The Laid Off Diary: Dear Diary…this sucks.


Don’t Worry
May 15, 2009, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dear Diary:

I’m trying to re-negotiate my rent with my landlord. My lease is up in a few months and I was hoping that if I resigned, I could get a lower rent now through another year. Rent is falling in NYC like crazy and with getting a roommate, I’d be paying less than some of my friends in more affordable cities where rent is not plummeting. And, unemployment would almost cover my rent (I think I found a roommate) after taxes (just to give you an idea how much cheaper rent is) that I could coast a little longer while I look for a job.

Many people who were laid off are leaving the city but I’ve decided that NYC is where I want to stay (these might be my famous last words because who knows how wise this it). NYC has a sort of energy, even though it’s kind of down in the dust right now, of so many potential possibilities, business people, and entrepreneurs. And besides, moving back home to where my parents are (a city where I’d be miserable) feels like going back with my tail between my legs when I don’t think I have that much to be ashamed about.

Anyway, so now that I’ve decided to stay in NYC, I’m trying to renegotiate my rent. It was a bit awkward when I told the management company that I was going to stay in NYC and the woman asked, in a happy tone, “Oh! So you got a job!” and I had to answer, “Well, no… but I have a severance package, savings, and…well, don’t worry.” I kind of stumbled through it (and didn’t want to mention the unemployment checks). I’ve never been late on my rent and have perfect credit history so I’m hoping they will go for it. I have a rough idea of how many months I can last without working at all and I think I could find a job by then (at least, something temporary or something to supplement my severance/savings).

It was, however, awkward trying to tell the management company that I’m renting from not to worry how I’m going to pay the rent…and probably a bit stupid that I didn’t have a plan in mind for how to answer when it was obvious that she was going to ask me if I got a job or not.

But then it struck me–I didn’t tell her not to worry because I didn’t know how to answer or that I was trying to lie to her. That was just the answer–don’t worry. I realize it’s because I’m not worried. A partner at my firm said to me when I told him I was let go said he wasn’t too worried about me in the long run though it might hurt a little in the short run (he had always believed in my abilities, gave me good reviews, offered me advice, etc.) And it’s true, I’m a bit lost now as to what I’m going to do (and often, there is a small bout of me just saying “oh fuck, ah fuck, goddammit” when I’m looking for jobs or taking personality tests trying to find out what I should do with my life or just drinking or talking to my dad), but I believe I really meant it when I told her not to worry.

I will be all right.

–Here’s to the long run

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1 Comment so far
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Yes, you will be.

This was my thinking when I was looking for a job. First, after some soul searching, I realized that I still wanted to be a lawyer. (I briefly considered moving to the Caribbean, opening a bar, and becoming a beach babe, but then I realized that within a year, I would look 20 years older because of sun damage.) After that, the thinking was easier: I have great credentials, more than 7 years of experience, clearly, there’s a job out there in the continent-size country that is the U.S. Or, possibly, the world. I first applied to every job I was qualified for (or could conceivably be qualified for) everywhere in the U.S. Turns out that there were about 20 such jobs in-house when I started looking. Then I talked to every recruiter that had previously contacted me, and contacted a bunch on my own, figuring that finding a firm position would be easier with a recruiter. I actually got three in-house interviews, each were fantastic jobs, and one offer. I decided not to take that job eventually, because it required major relocation, and I had a better offer. I also got 5 interviews with smaller firms/boutiques (could have never found them w/o the recruiters). Two offers, one was for a fantastic boutique, the other, I could have done if there was nothing else there. I also applied to the govt. and the wheels are still turning on those positions, who knows.

Good luck!

Comment by Spriit




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