Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Coffee, anyone?

Imagine this Tuesday morning pick-me-up:
You saunter into work. (Four days before a long holiday weekend.) In the midst of your morning log-on routine, the phone rings but you don’t recognize the name or the extension. You conjure up your most officious 8:30am corporate office voice, only to realize that you are speaking with the HR representative down on the second floor. She requests your presence in a meeting. Now. And you’re not even caffeinated. Shit. You get up from the desk just as you see your new manager striding over. He’s quite brief… but confirms your apparent 8:43am meeting with HR. Holy shit. Something’s up. You quickly grab your keys and wallet… because you know you won’t be returning back to your desk again.

This was my brother’s morning yesterday. He was laid off without warning or much reason. I have been through similar experiences- a merger, a layoff, and a corporate bankruptcy (as have many of my friends), but the bite from a new unemployment testimonial never quite loses its edge.
I am an eternal optimist and immediately reminded my brother of the ensuing ten week vacation he just earned. But personally, I know that nine of those upcoming weeks will undoubtedly be spent wrestling with resumes, rejection, embarrassment, and frustration. It is humbling to realize that for all our work history, personal experience, and wisdom that we bring to the office- it can all be ended before your first cup of coffee.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Welcome to California

I have only been in California now for three weeks. In these three weeks I have experienced:
1.) Mudslides
2.) A Tsunami Warning
And finally, last week we had
3.) An Earthquake

It registered 5.3 on the Richter Scale and it was described by co-workers as a “roller and a shaker”. I’ve been on a bender before, but never a “roller and a shaker”.

I swear, this state is Mother Nature’s Theme Park.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What a Difference a Coast Makes

I moved to California for the summer two weeks ago and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. East coasters don’t have a high opinion of California (particularly L.A.) and each earthquake offers renewed hope that the state might just fall into the ocean. However, I fear that I may be defecting. Don’t get me wrong- once an east coaster, always an east coaster. I will never learn how to relax, black will always be my favorite color of clothing, and I can’t help driving like a premenstrual woman. But life takes on a beautiful twist when you live on the Pacific coast, albeit for only two months. Feeling a bit nostalgic, here’s a list of ten things I haven’t seen since my cross country journey began in late May.

1.)‘Go Army’ bumper stickers. I’m in liberal nirvana for two more months. Go Democrats.
2.)My sister. She lives in Virginia. I miss her.
3.)Humidity. She also lives in Virginia. I’m feeling no separation anxiety there whatsoever.
4.)Spring Green. This state is one big sandbox with a couple of palm trees and sprinklers thrown in for good measure. The closest I can get to East coast spring green can be found in a crayola box at Rite-Aid.
5.)University of Maryland. I love it and hate it. But it has consumed my life for the last year.
6.)The Metro. Apparently, L.A. is too pretentious to bother with public rail transit.
7.)Pigeons. Although, replace “pigeon” with “seagull” and I’d feel right at home.
8.)My check book. I am hoping it’s chilling out on the coffee table back in Maryland.
9.)Rain. We haven’t had a drop since I arrived. I shit you not.
10.) Good music. I fear I may go ghetto/gangsta by the time I return. My car stereo has once again eaten a CD and refuses to give it back. I am forced to listen to the only two musical selections available in L.A.- Mexican dance music or 50 Cent and Ja Rule.