Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I had a job yesterday, and now I don't.

Hey Nick, how is your job going?

Well. I went to the office at 8:30 yesterday. A little after 9:00, I was called into an office with the head coach of the team (not exactly a normal thing), and told that my position was being terminated, effective immediately due to organizational reshuffling something something. Our team president and director of community relations, both of whom are close friends, were let go as well.

I went back to my office where a suited man, religiously opposed to small talk, fidgeted in the doorway while I packed what was in my desk. It felt like a white collar crime drama denouement, but without the flashing lights, string accompaniment, or eight figures in an offshore account. They're paying me through the end of the month though, so same difference.

Why do you think this happened?

Doug is our owner. Doug is a millionaire who lives in Colorado. He made a lot of money working for Dell Computers, and he has, in total, owned 12 arena football teams, one of which still exists. When Doug fired Cory, our team president, he also let go the two employees whose hires Cory had most directly influenced. One of those was me.

Will you miss the job?

I don't have aspirations of working in PR or Arena Football. The league is run by people who threaten fines for noncompliance rather than asking nicely. On a team level, there's a lack of distrust of employees on the part of ownership that means many creative, engaging ideas get buzzsawed before they reach the marketplace. All of this led to a good friend who was not fired to submit his letter of resignation before the day was out. 

So not a great deal, no.

C'mon. It has to be a little bit of a bummer, right?

OK. A little bit. It's not a huge blow to the ego because I never thought myself a PR wizard, and the evidence (and a lack of reprimands) suggests this didn't have much to do with me. That said, no one likes to be fired. I like steady income, and that's something I'll have to get by without for a little while, but it also gives me a bit of freedom to do some reading, some writing, some exercising, and some time for stoic contemplation while staring off into a wooded glen.

So what's next?

The goal is to stay in Atlanta. I've made great friends, I love the city, I'm infatuated with the Braves, and the opportunities far outpace those back home. Having been here les than six months, I'm not ready to leave . Obviously, I'm jumping into the deep end here a bit, but I've got a few connections and no small amount of faith that great opportunities for me exist. Of course, it's still not Chicago and if you have a line on a semi-stable, entry level position there, that's something we should discuss.

So that's what's up. I appreciate the concern and kind words I've received from friends so far, but as Eva Peron said, "Don't cry for me, people who've heard of Argentina." I'm sure I'll soon be telling you about an incredible job I stumbled on while visiting Margaret Mitchell's grave.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. If you're taking the time to read all this, know that I miss you, and don't ever be afraid to call. Thanks.