“Yesterday was my first day back to work since Dec 31. And my last. The reduction in force hit me; my position was eliminated.” I stared at the text on my phone before sending it. I really like Joe, the guy that I met on Match, and I wanted to see where the relationship would go. But, I couldn’t hide this from him; it was too big.
I also knew how I’d react to a text like that if the situation were reversed. I’d be skeptical that he had a job in the first place. I’d think that maybe, he was looking for a place to stay or a Sugar Momma to take care of him. And I knew what my response would be, Sorry to hear! Good luck finding another job. Contact me when you’re stable.
I took a breath and pressed “Send.”
Five minutes later, he texted, “What?” Then he didn’t wait for me to answer; he called me.
“Are you serious?” he asked me. “You’re serious, right? You wouldn’t joke about being laid off?”
I laughed nervously. “I’m dead serious. That’s better than the reaction that Reggie had – he said, Are you fucking with me?! The man never cusses, but he dropped the f word!”
Joe said, “I can’t believe that they’d fire you right after the holidays! Did you have any clue that this was coming?”
“Well, yes and no. I knew that there were layoffs—uh, Reductions In Force—happening last week while I was on vacation. Allie Apple texted me and let me know who was leaving. But my manager assured me that my position was safe, when we ate together at the Christmas potluck. He that our division was special and that we had a lot of work, so I shouldn’t worry. Obviously, he was wrong!”
“Man, I’m angry! How could they do this to you!” Joe said.
I smiled. Ok, so maybe I shouldn’t be happy that he was angry; but I was. He wasn’t going to walk away from me. He wasn’t going to question whether or not I had a job in the first place. He was going to stand by me, like a true friend.
By the end of the phone call, he agreed to take me out on Friday. He would have liked to have seen me sooner, but he’s a single Dad and he had his son during the week. I liked that about him; I’ve dated guys who have said, “I’ll get a sitter.” But I like it better that he chose to spend time with his son (who is a teenager so he wouldn’t have needed a sitter anyway).
Later that day, he texted, “I called my brother, told him to be on the lookout for you.”
I was surprised. When he had mentioned the firm that his brother worked for, I had made note to look at their job openings. I didn’t expect Joe to put in a good word for me; especially since he doesn’t yet know my last name! I was touched.
The next day, Joe texted, “Hanging in there?”
HOW SWEET! He’s checking up on me, in the nicest way. I texted back, “On top of the world. I have 2 part time jobs and leads on full time work. How many people can say that a day after being laid off?”
True story. I have a great network of friends and colleagues. I feel truly blessed and I thank God for each and every one of them. No less than three old friends heard about my situation and called me, asking me to send them my resume so that they could pass it to their managers. THREE! I would have been happy if one had called me. Other friends called/texted/messaged support, and I appreciate them as well.
Joe answered, “Not many I’m sure! I’ve just been worried about you :/”
OMG OMG he’s worried about me! YAY! That means that he’s been thinking about me, and that he CARES! YAY YAY YAY!
We chatted a bit more, about my upcoming happy hour with friends and where we should go on our date. He ended it with, “You have no idea how much I appreciate you, for you…just being you. I promise, it’s a breath of fresh air, which I have not had in many years : – )”
Wow. I read it over and over again. What a sweet note. Totally un-prompted, completely unexpected. I didn’t want to try to top that, so I simply answered, “I like you too ; – )”
We texted the next day, too. Which was today, BTW.
Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to my date on Friday. He’s taking me out for steak. Yes, we’re Texans who wear cowboy hats and eat steak. He has a shot gun and loves to hunt, too. We draw the line at riding horses. At least, we don’t ride them to dinner. Maybe after dinner.
PS “I got laid” sounds a lot better than “I got laid off.” I would have much rather had that happen, too!