Today was a very surreal day. This morning everything was normal. I came in and worked. I was a few minutes late because I missed the bus. It got to lunch time and I wanted to go home and change my contacts. I had missed my bus so I asked a co-worker if she'd give me a ride.
On our way back to work we were discussing a rumor about whether or not our company had extended its contract so that we'd continue to have a job on into the future. We were actively discussing this as we were walking down the stairs to the dungeon where I work.
When we arrived back at our desks there was a neat piece of paper, upon which was written that we were to attend a meeting. A mandatory meeting for everyone on site.
At 2:30 I went on break, just like I always do. I wandered around and looked at all the people. I felt the way a ghost might feel, wandering amongst the living.
Just before 3:00 we started walking to the meeting site. A chattering congregation of the doomed. Flowing from our building, down the street to a meeting room at a nearby hotel. Food. They were serving food. You know it has to be bad news if they give away free food at a meeting hundreds of people are told to attend.
I sat talking to a fellow blogger Nathan. After a few minutes we were joined by others and sat there talking contentedly amongst ourselves. Still not quite feeling like we were there for the reason we knew that we were. Staring around at the crowd that was gathered. The people wandering around picking out cake and opening sodas. The way they looked was like they expected the meeting to be positive. Like we were all going to get raises, even though you knew that most had heard the rumors flowing through the site.
3:30. It's time to make announcements. The president of our company is standing just behind the head manager for our site. For the last few minutes all the big managers have been hugging eachother and talking quietly. They knew what was coming up and had signaled it to us unconciously.
Our wonderful site manager stands up and starts to speak. The room full of chatter was suddenly silenced. Not a peep. Not a cough. Dead silence. This many people being this quiet all at once. All eyes to the front. The speaker makes a comment in the sudden stillness that this was the best audience he'd ever had to get the attention of. Well, geez.. you're about to tell us that we're gonna loose our jobs. Hundreds of people out of jobs almost simultaneously. Silence. He starts to talk and one person laughs. Out of turn. Out of the silence. Uncomfortable oppressive silence.
They got to it quickly. I had expected a lengthy hem and haw. I expected it to be drawn out, like on a game show right before they tell you the last finalist. Announcer voice "... and now a commercial..."
And then, almost before it started it was over. We have 2 months. It still doesn't feel real. I'm going to go to work tomorrow and discover that it was all a big mistake. They read the paper wrong. Or wait, I wasn't really there... I was sick, I had a fever, and this was all one of those dreams that only really lasts for 10 minutes when in your mind it feels like days. Days.
I'm not afraid. Don't take this that way. It will come when it comes. There are alternatives for me. I'm not afraid. I'm sure it will be ok, but life will never be the same. I was beginning to get used to this. The idea of changing again so soon makes me want to cry. So many things have changed for me in the last few years. Too many things. I feel lost. Goodnight.