Last Friday, I was informed, along with all the people in my company who work on the government project that I have been involved with for nine years (as of the beginning of January) that we will be out of a job on December 31st..
As I understood it, this was because of cut-backs in the government contracts for the project, resulting in downsizing at our company. However, I have since learned that this is completely to do with our company’s downsizing. We aren’t sure what was at the root of this… economy… over-confidence…. Whatever, I now am faced with unemployment in the New Year.
At first, I was fairly calm about it because my mother’s pension would be able so that I would be able to take my time in finding other work. However, given the situation with having to look after Mom and be available for appointments as the inevitable and repeated panicked phonecalls over things that are not important, given my age, my lack of French fluency, and lack of a degree, I began to worry about things. Since I suffer from depression and anxiety, inevitably, my mind started going over and over the situation and I was beginning to get back in the old panic-mode.
I don’t like the idea of “living of my mother”, despite the fact that I am looking after her and doing pretty much everything for her.
I have contemplated inquiring about the government’s “full-time caregiver” program which pays family to look after parents or other family members who might otherwise require full-time professional in-home help or institutionalizing.
Last evening, I was pretty down.
I decided to go out to Smiths Falls to see my friends Ray and Rob playing. Even then, I was beginning to feel like I should have stayed home, even though I thoroughly enjoy being out with them.
Sometime at the beginning of the show, a guy walked past me and I thought for a moment he looked familiar. However, as I am at the bar fairly frequently, I know many of the regulars at least to nod to. I figured he was one of them. Towards the end of the set, I went back to use the washroom and the guy was sitting in the back room and I realized that I DID know him. I had worked with him… or at least in the same government office. Like me, he was a contractor but worked for a different company. Since I also had to go over to his company’s offices to pick up and drop of materials that we were both working on, we had a nodding acquaintance and sometimes exchanged “Hi! How are yous”.
However, after a rather uncomfortable encounter we had quite by chance in Toronto, I wasn’t sure what to say to him or if I should stop and chat. I nodded, said “Hi”.and continued to the washroom.
While in there, I pondered whether I should stop and talk. It was only polite to stop and say hello and ask how he was but I wasn’t sure what the reception would be. The last time I saw him was when I went to Toronto when my friend was ill, the week before she died. I saw him on the street near Dovercourt. I pulled over and flagged him down and he didn’t know me from Adam…. We saw each other almost every day and it was like I was trying to pick him up or something (he’s gay, as far as I know – which, if he thought I was trying to pick him up, that could explain a few things… Lol…). He was pretty evasive and after a few uncomfortable sentences I said goodbye. I wondered if maybe he didn’t want anyone to know he was in Toronto. It was just by complete chance that I saw him, too, because I had been heading down to the Kim Moon Bakery on Dundas and it was still closed so I just drove right along Dundas and tooled around a bit at the far end before heading back. I was actually sort of lost. So had I just been coming and going to the bakery, I’d not have seen him at all. It was just an all-round- odd situation.
So… anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and say Hi and ask him how he was and then head back to our table. He actually seemed pretty chatty… or chatty-ish so I stopped and we talked about what we were doing and I said that my job was ending and he immediately said I should apply at his company. We talked about that and he actually gave me a lot of confidence. I was feeling pretty depressed up to that point and I just felt “okay” and hopeful.
We parted company and I asked Shawn the bartender to send him back a beer and settled into the the last of the set. The guys eventually took a break and we chatted as we usually do. They actually took a very long break, just doing two sets for the evening instead of three. Anyhow, just as they started the second set, I felt a hand on my shoulder and it was him. He had forgotten my name and I his. He thanked me for the drink and then said that he thought I should also try another company and gave me the name.
A far cry from the time I saw him in TO.
Anyhoo… It came out during our conversation that he had sort of the same issues with his mother about a years ago (possibly why the stand-off-ishness in TO?) and that helped, too. We didn’t dwell on it and I should have asked but I didn’t want him to feel pressed into talking with me if he didn’t actually want to. Maybe we will bump into each other there, again. I have no idea if he lives in Smiths Falls… Stupid me, I didn’t think to ask….
The upshot was, I went home feeling pretty optimistic and then, during my research for this week’s PhotoHunter I ran across some ideas for making jewellery and it got me thinking of other things to do which I could do to contribute financially while also taking time off to look after Mom.
I am feeling a little more confident and a little more able to think positively about the future.