Monday, June 14, 2010


Last Friday I got a call from my boss at the animal shelter. It was a short call--no more than 45 seconds. He asked me to come in to the office on Monday morning so we could have a "sit-down talk." Being the nervous Nelly that I am, I suffered from cold sweats and palpitations for about an hour before I got distracted enough to  turn my mind to other things over the weekend.

This morning I went in.

When my shelter split from the county animal control, they lost three-quarters of a million dollars a year in basic rent, not to mention a per diem amount for each animal over capacity. $750,000 is a lot of money, especially to a non-profit. As a result, they've been cutting back where they could, trimming the edges and being prudent for future monetary droughts.

Because of this, my boss said, they were very sad to inform me that as of June 30, my position would be terminated.

He went on to assure me that this termination would have no impact on my worker's comp status, and that I should continue receiving wages and eventually a settlement.

So really, nothing is changing.

But I still feel suddenly weightless.

I didn't particularly like the job. I didn't particularly want to go back.

But it was there.

And now it's not.

I've been in a holding pattern for almost a year, ever since I got injured on August 15, 2009. Being on WC, I couldn't look for another job, couldn't do anything else because of the injury--basically just waiting.

Now my future is open again.

I don't know yet what I'm going to do--I can't start my nursing program until fall 2011. Do I get a job? Maybe. I could go to the school where my husband works and earn an MBA in the meantime. But what do I need an MBA for? Not much.

I have an appointment with my surgeon next Monday, June 21. I'm sure I'll know a lot more after that. I hope so, anyway.

What I do know is this: I'm finishing this novel, dammit. And then I'm going to make it the best damn novel I've ever read. And then I'm going to query. And then I'm going to find an agent.

And when I do all that, at least I'll know that the holding pattern wasn't for naught.

I'm going to try and figure out a blogging schedule for myself soon, topic-wise. As I'm wandering aimlessly these next few weeks, I'm going to need some structure, so I'm going to try and figure out a daily writing plan, as well as critiquing, reading, and all the other stuff I do.


What a word.

PS: On a lighter note, we're almost done with LOST. We pulled another epic weekend and watched 12 episodes of season 6 yesterday :-)


Unknown said...

I'm sorry to hear that. :(

But you're going to kick that book's ass! :D Good luck on the blog schedule.

And LOST is amazing. I miss it already.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry to hear about the job being terminated. I would say if you hated it, loved it, didn't know what you thought about it, still having it not THERE would be weird.

Sounds like a damn good plan, and if it's the novel I've been reading then you definitely one hot book on your hands! I love it and can't wait to see it on the shelves and say "Hey I freaking now that awesome girl!"

Way to go on Lost... you AMAZE me with your tv season watching skills... haha I'm in awe of you!

Anne Gallagher said...

You know what they say, when God closes a door, she usually opens another window. Don't sweat the small stuff baby, if you can still collect WC go for it. Go back to school,or not, get a job, don't, hey the future's wide open. My money's on the book.

Eric W. Trant said...

I'm an engineer in semiconductors. I tell new engineers -- grads and co-ops -- not to think of engineering as having a job. Rather, think of it as something you do between layoffs.

I've been part of plant shutdowns and sniper layoffs (When the company is ROCKING and they still lay off people. Inexplicable.)

I watched a ton of people get cut, as we all did, in 2008. We started early, though, and hit our first round in 2006. When we were rocking. Sniper attack.

Anyway, the laid-off folks almost always land a happier position, even if it is not more money. I'm sure the same will be true for you, especially with the book writing.

Good luck.

- Eric

Cruella Collett said...

Sorry to hear that! If you can afford just taking the time off, though, I would totally allow myself to interpret this as the universe's way of telling you to just write. Good luck with the novel!


Sorry about your job but if your writing takes off the sky's the limit,
I wish you well for the future,

Take care.

Summer Frey said...

@Eric: That's pretty wild. I do appreciate your sentiment, though.

Thanks all for the kind words!

Sarah Ahiers said...

ugh. that stinks. But i guess it could be tons worse.
I'd look on the bright side: you don't have to worry about it anymore. Sure, you may have new worries, but you can cross that bridge when you get there.

Go Novel Go!

Christi Goddard said...

This might be a weird thing to say, but I'm SOOO jealous. I would love to be laid off from work so I could write for a while. Laid off, as in getting unemployment benefits, of course. :-) Can't afford no money coming in. Hence, my JOB OF DOOM. *sigh* I really need to be rich right about now.

Aubrie said...

Sorry to hear this! I bet it's a weird feeling. But when some doors close, other doors open :)

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

gorgeous! Sorry about that little word cropping into your Monday - like Anne said above "door closes.." I personally feel that your last comments are the best: Finish the novel - land the agent; because I KNOW you will be a writing STAR!

