Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yes, I have a job

I got a note from a friend who didn't realize I have a job. I announced what happened on Facebook, I think, and didn't update here. Many apologies.

So August I got the can. I was bereft, truly, because I really liked my job and my work people. Shortly, though, I started to think that my job loss was happening for a reason, that there was something better out there for me, and I was hoping that the something better was comedy-related.

I became disabused of the notion, however, in September when I was given my job back. I didn't exactly have a choice in taking it since not taking it would mean that I wouldn't get a severance or be able to collect. I was inconsolably upset about it for a couple reasons, the main one being the disappointment that the "something better" lined up for me was my same old job, which didn't seem "same" or "old" before I got the can, but my perception was changed. I was supposed to be so happy and relieved to get my job back and I wasn't, so I looked like a total fucking asshole at my job. For real. People would come up to me to congratulate me and tell me how happy they were that they got to keep me and I would burst into tears like an ingrate.

Honestly, I was furious for having been dicked around (or at least I felt like I had been; in truth, there were people pulling for me in a big way behind the scenes, which is how I ended up with my job back), disillusioned by the whole process (the internal workings of a giant company are a real sausage situation; the less you know the better) and really, really, really sad that I wasn't moving on to bigger and better things.

Distance and reality glasses allow me to know and appreciate the value of being employed in a down economy. I've been unemployed before and while it was great - splendid, really - at that time I did not have a mortgage or any other real responsibility outside of a very inexpensive rent. I am truly glad and feel blessed that I am not in any fear of losing my house and that I will be able to continue supporting the Count in the lifestyle to which he's grown accustomed (bon-bons and diamonds for everyone!).

I'd be lying, though, if I said that everything is back to normal. It's not. Some of my relationships have changed. I don't trust people the way I want to trust them. I feel alternately bitter and jaded and then lucky and grateful. I'm trying to focus on the lucky and grateful part. It doesn't always work, but I try.

One thing that the whole situation really brought to the forefront for me, though, is how important my radio life is to me. Especially since starting this job, I've thought about giving it up so many times. It brings me so much joy, yes, but it also means I only have one day truly off each week and I can almost never go away for a weekend. A person can understand why I'd consider giving it up. When I got the can though, one of the first things I thought of was, "Thank god I never gave up the radio!"

Another thing is that I really do want to make a go of the comedy. I don't exactly know how, but I'm going to do what I do know how to do and trust that the Universe is lining things up for me just right.

So I have a job. Christmas is saved!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009


I know I'm all inspiration and everything with my hope for the future, but you should know I'm having a very hard time right now - crying by accident in public, on conference calls, etc. In short, I'm becoming the person you've known and loved for some time, but that corporate American has only heard tell of.

The first couple days post-canning were basically awesome. Yeah, I was getting the can, but everyone loved me! Yeah, I was sad, but I was surrounded by people speaking superlatively of me! I felt really hopeful and excited! A few days in though, everyone had said all they could say and I was forced to reckon with the painful reality.

Oh, the painful reality. It smarts so!

I think all the kind words from my colleagues sort of covered up the part where I'm wounded right now. My pride is hurt. I was working really hard and facts are facts: What's happened feels really bad.

Also, I get a lot of self-esteem from my work. Even though, in my heart of hearts, I know my colleagues value my work, there's a pretty big part of me that doesn't feel very valued. Man, this is fucking hard!

Whenever there's a decision to be made, my mother always says, "Go with your peace." I.e., Do whatever thing feels peaceful, not fearful or anxious. When I think of all my options, there's only one that I have any peace about. I think the Universe is pointing the way.

More to come when I know for sure.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Canning season

I got canned from my day job on Monday. I got a 60-day notice, which is hella generous, so I'm still working. I'm hoping that my current status of networking like a maniac will land me a job before my notice is up. I'm a little frazzled, but confident that everything will be fine for a number of reasons, which I might list, but they would make me sound like I was full of myself, which I am a little bit, but I'd prefer not to appear that way necessarily. At least not this minute.

