I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 5 - Kutting Threads

Dear Porkus,
This is the end of the love affair. I need my space. I've wasted my best years on you and for what? You take up with someone younger and flashier when the going gets tough. We've been locked in this co-dependent relationship too long and it's time for me to move on. We've grown apart and you just don't meet my needs anymore. And, yes, I was faking it. It's not me, it's you.
I got a wonderful email today from my former assistant. It said everything that I hoped that someone would say -- that I worked hard, tried to keep things together and dealt with it all with class. That validation was something that I needed to hear to drown out the silence from my formerly close colleagues.
This was the time to cut. I cut my son's hair last night, the first of what I'm sure will be a long line of frugality moves. I cut more ties with Porkus by gathering up the little bits of leftover garbage that was theirs and taking it and their confidentiality agreement back a day early. I didn't want that hanging over me tomorrow. With their scraps in a shoebox, I drove there as my stomach became bubblier and more burning the closer I came to Ground Zero. That's exactly the feeling that I had most mornings for the last twelve years. I was to turn the notarized document in to HR Vice President Cheryl Boobquist, an ancient biddy terrified of women's breasts and almost every invention of the modern world. During my employment I would wear my shirts backwards to avoid a visit from the Church Lady about my neckbones showing. Scott Adams should be paying her royalties. She supported Hillary Clinton in the last election, not because she had any interest in social justice, but because she hoped that polyester pantsuits would come back and her entire wardrobe would again be current.

Fortunately, she wasn't there and I was able to give the document to her assistant, a nice woman who probably would also like to have a neck. I picked up another box of my possessions that had been left behind (and not in the Kirk Cameron kind of way). As it was afterhours, few employees were around. I chose that time for that reason and also because I was on my way to a 6:30 PM meeting and I wasn't going to make the drive twice. I said a quick greeting to someone whom I'd know for twelve years and he basically responded that my work was "crap." He seemed to think it was some kind of joke. It's as though this whole company is sliding back and forth on the autism spectrum.
The Job Support Workshop was good. The speaker talked about the ways that we can become "stuck": not making any progress in a job search, in a stifling job, or in a toxic relationship. People become stuck when they believe that they no longer have a choice. The solution is to recognize the situation and to truly see the options and choices that we have. One choice can be to unload that which is not working in order to make room for what will.

For the record, it's not an accident that some of these people are jobless. They are a nice group and I'm sure that familiarity will in time make me look past the more eccentric ones. For now, on the outside looking in, they seem to be picture dictionary version of the DSM-IV. As PeeWee would say, "I know you are, but what am I?"

Back to the theme of becoming unstuck, I have been on a cleansing and modified fast for the last two days. Fill in the graphics for yourself but Porkus was a toxic place and I'm literally getting unstuck. If Porkus had a motto, the business cards would say, "Porkus: The Kind of Place That Lodges in Your Intestines."

Tomorrow: Signing Up for COBRA coverage and planning a funeral ceremony for my old life

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