They took his office.
They took his parking space.
He still took his students to lunch.
“He continued to ask about our lives, and paid for his own parking. He understood — at least, I deeply hope he did — that while he was dispensable to the university, he remained indispensable to us.
This is the lesson he taught that I remember: The job ends, but one way or another, we remain necessary.”
— Elissa Ely, “When a job ends and life goes on,” The Boston Globe
I’m not there yet.
Not in terms of taking the people I used to work with and who used to work for me to lunch, since that wasn’t happening even before I, like Ely, fell into the cold water.
But I’m not even there in terms of dropping a line, a “How’s things?” or trying to catch up on the gossip. It’s there if I want it, but I’m not there yet. I’ve responded to a few unrelated things on social media, but that’s about it.
They haven’t dropped me a line, either, not even the few who do know how to reach me. That’s fine; I know how it works, and was on the other side of it often enough.
When someone leaves and gets replaced, they new person gets taken into the ranks — “The king is dead, long live the king.”
When someone isn’t replaced (like I wasn’t) everyone just absorbs it, adjusts — the belt gets a little tighter.
Life. Goes. On.
Since I jokingly threatened for years to write the definitive oral history about our company, I had a thought of going on Facebook, reaching out to all the people worked with, past and present, and asking them to share our craziest stories, the ones that can only be explained by saying “Because …”.
But I haven’t even done that.
So when will I be there?
If anyone reaches out to me, I’ll respond, and I’ll be happy about it. Depending on who it is and what they’re talking about, I’ll probably laugh and roll my eyes at the same time.
But to be honest, I’m not going to be there until I’m something other than the guy who got let go … until a new thing makes it forever an old thing.