I'm so vain.

Seriously, I've never had more people coming up to me to tell me what a pleasure it is to work with me. Several of them seemed to be nearly rending garments and ready to take to the sack cloth and ashes!

If it takes getting canned to be surrounded by so much love, I'll get canned every day!

Okay, not really. I'd prefer to feel the love without being shown the door. Still, you understand.

If you know anyone looking for a fine writer who is hardworking but a whole hell of a lot of fun to work with, give them my name. And then tell me about it so I can follow up with them and set myself up a lunch or beverage or something. Because that's what I do now.

There are few things that make me feel more like an animal than networking on purpose. I'm a natural networker. I'm constantly hooking people up with other people. It's what I do. But when I have to do it, it can feel a little more like work and a little less like fun. But I'm choosing to have fun with this. I'm meeting people I wouldn't have otherwise met. A lady cannot have too many friends.

I am taking some quiet time on Saturday to really think about what I want to do next, to visualize it happening, to plan my next steps, etc. I may even convene a meeting of trusted friends to weigh in. A crossroads has been presented to me. I am taking it as the gift that it is and I am going to make the most of it.

I will appreciate your positive thoughts during these times. Thank you.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jennifer "Jennifer Myszkowski" Myszkowski

Damien brought this story to my attention, which I'm sure will entertain you.

As a person with a name that has many popular nicknames, I can relate to this lady's frustration. While she takes it a bit too far, I understand her pain.

I have given up trying to insist that people call me Jennifer. What I started doing is referring to myself only as Jennifer Myszkowski. If people try to shorten Jennifer Myszkowski, they will end up with Jennifer. Or JMysz. Both of these are fine things to call me. I have many colleagues who call me JM as well. I like all of these. I just hate Jen - and especially Jenn - as Damien was so kind to point out.

Damien and I met at work a long time ago. I can't remember if the fellow this coming story is about was there when Damien was there, but perhaps our other colleagues may recognize this story (if, indeed, they read this blog).

There was a fellow whose name was Michael. Naturally, people called him Mike. He would reply, "ULL!" Then he'd look up all casual-like, "What?"

It was so annoying that I vowed I'd never, ever reply to Jen with, "IFFER!" I didn't want to be that guy. I just make it my business to make sure everyone around me knows what I prefer to be called. Some even take it upon themselves to politely tell people, "Jennifer prefers to be called Jennifer."

Now if anyone has any ideas about how I can get a lady at work to stop calling me Julie, I'm all ears. One day she came up to me and started telling me how great I looked, what amazing weight loss, etc. I assured her I was not thinner - in fact I was fatter - but thanked her just the same. She said, "But Julie, you look great!"

How do you tell a lady who is layering on the flattery that she just called you the wrong name? I didn't know how. I went directly to my team and told them what happened and asked them what I should have done and they all told me I did the right thing and it would resolve over time. Now we're about six months into the Julie-athon. I thought that after I won the award in my department and cried in front of everyone that it would be done - I mean, my bosslady gave a speech about how great I am and kept calling me Jennifer right in front of her! No dice.

On the bright side, at least she's not calling me Jenn.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Can it be three whole weeks since my last post?

That's it. I'm fired!

Okay, not really.

So much has been going on, most of which is not blog fodder, so I must abstain. But here are a few things that are worth sharing.

First, I did several hours of yard work today and if I didn't know I did it, I wouldn't notice I did it. There are many parts of home ownership that suck. This is one of them.

While I was working on the yard, I applied some sunscreen so I could try to avoid premature death. I bought some sunscreen at the Greenfields Market that is all-natural, so it's not as bad for the environment or anything (because some of them are pretty bad). It was made with zinc oxide, so it made me sort of white and pasty (or should I say, "whiter and pastier"?) than normal. When I was finally done being outside, I went into the shower to return to my normal human state, and I could not wash that stuff off. It took a ton of soap and water and actual, factual scrubbing and carrying on, and the water was still beading up on my skin like I had been freshly waxed. It was like tar.

