It was bound to happen. I'm amazed that I lasted this long without the dreaded "call from the boss". I work for a huge company and for personal reasons I have been mostly dealing with my abscence through the HR department. He finally called today. I was hoping to talk with him privately but no I was on conference call with him and one of his minions (for the record I actually like both of them: they are nice and reasonable to deal with and I'm not just saying that cuz this is a public blog). And to boot I have a bad case of brain fog today. This is going to be tons o' fun.
I have been out of work almost four entire months. I did manage to work on and off for a week and half right of the begining of this fiasco so maybe I've only been out of work for a total of three months at this point but that is neither here nor there. Anyway, I had already anticipated this so it wasn't a surprise to me when he announced that he was moving me out of my office and into a lab with a desk in it. Space was at a premium when I left and I figured that since I wasn't there actively working in and utilizing my office space (and guarding it with my life) that they would eventually boot me out. I'm not surprised. I'm don't blame them. Yes, I am annoyed but what can I do? They are in charge and I am useless to them for the indefinate future. A waste of space. I'm not high enough up the food chain for them to want to keep me happy. I am an annoyance at best.
I'm not looking forward to going back to a pile of boxes covered in dust in the corner of a crowded lab. Probably with tons of crap piled on top that doesn't belong to me. Any empty horizontal space at my work gets covered in stuff within a week of the horizontal space appearing. I don't work with a bunch of neatniks. I just hope that we don't have another roof leak while my stuff is tucked in a corner somewhere or I'll be going back to black and yellow mold.
The thing I'm going to miss the most is my chaulk board. Yes, that's right an old school, black, honest to God, chaulk board. It had been left behind when I was moved into an old timers office. My guess is that it was part of the original office furniture purchased for this place 60 years ago. It had the old company logo on it and the old style property tags on it. I managed to hang on to it through five or six office moves and I just got it out of storage when I moved back in to a real office this past year. Since I am moving into an optics lab they can't deal with the dust and I have to give it up. I hate white boards. I hate the smell of the markers. The smell of the erasing fluid makes me ill. Hubby tells me they got rid of blackboards because of allergies. I can't imagine that the volatile organics coming out of the whiteboard markers and eraser fluid is good for you. Myself, I prefer good old chaulk. I'll take a little calcium dust over inhaling those chemicals anytime.
That was the main reason for his call. He then remembered that I needed to do the annual "what I did at work this past year" report. The place is too big for the bosses to keep track of us peons. I tried to explain that my memory was shot at best and I didn't have notes, files, emails etc to crib from. He told me to the best I could and gave me an entire week to get it together.
I started this today and found I can't recall people's names (these are people I worked with for months) or project names (some of these are huge comm satallites) never mind all the things I did on the projects. My brain is shot to hell. Right now I can't even follow a trashy romance novel never mind reading erudite engineering papers on optical communication systems. I am useless to them. Good thing my ego isn't totally wrapped up in the job or my identity as an engineer. I haven't been ill long enough to put together a new identity. I'm fighting taking on the "Hi I'm Baffled and I'm chronically ill" thing. I am slowly letting go of my competitive skater identity. I even posted a "last entry" in my skating blog this past week. The question is what am I going to become? What am I going to be? How am I going to identify myself? Who am I?