Leaving the Cube: 10 Years After Corporate America

Yesterday I was on the phone with JTo, who some of you may remember from my days at Hell, Inc. She was the boss of me for many years, although she was only my actual boss for about two weeks. I took over for Al, the Cutest Girl on Earth™, when she went on maternity leave and that made JTo my actual, factual boss. Of course Hell, Inc. decided to close the office right around that time and so anyway I’m here to tell you that it’s been ten years since that happened. Well, ten years since the actual closing of the office. We got five-month notice that we were being laid off.

Remember that? DO YOU? Because I wrote about it every single day all the time when I blogged nonstop before social media took all my minor thoughts and pushed them into the easily-forgotten ether.

HOLY SHIT!

Aside from six months at The Nerdery, it’s been a decade since I held down a real job. This is top of mind because I’ve spent a lot of time on the phone today talking to potential clients, which is weird and fun and kinda feels like a first date where you only ever talk about every person you ever dated and all the things you did with them.

One of the women I talked to today is someone I worked with for a short period of time at Jasc (which became Hell, Inc. after an acquisition). We couldn’t decide how long ago it was but it was way, way more than ten years ago.

At one point during our hour-long conversation she said, “I always remembered you because you’d get this fierce look in your eye when someone was wrong and not listening to you.”

I decided that would make a not-too shabby epitaph. I like the idea of having fierce looks in my eyes.

The other potential client I talked to said she loved my portfolio website and that she could tell exactly what it would be like to work with me just by reading the site. That made me feel pretty good too.

So where am I ten years out of corporate America? I’m still reporting live from my couch where I still put on headphones every morning when I start work and don’t take them off until I’m done with the day even if I’m not even listening to music.

Freelancing is like a religion. It takes so much fucking faith, more faith than I thought I could ever have for anything. And it’s tough, because you have to have faith in yourself when you know all your superpowers are stupid and nobody ever painted you on the ceiling of anything much less the Sistine chapel.

Currently, I’m struggling with finding a worklife/writing life balance and when I say struggling I mean failing miserably because lately all I do is work and I make zero time for writing. However, for the first time in for-fucking-ever I have more than two nickels to rub together. I can pay my mortgage and buy groceries in the same week, which is really nice.

I try not to complain too much about too much work to do, because I much prefer it to the alternative. I’m hoping after this month I can get back to a daily writing routine, which seems to work best for me. I’m eager to re-write THE BEAST because it’s woefully dated now in a post-Trump, post-#METOO era.

I have other things I hope to make time to tell you about, like CSA Supper Club and my new Dutch Oven and all the books I’ve read and that Phoebe Bridgers album and how I saw like 6 out 9 of the Best Picture Oscar nominees.

Soon, darling ones, soon.

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