Thursday, September 3, 2015
You don’t hear too much about lame chickens or turkeys, and I’m pretty sure that there are only scattered footnotes (if any) regarding other types of fowl. No, ducks seem to have cornered the market on lame-ness. But what is a lame duck anyway? Is it a duck that can’t walk? Is it a duck that can’t fly? Or is it an employee of a company that has just been told that his presence will no longer be needed and the smart money might be to start to looking for a new job. Just for today, the last definition seems to ring truer to me than the ones involving the actual ducks.
Was I really just fired? I think so. Well, sort of. It’s so hard to tell, because I’m still working. I am on a countdown timer though, so that’s where the lame duck-ness truly comes in to play. What’s even more interesting is that no one at the company even knows about it, except of course for the three people who were involved in making the decision. So, I go along, talking to and emailing my co-workers every day. I also email and speak to my customers every day. It's almost an out of body experience. Except for the part where I have to look for a new job daily - a search that right now feels more like I’m blindfolded and trying to pin the tail on a donkey.
Oh, if I could just be a real lame duck right now. That doesn’t sound so bad. I could limp around when on land, and float effortlessly when on water. I would be able to eat, enjoy my surroundings, swim around and do the daily duck things that ducks do. I’d be a responsible duck. I wouldn’t bully the other lame ducks or hoard the breadcrumbs that humans would inevitably throw my way. Of course, I wouldn’t have health insurance because… well, you know, the duck part; but I’ve got a high tolerance for pain, so I’m sure I’d be OK.
They (the company that I still work for) told me that I could take another position in the company if I would be willing to uproot my wife, daughters, dogs and hermit crab from here and move 2,678 miles away to the home office - but I think they may have just been trying to be polite. Even if I were willing to do that, I’m sure that I’d be outnumbered when it came time for a family vote. My two dogs alone could win that election.
They (the company that I still work for) didn’t even tell me of their decision to let me go. They told a person that is very close to me, and that person thought I should know and told me a few days later. It wasn’t for about another three weeks before the company’s president saw me in person, at the end of the last day of a sales meeting, when he casually slid it into the conversation.
“You probably know what this is about,” he started.
“Finally!” I thought to myself. “I was beginning to think that I was dreaming this whole thing up, or perhaps they had changed their minds.”
He was very pleasant about it. I suppose I can be thankful for that, except it would have been nice for someone in management to speak with me directly from the start. They have offered a severance package – allowing me to transition at my leisure to whatever donkey tail my blindfolded self happens to successfully pin.
So, for the time being, it will be me limping around nibbling on breadcrumbs. I guess I’d rather be a free range lame duck than a fully processed turducken. There’s no future in that.