are never completely sure. So you feel dizzy on the paranoia after you are already greased on dope. I hate that feeling, don’t you all? And I kept telling myself to buy that eyedropper and never did.
There were mostly two ways I approached every morning as I reached to work high. If I felt on the edge and anxious, I immediately reached to my desk dropping my bag down. That act of setting my handbag on the table had been a recurring pleasure, even if a small one. I admired the roomy semi-circle table and reveled in the striking sight of the Qutub Minar from the huge windows on my left. This victory tower from the 12th century that stood in the face of a lightning and an earthquake and stayed!
With the instant relief of my workspace, I would go on with the ritual of getting your system, your email, your Facebook, your files and folders up and running. I tried to evade each pair of eyes that came my way for at least the next hour and joined any banter around only after that. This bypassing calmed my nerves and brought me of the best work days I saw there. The thing was that I had always found myself more comfortable and a lot less distracted from work when I was stoned. But sure I did not want to be caught and questioned about it. Who would have believed me if I said that it was my panacea to get through the day with a hungover head that lay ahead of me?That I had to get stoned to sober up from yet another bacchanalian night.
So I slyly slipped in my droopy presence every day without much of funny things to say while they cackled on a comment here and a riposte there. The most I could do is to sincerely look like they had just squished my funny bone.
And then there were the days when I wasn’t so spiritless and a misfit among these happy upbeat people. I would move around saying my hi and hellos letting out a pumped up smile at each handshake. I would fill my water bottle, smacking my lips over the perfectly happy day I would turn the day into. That Monday was such a day.
Oblivious of the tears that would well up to trickle down in a while, I went through all the excitement to end up looking at my screen that said the system was locked. I looked up looking for the guy who was hired to shoo away these glitches.
In response to me telling him about the system, he told me I was being waited upon.
When I go back and think about the way I reacted to the news should have obviously been expecting, I smirk at how artless I could be at times. What the hell was I thinking?
I was fired and I burned. Nah, I didn’t wake up. I walked into it. I was real now no more a nightmare. I had pulled the final straw in my wretchedness. And all they may tell you not regret, but I regretted it then. I am okay now. Life moves on.