Wednesday, November 18, 2009

If you lost your job, would you keep mum about it?

I know some people who have been laid off that try to keep it a secret. Why? A little bit of it might be embarrassment, but it's mainly because they don't want other people/potential future employers to see them as disposable. Makes sense. So why in the hell did I decide to start a blog called FIRED 'n' Fabulous? What the eff, man?!

Actually, I don't think I have shared my pink slip story yet. It wasn't like when The Donald tells contestants on The Apprentice to get out of his face because they suck at life. Umm, not quite.

I was a freelance reporter at a tabloid magazine, and when I took the job I knew straight up that that there was a good chance I would get the boot; they told me that from the jump. I didn't have any previous tabloid experience, but I figured if I busted my ass hard enough, everything would be OK.

I instantly got positive feedback from the editors on staff, and while I was worried about losing my job, I pushed the thought to the back of my mind. After I had been at the magazine about three months, I got called into my boss's office. I rushed in with a pad of paper and a pen, assuming I was going to be sent out on an assignment to stalk Jon Gosselin's house again or drive to a faraway courthouse to pick up divorce papers that documented a celebrity's infidelities.

As soon as I walked into the office, I was told to shut the door behind me. Uh-oh. I knew what was happening and as I heard the words "this just isn't working out," I wanted to crawl across the editor's desk and put him in chokehold until he screamed uncle. Obviously, I didn't. I kept my cool, said a few words, extended my hand and left.

I'm not going to get into everything that happened after that right now, but let me just say that it was not a fun experience. The whole situation just sucked, even though I knew from the beginning that being a tabloid reporter truly wasn't my destiny. Yikes, that was not a pleasant memory to relive. An.y.way.

Tell me: If you lost your job, would you keep mum about it? Is it ridiculous that I'm sharing my unemployed status with the world?


  1. Ellen, I think it is completely fabulous. It's always those who show their vulnerability that are commended. That's pretty much what you've done here. Like I said, look at Jen Lancaster. Girl's writing her fourth or fifth book now. Don't ever doubt yourself and your talents, no matter how you choose to share.

  2. this day and age, I might skywrite it, in hopes of finding something new and fast. I totally respect what you are doing...


  3. I agree with Barbara - there is not really a stigma attached to unemployment if you own up to it and adjust your lifestyle according. Eg - YOU!
    If I lost my job, after the initial bouts of wailing, draining the four mini bottles of booze in my office, and crying to my mom, I would let my friends and family know and start pounding the pavement.
    I have classmates who have been laid off and they allowed themselves a day or two to morn (one girl got laid off after her honeymoon, I knew another girl who got laid off before her wedding) and have since 1) found jobs or 2) gone on lots of interviews and stayed positive by doing contract work or pro bono work.

  4. Thanks for the support, guysss! I think I mourned for about a week (and I still have my days)...I'm just glad I haven't gained 20 pounds. Working from home (well, most of the time) makes it SO hard not to snack all day long!!!

  5. I LOVE the name of your blog. It's very positive. And it helps to add humor to painful experiences. This has happened to my hubby twice in the past year. The first time was much worse for him. The last time he almost sounded like he quit. I think it was because he was so relieved, but it took me 2 days to figure out he was let go. It's hard on the ego, and I commend you for talking about it. It helps to either talk or write about any painful experience, I think.

    The last time I told everyone, and my Dad said I shouldn't have because he thought I made a FB announcement, although I just sent a note to family members. I didn't want to have to explain it to 5 or 6 different people. I feel bad I told so many people, though. I felt like it embarrassed him, but it changed all of our plans for building a new house, etc, and I felt like people needed to know. I didn't want them asking me how the townhouse was coming along.

    We do feel like something positive will come of it. He has his feelers out, doing a little consulting work. He just isn't sure where to turn. I think he's just not sure what he wants to do. He's a CPA, but always worked on in house accounting. Anywho, I understand, and kudos for not gaining wait. I think I've gained about 10 lbs. since Tim was let go 9/27. Need to stop w/ the chocolate candy!

    Is this too personal for me to talk about in your comment section? Please be honest. I tend to put my foot in my mouth sometimes. But that's what Sag's do!

  6. I lost my job as the managing editor of a city newspaper. The whole publication was shut down one Tuesday morning at 10 am. Yeah - Tuesday at 10 am. I was already working hard on the paper when the bigwhigs came in and cheerfully told me I had 10 mintues to get my stuff and get out.

    Since then I've moved to a wonderful ski town and when people ask me what I do - I tell them I'm jobfree.

    I've had to use that word a lot over the past year but it is catching on. Jobfree is a great word.

  7. Ellen,

    I've been a "silent" follower of your blog for the past several weeks and I would just like to say that you have a real gift! I think that, as cheesy as it sounds, things happen for a reason, and all in all, it sounds like you're better off (especially in the long run). You have really taken a lemon and turned it into lemonade! I will continue to look forward to reading your thoughts on life, both now, and when you're a rich and famous writer. I'll just be able to say "I remember her when we used to be good buddies on a travel soccer team!" ;c)

    Take care and keep writing!

    Katie (Garvey) Romero

  8. Julie, there is no such thing as too personal on this blog. Share away! Glad to hear your husband is turning his tough situation into a positive one.

    Tralia! JOBFREE, I love that!! Haha...mind if I steal the term from you?

    Hiii Katie! So good to hear from you. Thanks SO much for the encouragement. "Rich and famous"...I don't know about THAT, but I guess I can only go up from here! Those soccer days were the best...when we rode the bench together :)

  9. Hey now, to be fair, I never rode the bench...and if memory serves you didn't either! But I do remember your wicked cool van on Zephyr road trips that had a huge box television that PLUGGED IN to an outlet in the car! Haha. Before the days of flip down dvd player screens...

  10. Haha, well I know we didn't start! At least I didn't, unless Kylie was injured or something. OMG, that television was hilarious. Is it sad that I still remember the Zephyr cheers too? "Don't mess, don't mess, don't mess with the best 'cause the best don't mess..." Umm yeah :)