A former colleague dropped me a line to say she had a change in daytime contact information. Since we both worked in corporate communications (motto: "Using words, charts and video to tell you nothing!"), I knew this was code.
She'd been downsized, right-sized, RIF-ed, sacked, separated and sent packing.
She was one of many friends, neighbors, former co-workers and random strangers I've meet in the past few months who had also been shown the door at their places of work. Every time I hear of this, I have one and one thought only:
"You slackers! I got the heave-ho in October. Of 2007!"
Me -- a trendsetter, a pioneer. This must be how James T. Kirk felt every day at the helm of his star ship, but without the velour pants and vinyl captain's chair causing stickiness in the nether regions.
With this reminder of the recent passing of my first can-iversary (pink paper, naturally), I realized I was due for a performance review. Twelve months of emancipation from corporate dronery and, subsequently, as head of Uncool Enterprises Unincorporated deserved some serious evaluation. I sought guidance from our in-house executive HR goddess -- My Love.
"Sorry, I'm slammed," she said. "I've got 16 deadlines and three bosses breathing down my neck. Meanwhile, I've got to make PowerPoint deck salad for the Region Seven Niblick Overlay assembly and dial in to a conference call with Burpakistanbul in five minutes."
Still, it was one of the best meetings I've ever had with HR.
When I was told to meet with the HR rep at my last company for details on my separation package, she offered such insights as "I don't have any of your papers in front of me," "I'm not sure" and "I don't know how we handle that."
She ended up quitting a week before my effective termination date. I swear, I am innocent.
With no assistance from My Love, I went looking for some bottom-up feedback from the Things.
"Children, how's Daddy doing? Am I exceeding the expectations I've set for you as main proprietor of all-things parenting?"
"You're still a dork," Thing 1 said.
"I'll look into that. Thing 2, do you concur with your sister's evaluation of my performance as Dad-in-chief?"
"Can you buy me some more Pokémon cards?" he said.
"I'll have to see if you are within your budgetary allowances for this quarter. Do have the proper paperwork in triplicate with the pre-approval stamp and signature of the chief financial officer?"
"I have black stuff in my bellybutton."
Next, I tried my closest work associate, Murphy the Rabbit Killer. Unfortunately, he couldn't offer an opinion. He was in a meeting of the nasty bits with the fetid-smelling golden retriever next door.
Looks like, as usual, I'll have to fend for myself. Rather than dwell on the past, I'll move right into the goal-setting portion of my review:
Take more naps. I'm not much for siestas, but medical evidence of their benefits continues to grow. Who am I to argue with science?
Wear pajamas all day. If I'm going to be stereotyped as a work-at-home parent, why not go full throttle? This, of course, will require me to buy some pajamas. Bright side, walking the kids to school will be less breezy.
Play more golf. I remember one division president at my last company telling an audience of employees about his meeting with the executive management consultant the CEO hired to evaluate his top people. The consultant told the DP he spent too much time in the office and on job sites. Instead, he recommended the DP get out and play more golf during business hours. Which reminds me …
Expand consulting services. Time management skills, perhaps?
Practice my bass. It looks really cool on the stand in my office, but what if I finally have a potential business client over and he demands I nail The Who's "The Real Me" or else the deal is off? I heard that's how the Microsoft-Yahoo deal collapsed. Frickin' Bill fumble-fingers Gates.
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Video: "Stay-at-Home Dad," Jon Lajoie
My Uncool Past
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