Saturday, June 18, 2005

Lost in Transition

It’s official: I’ve been replaced.

Can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Last week, my boss sent me an e-mail, subject line: “your big move.” She needed to know when I planned on quitting work and shipping out to New Orleans. As my left finger hovered above the 2 (for July 2) a co-worker peeked into my office and asked when I might give the new intern a tour of my apartment. “She’s still looking for a place to live, and yours is within walking distance of the office.”

Tour: June 13. Quit: July 2.

“You have new mail!”

Actually, not to put any pressure on me -- not to push me out the door, or anything -- but my boss was really hoping I could leave sooner. Say, the end of June? “It’s a logistics problem.” The racially diverse children in my Hidden Pictures calendar smiled down sympathetically. “It’s not you; it’s logistics.”

I burst into tears.

I’ve always been a crier, always wished I weren’t. The co-founder of Highlights had two messages for his readership: “Children are the world’s most important people” and “Crying is for sissies.” Granted, the second message has been downplayed, but it’s still there. “Gallant asks Mother for a bandage when he scrapes his knee. Goofus sobs like a baby.” Gallant seems to face any injury or adversity with Boy-Scout cheer. I fully believe that if Gallant, say, lost both of his legs and arms in a bicycle accident, he would crawl over to Mother and announce, “I never knew my torso was so strong!”

That’s not me. I cry when my cable goes out.

And let’s just say “expendability” isn’t one of my favorite feelings. I knew that the new intern needed my office space and my apartment, but, of course, I wanted my boss to announce: “There is no magazine without you. You must stay.”

I now reside in a vacant office upstairs. Really, “office” might be an overstatement. “Storage space” is more accurate. Though it has been used as an office, by several employees long-since restructured. My Room Raiders-style inventory produced the following finds:

One pencil reading “Elect Bob (Bruce) Mackle, Wayne County Treasurer”
One pen from the Virginia Marine Science Museum
a McDonald’s Cat in the Hat toy, good condition
book, Community Building on the Web
book, The Unauthorized Biography of J.K. Rowling
book, Great Pets!
book, Instinctual Stimulation of Children: From Common Practice to Child Abuse
book, Dead Serious: A Book for Teenagers About Suicide (ironic, since “Dead Serious” was the name of the improv comedy group at Wellesley)
book, Putting on a Party

I didn’t bother to move my books and photos to the new office, since I’ll only be there a couple of weeks. I did smuggle some magazines into a desk drawer. Figured, as long as I’m on my way out, I might as well enjoy the slide. The December 2004 National Geographic has an interesting article about “new Earths.” My English-major brain couldn’t digest all of it, but I gather that astronomers may have the resources to find Earth-like planets by 2020. Kepler, a space telescope, will look for Earth-sized shadows on stars.

According to the article, “By 2011 or so, Kepler may have detected a few dozen Earth- or Mars-sized planets set just far enough from their stars to be comfortable for life.”

I’m waiting for the memo from God: “We need your Earth space for other life forms. Pack your file boxes.”

In the meantime, I’ll be sniffling behind the packing crates.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being replaced sucks. I've done it twice in the last year and never gets better. Sometimes people say nice things, like they miss you and wish you were back there. But wouldn't it be nice to imagine that they just couldn't get along without you? Though what a terrible stress that would be too. Vague memories of doing report cards for a certain school right around finals time and Christmas rush last year... -A

11:30 PM  
Blogger Jesseanna said... cards during grad school? Talk about Gallant.

One perk of my new, remote office location: I can get away with posting a blog comment during work hours. Mwahaha.

But now I'm getting back to work.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

or as some country song goes

how can I miss you if you don't go away!


4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was David Allen Coe

4:34 PM  

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