(Aside: Remember Actual Factual Bear?)

Part of what I did was clean up some leaves that were leftover from fall. I found a whole bunch of them in my brassierre when I took a shower. Awesome!

This week was the best week I've ever had at work, ever. I got nominated by my peers for an important and prestigious award - and then I won it. And all of this happened without anyone spilling the beans to me, so that when they announced it in front of everyone in my division (100 or so people), I was so surprsed that I instantly started weeping and walking around in a daze like Miss America.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking: Jennifer always cries. And it's partially true, but I really try to keep the out-loud-and-in-public weeping to the minimalest minimum at work. They don't smile kindly on ladies in career separates getting their weep on in earnest 'round about my corporatey-corporate workplace. But I did it. And it was on a teleconference too! I was pretty embarrassed. But afterwards, everyone was coming up and hugging me and congratulating me and it basically didn't matter at all. In fact, my old bossidy-boss came up to me later to tell me how touched he was that I was so surprised and happy about the award.

My crying brought people together! Even so, I'm going to try not to do that again.

In the bastard plantar fasciitis news, it went away for about a week, then came back again, but I'm confident I can get it to go away again. It's so frustrating. But I've been taking short walks and basically giving it a giant middle finger, so that helps. In a related story, I bought another pair of shoes in an effort to fit my foot and my orthotic into a shoe at the same time. Upon wearing the shoe for one work day, I discovered it doesn't actually fit me. Fucking yeah!

I had a membership to Planet Fitness. A few weeks ago, Scott helped me face the reality that I never go. Not just seldom. Never. So he drove me over there and I cancelled my membership easy-peasy. It was nothing. But I wouldn't have gone over there without his urging. And because he was there, I didn't get caught up in feeling like a loser for quitting the gym. Honestly, I couldn't stand it in there. It was a lowest-common-denominator playground, as far as I could tell. When I was going regularly for a while there, there was a series of nutso people basically parading around me the whole time. This one insane mother in particular screaming at her son for about a thousand hours while I was just trying to exercise for about 30 minutes set me into a bit of, oh, I don't know. If it weren't so goddamned funny, I might have had the panic. When did mothers start screaming at their kids like dogs in public? My mother always had the courtesy to whisper-shout at us through gritted teeth. If you weren't right next to her feeling the anger radiate off her like thermo-nuclear waves and experiencing her death grip sear your arm fat while her growly whisper-shout singed the extra-fine cilia in your inner ear, you might not even know she was angry. (I'm not sure I've adequately thanked her for keeping the public mortification to a minimum.) In any case, the number of people working out in their pajamas was basically stunning. Also, teenagers getting their pose on in earnest. It was madness is all I'm saying.

You might be thinking, "Jennifer, the common denominator in all this is you." And indeed you may be right. But no self-respecting establishment purporting to be a health and fitness gymnasium should have a weekly all-you-can-eat pizza night. Just sayin'.

This morning, my mother called my very popular radio program to put on Grandpa No-legs's Bass Boat. It was sold within a very short time, which gratified me to no end. In any event, there was a glorious moment while we were on the air when I asked my mother what the boat was made of, aluminum or fiberglass. She approximately replied, "Whatever Bass Boats are made of." I approximately said, "They can be made of either." I only know this because of the show that I host. We talk about these things. She approximately said, "People who know Bass Boats know what they're made of," like she was some kind of person who knew Bass Boats, which she couldn't be because she didn't know what it was made of. I approximately said, "Yes, of course, ma, either aluminum or fiberglass." I added "approximately" in there because I didn't record it. I only wish I had so I could get those quotes exactly and so I could listen to it in perpetuity and laugh and laugh. We raised the curtain on our relationship to the listening public. When it was over, my bossman at the station popped into the studio and said, "You've gotta have your mother call in more often." I said, "I wasn't sure if that was funny to outside people or not." He said, "Oh, it was."

It is a radio program on public air waves, so my mother can certainly call in whenever she wishes to do so.

I think we're all caught up now.

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