Gone Fishing

I was laid off in February 2009. Forty-five minutes into my shift, the district manager approaches me and says, “Can I see you in the office?” While en route to the office a customer stops me with questions. I sell him a printer, ink, and warranty.

I already know my fate as I continue to the office. The district manager wastes no time. He says that my position is being eliminated and offers a severance of one week for each year of service. He continues, but I don’t hear another word. My only thought is how to tell my wife.

I need time to think this out. It’s only 3 p.m., and I don’t want to arrive home until my normal time of 10 p.m. I buy a hamburger, eating it as I drive past my house. I see that my wife is not home. I jump from my truck, grab my fishing gear, and drive to the lake a few blocks away.

The lake is eerily dark and silent as I wait for the hours to pass. By this time I know exactly how I will deliver the bad news to my wife but decide to let her enjoy one last stress-free night of sleep.

At 10:15 p.m. I arrive to a quiet home and watch TV until my wife awakens at 7 a.m. I’m not able to fall asleep until early the next morning. I have not slept more than five consecutive hours since.

— Bob Warner
Former assistant store manager at Office Depot

Tell us the story of your being laid off in the tanking economy and we will publish it and pay you ($50 for 250 words).

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This was beautifully written - very restrained, very powerful. Thank you. I hope you find work soon.

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