Terminated - nasty word but has more potential in its 10 letters than most other words in our entire language - don't miss out on this hidden opportunity ;o)

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Crystal Cook said...

That sucks Summer, really what else can you say? Terminated, grrrrrrr.

You WILL get that book finished, query it and it'll be snapped up so fast, just you wait and see. I'm tellin ya, that's how it's gonna happen :):):)

I'm sorry for you sweet friend :(
But good things will come(that's easy to say, not so easy to feel though isn't it?), now go write, you can do it! I totally and completely believe in you :)

Lola Sharp said...

It is definitely a gift from the Universe, from the writing/literary gods. It's a BIG HUGE sign to write and polish and query and sell your masterpiece.

I'm here for you, bestie, to help in any way I can.

Do you need a daily phone call to tell you to get your ass off the internet and into your word.doc? Because I'll do it.

A schedule is exactly the answer. I'll do it with you as soon as next week is over. Tandem writing.



Patti said...

Sorry to hear about a job, whether you like it or not, it's still a job. Even though I would love to quit mine, it would be weird t obe terminated from it.

Old Kitty said...

Oh Summer - I'm so so sorry to hear about this - and especially for what it's making you feel. I do hope you are ok. It's a lot to take in and such a shock to the system too. I think just letting this news sink in slowly is enough.

I like that you are already seeing lots of windows opening. That's very positive and shows your strength of character (I'd be in a heap in a corner somewhere raging at the shock of it all!).

I wish you all the best, the very best of all these opportunities and possibilities.

Best of all I wish you a night of peace and calm and introspection surrounded by love and support.

Take care

Liza said...

Isn't there a saying that goes something like: "If a door closes, a window opens"...and more time to write, that seems like a big huge plate glass window to me.

Christine Danek said...

Oh Summer--so sorry to hear that. You get to that novel though. It kicks ass so you know it will be great. You will figure it out. Things happen for reasons-- sometimes we don't know why --for a while at least. Take care and email me if you need to talk.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that, Summer. I've never lost a job because of budget cuts but I know what it's like to be unemployed. Just try to use this time to do what you want to do with your novel. I know you'll make it great! And don't give up -- something even greater is on its way. I'm sure of it. :o)

The Words Crafter said...

Wow! I'm new to your blog and don't know too much about your injury...I hope you get the best possible news from your surgeon. And in the meantime, I hope you finish your book and that you find an agent and that it's completely, over the top successful!

Kimberly Franklin said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. But maybe, just maybe, it's for the best. That word, terminate, though, is a dirty word in my house. :)

sarahjayne smythe said...

I'm so sorry you lost your job. And I'm so sorry you're feeling so weightless. That's a rough place to be. But you will finish your novel and it will be great. Hang in there and good things will come. :)

Anissa said...

Terminated is such a harsh word. Let's throw it away. ;)

I hope this time ends up being a blessing for you. Finish the novel. Your future is wide open.

DL Hammons said...

I'm with Lola. GO NOVEL GO!!!

Unfortunately I've had to use that word myself a couple times. It's not so easy on the other side of it either.

Mel Chesley said...

Aww, sorry to hear this. I hate being in limbo. I was injured at work in 2008, have had two surgeries on my left wrist...SHOULD have one done on my right but I'm afraid. I have bad arthritis in the thumb joints and if I lose the muscle mass in my right hand like I did in the left, I'm up a creek without a paddle.
Hopefully soon I can find something I'm able to work that doesn't involve my hands too awful much.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I know that weightless feeling you describe. I lost my long-time job when the newspaper industry downsized so dramatically. At first, I was adrift but now I'm writing my novel, dammit. And so will you!

Jade @ Chasing Empty Pavements said...

I'm glad you are able to find the silver lining in a dark cloud. Blessing in disguise kind of. I can't wait until you finish your novel, It will be so great!

Erin Kuhns said...

It sounds like you have the ideal situation AND (more importantly) the ideal attitude here. Look all around you, live outside the box. Sounds like a great opportunity!

And as for Lost...I promise I won't tell you what happens. You're SO SO close!!!! Enjoy....!!!!!!

Jon Paul said...

I know what you mean 'bout the void caused by an unexpected surprise like this. Certainly makes a body think.

But I think your plan is a good one, so I say press on smartly!

Hannah said...

that sucks! i say focus on writing and getting that novel polished and look for a job here and there.

omg! you're almost done with Lost. Email me when you're done crying.

Amber at The Musings of ALMYBNENR said...

I'm really sorry about your job. I really hope you get good news when meeting with your surgeon.
I'm not always positive but sometimes I fake it to get the return from's still a form of trying so even if you don't feel it, you're trying to put good vibes out there. You WILL find an agent and you WILL be published! :-D

prashant said...

Sorry to hear about a job
Banner Advertising Network India