Why else would I start putting my resume up on monster.com and start trolling the employment boards at well-known institutions? Somehow I subconsciously knew that I wasn't long for here. My boss just had a difficult conversation with me. There is this ridiculous (but in some ways fortunate) employment system here. Call it tenure for professional/administrative staff.
I'm not getting it.
Once you've been employed in this place for five years you are then eligible for "permanency." Basically that means that unless you are grossly incompetent, they can't fire your ass. So it's a big deal when it comes time to make the decision - will we or won't we offer this person permanency? The stakes and expectations are higher these days, and it doesn't look like - correction, I am not - going to make the cut.
I was hired to do one job and I did it so well that they 'promoted' me into my current position where I've been for the past year. I'm at the point where I'm making enough money that they feel they have to justify my existence with results. Unlike my boss and my boss's boss who have permanency and who therefore cannot be fired, I am to be held accountable.
The fortunate part about this fucked up employment system is that according to the union contract (see, the union is good for something) they have to give me a full year's notice that they are not going to renew my contract. And because they like me, they really do like me, they are giving me until June 30, 2005.
So I'm not officially fired, but come next June I won't be working here any more.
Wow. Deep breath. My heart is pounding. I'm trying to keep working here, but my mind is going a million miles a minute. I don't know what's worse - being given 15 months or 15 days. Because this really is hard. I mean, if I know that my contract won't be renewed, then I might as well leave sooner rather than later. It forces me to really start thinking. If I'd just been given two weeks notice, then that's it. Two weeks, I'm unemployed and go from there. With this much notice, I have time to think, choices to make. Sometimes it's hard having choices because then you are paralyzed. "Should I take this job? What if something better comes along?"
Another deep breath. I'm handling this really well. Guess it was a good thing I saw my HR buddy in the parking lot on the way back from lunch. He gave me a heads up so I wasn't surprised when less than an hour later my boss said "We need to talk." I had a stiff upper lip going in and I did not cry. Much. One tear escaped. And I couldn't speak other than to say "This isn't a conversation I can have right now." My boss had the weekend to think things over (apparently this conversation began last week) and I plan on taking the weekend to thing things through myself.
What am I going to tell my friends and my family? Am I going to tell them anything at all? I'll tell a few of my closest friends, but I'm not going to tell my family anything just yet. I don't want them to worry. In fact, I may not ever tell them. I'll just go out and find the job of my dreams and then share the good news with them.
But it's unsettling, nonetheless. And now I'm just rambling.