OMG. So my wonderful, talented, and incredibly competent associate editor and I drag over to the Executioner’s office this afternoon. I’m thinking maybe I should’ve gotten a wooden cart to haul her to the guillotine. We could have crowds of right-wing crazies hollering their approbation, and maybe a legislator knitting, knitting, knitting…
We’re sitting there in the waiting area waiting (what else?) for the hatchetwoman to see us. One employee walks past, recognizes us, and barely stops herself from weeping (surely her cat has died?). Another strolls by and looks grim. The word is out, no freaking doubt of it.
We’re called in, and we both think here. it. comes.
The Kid has said that if she gets laid off in June, just as she comes out of a divorce that has led to her ex- losing his job (and her and her child’s health insurance) because of a conviction for harassing and stalking her, she is screwed, screwed, ge-screwed. Her Deanship has told me The Kid is to exit on June 30. I’ve bitten my tongue so hard my ears hurt.
The Executioner starts by handing over The Kid’s notice to her.
And then says “Keep reading past the first paragraph. Don’t panic before you read the rest of it.”
Un. Freaking. Believable. They’re extending her to the end of the year. They’re pretending she’s an exempt service professional (something The Kid is fully, totally, grandly uninformed about) and saying they will renew her nonexistent “contract” to December 31.
The Kid, who has a lot more moxie than I do, eyes the Executioner and says, “Well, are you hiring me back at my current salary?”
This is a question I have been afraid to ask.
“Why, yes,” says E. “You both will continue at your current pay, benefits, and retirement.”
I express my wish to E. that she express our endless gratitude to Her Deanship for this little coup, which must have taken some major machination. She darts out of the office and forthwith returns with Deanship herself, attired in an outfit that looks like it probably cost more than my net worth.
Emboldened, I ask what about our lead research assistant, the one who handles the single most difficult academic journal on the planet and shepherds the darned thing through from beginining to end?
The Kid and I brace, microsecondwise, for the worst.
“Oh, yes. Weren’t you told?”
She’s smiling, so I figure there’s a fifty-fifty chance good news is on its way.
“We’re keeping her on through the fall semester, too.”
Then I say, This Kid needs to get health insurance. She just divorced and her husband just lost his job.
E. says, No problem. Go on over to HR and tell them you’ve had a change of life circumstances, and you can sign up for any of the health insurance programs.
Thank you, Goddess! And trust me, nonbelievers: goddesses have nothing in common with deans.
The Kid and I staggered out of the Executioner’s chamber and headed for the fanciest restaurant in lovely downtown Tempe, where we raised a glass of expensive white wine to the event that we will be canned, but not until New Year’s Eve.
Damnatiõ! Has anyone else out there actually celebrated the sheer unmitigated joy of a layoff?
Our story to date:
Ax Falls, but…uhm…Bounces
Résumés on the Wind
Staying Solvent in Penury
Perfect Retirement Day
How IT Puts Apps into Job Applications
Is This Worse than We Think, Even?
Income Stream Sighted