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    Tuesday, January 10, 2006
    I’ve Become The Guest of Honor At A Party I Desperately Want To Leave
    We’ve all been there. You’re at a lame party. There’s no one worth talking to. You’re guzzling watered down Jack and Cokes in an effort to make it all a little better because you’re not allowed to leave. You’ve been approached by the weird dorky guy who mistakes your polite smile and downward glance as a “I’d really love to hear about the Dungeons and Dragons conference you went to last weekend” plea for conversation. More than anything in the world you want to kick off your heels, not in an effort to have a good time, but as a way to make your sprint out the door just that much faster.

    But you can’t. You’re stuck. And what’s worse, it’s YOUR party.

    This is where I find myself. In the last five days I’ve realized that the key to successfully navigating my post-firing professional career is to avoid, at all costs, declining the invitation to participate in a pity party for one. However, it seems that by RSVPing to that invite with a resounding “No” I have instead become the guest of honor at yet another party. This too is a Pity Party, only it’s not for one. It’s for all.

    There’s a fine line that needs to be walked when you’re approaching someone who has just received bad news. It’s a tightrope walk – being supportive is on one side, pitying on the other. They are generally caused by the same thing: feeling bad for someone, wishing you could help, genuinely caring about the person in question. But the feelings brought about by the two are drastically different.

    Many, no, most of my friends, family, and blog readers (yes that’s you!) have navigated this mine field beautifully. The support I’ve received from all of you has been amazing. Be it offering career advice, similar stories from personal experiences, providing job leads, or even just offering yourselves up as a sounding board. THAT is a party that I am grateful to be a guest at. But as I walk around the office, or read certain emails, or see the looks on certain people’s faces, I just want to crawl under a rock and never come out. It’s the hushed “hello”s, the being overly nice to me, the tiptoeing around me as if I could blow up at any time that is making me absolutely crazy.

    Because the best thing I can do right now is avoid feeling sorry for myself. If I remain motivated and positive it’s easier to send out those resumes. Most times it’s easy. Well, not easy, but doable. But when you see those looks, hear that tone of voice, feel the palpable vibe of “Oh you poor thing” it just makes it harder. I want to scream “It’s Ok! I am going to be Ok! Why don’t you think I can handle this?!”

    But I don’t. Instead I call my Mom and cry for a minute before getting back to the pissed-off-I-can-do-this mode that I’ve been oscillating in and out of for the last few days. Which I guess makes me that girl sitting on the stairs after the high school dance, her shoes in her hand, her mascara smudged because the captain of the football team wouldn’t dance with her. And I thought I had outgrown that. Damn.


    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, January 10, 2006  
    • At 1/10/2006, Blogger lizy said…

      Oh, honey, we never out grow that!

      And, for what it is worth, this will be their loss, not yours.

      Don’t forget that you should demand severance pay so that you will be able to support yourself while you look for a new job. As long as you haven’t breached any contracts, I believe they must give you that. They certainly owe you!

      Don’t worry, I will be there soon to feed you lasagna and red wine. And I better meet you Thursday! Do NOT make me wait until Friday!

    • At 1/10/2006, Blogger Esther said…

      You CAN handle this. And for the part you can't deal with at all times, we're all here to support you. And I'm comin' right now.

    • At 1/10/2006, Blogger Ari said…

      Hey all those people who are whispering around you, will get theirs. If they don't have the decescey to tell you how it is then they weren't your friends and they were playing the corp america game. Just remember those that spoke honestly with you, even if it hurts now make sure you eventually thank them for it while they have their own hard times. Be sad, and use the sadness and anger as a gift and take that motivation to kick some ass in your next job which I am sure that you will find in soon enough. The world is full of assholes just be straw that smiles and knows that you are going to kick some ass.

    • At 1/11/2006, Anonymous nacho said…

      I've gone through something similar and experienced the pitty party as well. Don't know if this makes sense in your situation, but after dealing with people for a week (I had 2 week notice) I took on the attitude of being lucky to get the hell out of there. While they're milling about he halls, collecting their precious paychecks, stuck, I was exploring the rest of what is out there. Something they secretly do on their lunch break, but never have the guts to pursue.

      You have been given wings. Fly. Everytime you see these clowns - look at their shoes and know that they are glued down to where they stand. You have a rare opportunity, the chance to create something new without having to weigh those pesky pros and cons.

      good luck. I have every confidence you'll do great. Those suckas don't know what they let go.

    • At 1/11/2006, Blogger Itchy said…

      I could send you some Ativan so you don't care so much about the looks... :P

      Mostly though...they probably just don't know the right things to say to you at the moment to convey their feelings.

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    Name: FINY
    Home: New York, New York, United States
    About Me: Just a New England girl trying to make it in NYC. Email me at: soxfaninnyc [at] gmail [dot] com
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