Not quite a complete goodbye yet, since I’ve already agreed to come in on Wednesday and help out with some holiday nonsense as I badly need the money.
But today was my last day of real work. It’s been almost exactly two years since I started working for my employers, and today I officially got laid off.
It’s been deathly quiet for some time, with more than 90% of our crew gone. But tonight, as I packed my belongings and deleted my files from my computer, I was the only one there.
All I could hear was the buzzing of the fluorescent lights, and the insanely loud ticking of the clock in the bullpen as I addressed a couple of letters and finished cleaning out my desk and all my decorations.
I don’t know when this strike is going to be over. The WGA’s NLRB complaint, while it may be legally justified, certainly isn’t going to speed up the process of returning to negotiations.
Because of that, I have no idea if I’m coming back. I have some savings, but not enough to last me more than about three months, if I’m being realistic. I have to start looking for a job at the first of the year if I don’t want to starve.
So I packed up everything, from my Giant Bottle O’Advil to the hilarious “While You Were Out, Everyone Exploded” message a co-worker left me over a year ago, and that I’d tacked to the wall for posterity.
And I listened to the clock tick and tick and tick, time marching inexorably forward, and life moving on whether I wanted it to or not.
So I walked out the door, and I shut off the lights in the office for the weekend. And I closed the door behind me, wondering when (besides Wednesday) or if I’d be opening it again.