The Passing Period

February 10, 2009

My One Complaint

Filed under: Uncategorized — by jacksonhmills @ 7:05 am
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If I have one complaint nowadays, it’s aimed at my immediate coworkers: You, fellow copywriters, are spineless.

Here is the scene:

    Jackson Mills enters the copywriter area, followed by Kevin, the creative group lead. He begins to collect his things from his desk.JACKSON: Hmmm, let’s see here…

    COPYWRITER COWORKER 1 (smartly): Hey Kevin, you working on a secret project?

    COWORKERS 2 and 3 look on, interested.

    KEVIN: No.

    JACKSON: No, he’s presiding over a lay-off.

    COWORKER 1 opens mouth in surprise. He turns back to his computer.

    COWORKERS 2 and 3 exchange glances, turn back to their computers and begin typing furiously.

    JACKSON continues to pack his desk.

Yes, that is an actual page out of my life. Spineless knaves of the world, take heed: On the day of a lay-off, everyone getting the pink slip (which is not actually pink, see above) has been decided. Acting like a work robot will not forestall your layoff. It will only make you look like an asshole to someone actually getting laid off.

And in truth, I was the only copywriter getting laid off that day.

I would send a gigantic “Fuck You” to the copywriters still working at the company, except that I have something on them: I’m no longer scared of being laid off.

The thought of them shivering away their pitiful days is enough to keep me smiling, satisfied.

The Last Four Days

Filed under: Uncategorized — by jacksonhmills @ 6:51 am
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The last four days were filled with resume-building and portfolio-polishing. I got sick of myself after awhile, trying to apply my interactive expertise to developing a better resume. I felt like I was reinventing the wheel.

My new resume is great, but still a little long. When job hunting, you wonder what few words are going to catch someone’s eye. You beat yourself up over it. Most of this anxiety comes from the idea (urban myth?) that employers are now using smart software to search resumes for keywords. I’ve done my best to maintain my skepticism.

On Sunday night, I met up with a bunch of my former coworkers: all victims of the layoffs. Of course (see former post), I use “victims” sparingly.

Some of my coworkers are pounding the pavement pretty hard. Others are talking about starting new lives and new careers. Only a few are like me: Stuck in the middle.

Veronica was a designer that I worked with on multiple projects, and she’s in the same boat. She said she’s been cleaning her apartment for the last three days. I’ve done the same.

I never really got along with Veronica, in part because her design-work was always overwrought. I always ended up telling her that the things she added were unnecessary and often undevelopable.

Last night, I found myself respecting Veronica for one reason alone: She was the only other person there not bitching about our former employers.

The complete opposite of Veronica is Anne, the laid-off account service girl. I think she was an Account Executive. She’s from South Carolina, and I spent headache-filled days at the company listening to her complain in her cheap southern accent: Complaining about clients, about her weight, about the sandwich artists at Jimmy John’s.

Tonight all Anne could do was complain about the company. I wanted to tell her to get over herself, but I guess one must vent sometimes. I couldn’t get over the nagging feeling that she’d been venting in this same exact way for the last six days. Yikes.

I’ll give Veronica credit for something else: Decent taste in beer. We both stuck to Lone Star all night long.

February 3, 2009

Passing of an Entrepreneur

Filed under: Uncategorized — by jacksonhmills @ 3:49 pm
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From the Gothamist: Union Square Peeler Peddler Joe Ades Dead at 75

If only each of us had an angle. Where’s the new guard?

Adrian in the Surf

Filed under: Uncategorized — by jacksonhmills @ 2:30 pm
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Rocky III is great because it’s the story of one man that got cocky, was beaten down, and is rebuilt through the strength of his will. Forget that it introduces Hulk Hogan and Mr. T to the world. Forget the racial undertones and the positive (?) social message. I like Rocky III because of one scene between Rocky and Adrian, in the Los Angeles Surf.

In said scene, Adrian gives Rocky a real talking-to. She asks him what he’s scared of. She tells him there’s nothing in this life that can’t be replaced. She tells him to believe in himself.

I don’t have an Adrian. I’m single. I’ve been single for eight months, and no way am I knocking on her door. My parents do not live in town. I have some close friends and that’s good. But nobody to really yell at me and tell me to get back on my feet.

Then again, I don’t exactly feel “off of my feet.” I’m just very disappointed. I’m mostly disappointed in my (former) company. I’m disappointed that the president and vice president of said company were not in the office while the layoffs occurred. (Were they late getting in? Or hiding out?)

I’m disappointed in myself, thus: I’m disappointed that I haven’t been saving for this. Instead, I’ve been telling people that I would save. But I didn’t. I have a little cash, and I have some debt, such that I am overall in the red. Unless, of course, you count the IRA. But who would crack that open?

I’m disappointed that my company would only offer two weeks’ severance pay. I’m happy that they’ve decided to offer me insurance until the end of the month. I’m disappointed that they’re not giving me my one day of vacation this year.

My company bills $117 an hour (actual figure). With benefits, I was possibly $30 per hour worth of cost. I’m disappointed that my company couldn’t make that equation work.

Anyway, as I said yesterday: I am not an emotional type. I was not the only one laid off yesterday, however. And I know some of them are taking this pretty rough.

Nine of us were laid off in total. None of us were entry-level. None of us were new at the company. Nobody was in management. We were all rank and file. Two of the women laid off were married. One man that was laid off has a wife and kids. I’m pretty sure that at least four of us are single, which means that none of us have an Adrian. Or a Rocky (those three are women).

Pink Slips Are Not Actually Pink

Filed under: Uncategorized — by jacksonhmills @ 7:52 am
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I was laid off from my job this morning.

This evening, I decided to start a blog about my unemployment. This is that blog.

In introducing myself, I should state that I’m not a sentimental person. I’m mad that I was laid off, and I think it’s a shitty situation, but I’m not going to cry a river. In fact, I didn’t give anyone the benefit of seeing any tears. You know, except for a few people on the street, when it finally hit me.

I worked at the company for 19 months. I assumed my job was safe because I was busy. In hindsight, the work I was doing was not up to par of someone with four years’ experience copywriting.

So I was shocked this morning, but I’m not now.

This morning I was laid off. I had taken the bus to work. I thought about walking home, but decided the bus would be the better option. Today I have done three things:

1) I watched Rocky III. I had started it a few days ago, and I got the feeling that it was just the sort of thing for someone recently beaten. It was.

2) I filed for unemployment. This was on the advice of my creative director, who laid me off. It took a little over an hour. I can’t take money from it for another week.

3) I made lots of phone calls.

I guess I should add a #4 to this. I started a blog.

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