The Laid Off Diary: Dear Diary…this sucks.


Laying Seeds
May 12, 2009, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

bean stalk
Dear Diary:

When I was in grade school, I had to grow these stupid bean stalks for 4-6 weeks (I can’t recall the exact time frame). At the end of the 6 weeks or so, we would have to bring them in and we were going to be graded on how high they grew. The person with the tallest bean stalk won some sort of stupid shit (like a Judy Bloome book or a frisbee).

I mean, what the hell. I had other shit to do than watch bean stalks grow. Our teacher even suggested that we talk to our bean stalks because the CO2 would help them grow. The only talking I did was curse at them.

At any rate, I threw them in six individual little cups, filled them with dried dirt I got from a dirt patch near the street, poured some water, fertilizer my mom had left over from her orchids that always ended up dying, and hamster poop (from my fat ass hamster) and put them on the window sill. I completely forgot about them for a while but I think my mom watered them for me every now and then.

Then I remember how excited I was when I saw the first green speck come out of the dirt. I would observe them every day. When the first leaf bud seedling thing came out, I remember being pretty excited and anxious for it to uncurl and open its leaves. After they peak out of the dirt, they start to grow pretty quickly and sprout more “branches” (are they called branches? fuck, I don’t know. I obviously disliked biology) and more leaves and shit. They look completely different at night than they did in the morning. It was exciting to watch them grow. As long as they sprouted (one poor kid had a dud and was marked down for it), there was no stopping them. I started watering them and throwing more fertilizer and hamster poop on them and they kept growing. I was pretty happy with them at the end of 6 weeks but it was partly because I knew I was pretty lucky because I didn’t do shit and they still grew.

I didn’t win anything, probably because I didn’t do enough research on fertilizer or find a place to maximize sunlight, moisture retention, and temperature consistency because I wasn’t a nerd but if I did, I’m sure my bean stalks would have been pretty damn tall–maybe tall enough to win that frisbee my brother’s bad tempered chow would have chewed up.

But everything I’m doing now makes me think about these damn bean stalks. I’ve called every partner, senior associate, recruiter, or professional contact that I’ve made since I’ve been laid off. They’ve all tried to help and give me advice but nothing has come to fruition. I’ve been following leads, trying to branch out, making new contacts, etc. Sometimes when I see a job opportunity, I work myself up over it and get the feeling “this is the job! this is it! I’m made!” but I either don’t get the job or it turns out to be b.s.

Sometimes when I meet someone, I’m hoping to have that “this is the guy!” feeling. This is the guy that I was meant to meet. You read all those bios about the big law firms and it always tells a story about how a billion years ago (yes, a billion because that’s how far removed the firm’s attitude is from what’s really going on now and what its associates and clients want today) these two or three lawyers met, became friends, and had a eureka moment to form a firm that then became one of the most “famous-est” of “famous-est” firms (who, today, probably have had 2-3 rounds of lay offs). But what they didn’t tell you is that these people probably met about a thousand other people, many of which were jack-offs or many of which thought they were jack-offs, before they found each other and each person they met along the way may have helped them get to where they were to meet the person they were supposed to meet.

So I shouldn’t be discouraged that nothing has grown yet in my little plastic cup filled with dirt and manure (mainly manure right now left over from BigLaw). I’m just laying the seeds that will eventually grow and I need to learn to be patient. Each contact is a potential seed that may grow and lead to an opportunity. (or at least each contact is a learning experience or some jack-off I can laugh at later).

I have a JD from a top school, good achievements and BigLaw experience–that’s some damn good dirt for my seeds to be in (that sounds totally dirty–oh, no pun intended because that would be a lame and cheesy pun). But this time, unlike in grade school, I’m going to take my time in researching the best optimal conditions for my little seeds to grow and take care of them from beginning to end. I just need to be patient.

This time will also give me a chance to find out what kind of plant I want to grow in my cup (and this time, it won’t be a banana tree for corporate monkeys to sit on and fling poo at each other).

–building a hydroponic garden

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I like your blog. Good attitude, decent writing, and you’re making the best of a bad situation. And there’s hope – I’m a senior associate who was asked to leave early this year, and I actually managed to get a couple of real job offers. One was in the boondocks and paid shittily, but the other was almost too good to be true.

Comment by Sprite

I agree your attitude is darn good, keep your head up.

Good Luck, I’ll keep a good thought for you. Enjoy reading your blog. I usually don’t like blogs (all of that incessant whining is a real downer at other blogs) but yours is pretty genuine.

I do however, hate seeing you suffer (or anyone else for that matter) but I gotta hope that something positive will come out of this ordeal.

Been trying to remember a really good fast and cheap recipe my wife and I tried recently. Its mozzarella spinach chicken. Will forward it to you as soon as I remember to bring it.

Comment by Steady Eddie

Thanks for the comments Sprite and Steady Eddie. I’m trying to keep on the bright side of things because the alternative, being miserable, whiny, or pessimistic, kind of blows.

Mozzarella spinach chicken sounds great–I’m running out of easy recipes.

I was going to make banana nut bread with my roommate’s half mushy bananas but realized I didn’t have any ingredients or bread pans and it would have cost me about $25 to get everything to make a loaf. I guess it would pay off if I baked alot, but I haven’t baked anything since I baked cookies out of a box with my mom in middle school.

Comment by laidoffdiary




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