Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our Story 'The Job'

Part 19

A few weeks into September 2006, I came home to find Craig sitting in our loft. He was at his desk, which he never sat at, on the computer, and a pencil in his mouth. He gave me a quick smile and said "How is your stress level today?"

Not exactly the way you want to be greeted when your life has already been shattered.

"Just give it to me." I responded.

"Well, my boss called me into the office. In the next few weeks I will be laid off."

"Oh, okay."

I took a deep breath. This thing would normally send me into a tailspin. I should be freaking out about money and debt and mortgage, but I didn't have it in me. This wasn't completely unexpected. Craig worked for a home builder and the market was starting to take a turn. And as computer guy he was going to be the first to go. Plus, we had a head's up.

Craig got to work on his resume and applying for jobs. Two weeks later, he was laid off. Was paid a week severance, his vacation, and came home.

Craig worked hard, studied the newest applications and coding (that is some computer stuff I guess!). He got a few interviews quickly and took a job just a week after he was laid off. We were cautiously happy, he wasn't thrilled about the company, but heck: it was a job. It was a pay cut, but it was a job. We felt like he had to keep looking but still take this chance.

His first day on the job was also his first night at a new bowling league. He had stopped bowling with a group of lifelong friends the previous season as the bowling league disbanded. Joining in with an old coworker, he took a chance on a new league.

He came home that Monday night, came up to bed and took one look at me and said "I want my old job back and my old friends back."

It broke my heart. Everything had drastically changed for us. We went from the couple who seemed to have it all, to grieving parents, to losing loved ones, to losing jobs....everything had changed.

Craig always seemed to handle it all much better than myself. Where I am high strung, high emotion, he is even. So for him to actually admit how bad it sucked just made me more pissed off at our situation.

His job continued to suck. He came home and said "A monkey could do what I am doing." Not exactly good for the ego.

Craig had gotten another interview at a much more desirable company a week later. It was a company he had wanted to work at for awhile, a company with a future. He went in for an interview on a Tuesday and was told he would hear within the next few days.

But noon on Wednesday he couldn't stand the anticipation and called. They didn't outright say he had the job but they would be returning his call later in the day.

He came home defeated because they never called back. I was crushed for him, but kept reminding him his interview was just the day before. It was around 8pm at night when he was on the phone with a friend. Someone tried to beep in, but he didn't recognize the number so ignored it.

When he checked the voicemail, and realized it was the HR rep, he hurried out the garage to take the call.

Yes, the garage. He said he couldn't stand the pressure of having me in the same room.

I couldn't stand the pressure of him out in the garage so I went up to our room.

He was gone for a long time. Was that a good thing? Was he on the phone talking salary? Was he upset in the garage, not wanting to come in and tell me the sad news?

I finally heard him make his way up the steps. From the doorway in our room, I saw a hand first, giving a thumbs up.

I jumped up and screamed. He had a HUGE grin on his face. We even drank some champagne that night. I think it was the first time we had truly felt joy since losing Curtis. We needed this so badly. I remember calling my mom to tell her the good news and she burst into tears. I know she was happy for Craig and his new job, but I know it was more that we were excited about something again. That something GOOD had happened for us in the wake of so much.

The job gave us a piece of happiness back. That good things can happen to us again. He started his new job the beginning of October that year and we agree getting laid off was the best thing for him, it pushed him to find a new, much better job. He has been there over two years now and is well liked and very valued.

So, in October 2006 he started a new job and that gave us hope. And with that hope, we started talking about trying again. Trying to get back some more joy. Trying to bring a child, a living child, in this world.


gitz said...

When you all were anticipating I noticed I forgot to breathe. Man, I get wrapped up in your telling of a story so quickly!

I'm glad this time something great came out of something not so great. It was fun to read and feel some excitement, so I understand your mom's tears :)

Kristi said...

I can't even tell you how much this sounds like me and my Craig. (Well, the part about one being strong when the other is weak)

For whatever reason since we've been together, when it rains it pours... and pours, and pours and pours. Then a ray of sunshine... that tourns on to have a massive flooding only minutes after thinking the sun is out for a while. We're sort of in one of those periods right now.

Some days I am so destroyed by some of the events and Craig is ALWAYS so strong and tries to keep my positive. And then every once in a blue moon, we'll be laying in bed talking and I'll start to see the cracks, and he slowly caves in under the pressure. Somehow in those rare moments I manage to be the strong one.

Thank God I don't have to do it for long because I could never hold up to that. Sounds like we've got us a couple of VERY good Craigs!!