Tag Archives: Armageddon

Surviving the Asteroid Strike.

An enormous asteroid struck my firm today, in the form of a mass layoff.  A little over 5% of lawyers in the U.S. offices, and the same proportion in Chicago.  There were staff layoffs, too; not sure how many staff — call it 20 in Chicago who were given their walking papers.  All departments were affected.  The announcement emphasized that it was purely an economic decision; in better times, we’d have kept these people.

I survived, and still have a job to go back to in the morning, but I admit to being pretty shaken up.  I found out about the impending layoffs last night, and was reasonably confident that I wouldn’t be included, but not totally confident.  I kept waiting for the knock on the door, or the phone call from our department head, or an email, telling me to pack my stuff and go.

I exported my contacts to a file and emailed them to my personal email account, but there wasn’t all that much else for me to do.  I spent most of the day in my office with the door closed, because every time I went out in the hall the people I saw had the same weird expression on their faces that I was sure was on mine.

My secretary was fired.  I think I know why she was on the list, and it pisses me off since the only person affected by this issue was me, and I didn’t care, but nobody asked my opinion.  She was good at her job, and I hope she finds another one soon.

The survivors are shell-shocked.  This happens less often in large law firms than other businesses — I’ve been in practice for 14 years, and have never experienced a mass layoff; even during the 2000-2002 tech wreck, my old firm fired people one by one over time, and only in particular practice areas.  But there has been a steady drumbeat of layoff stories on the biglaw blogs for a couple of months now; The Firm held out as long as it could, but you can’t fight this economy.

After an asteroid strike, the dust and debris kicked up by the impact obscures the sky, sometimes for months, blocking the sun and creating an artificial winter.  Maybe that’s why this winter has been so brutal, from all of the asteroids falling to earth.

I’m It.

At least, I assume I’m It, because that’s what usually happens when I get tagged. Mada tagged me for the dreaded “Six Things About Me” blog meme, and now I have to come up with six things about myself and tag six other bloggers.

Before I forget, I need to post the rules. The rules are:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules.
  3. Write six things about yourself.
  4. Tag six people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
  5. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their sites.
  6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Without further ado, here are six things about my favorite subject, me

  1. I picked “The Unfocused Life” as my domain name because I’m, y’know, kind of unfocused. I can focus; it’s not like I have adult ADHD or anything. I think. Several of my coworkers over the years have suggested that I might, but what do they … hey, what’s that shiny thing?
  2. In college, I went through three majors before I settled on Political Science. The other two were Physics and Philosophy, so at least I stuck to the P section of the course catalog. Before you ask, there was no Psychology major until my third or fourth year; until then, it was called Behavioral Science.
  3. I hate doing little fussy projects with my hands. When I was around 8, my mother gave me a chemistry set for my birthday, after I begged her and begged her and begged her and begged her for it. I did one experiment: I made invisible ink, which, unsurprisingly, I couldn’t read, and then I was done. I started a couple of others, but getting these teeny-tiny amounts of chemicals into the teenier, tinier test tubes made me INSANE. In high school, I got a crystal radio kit; the instructions said you must coil the wire around the tube carefully and neatly, without any twists in the wire. I screwed it up on the second turn of the wire around the tube, and I was done. This afternoon, I helped Unfocused Girl make a set of pentominoes (we’re taking turns reading Chasing Vermeer to each other before she goes to bed, and they play a major role in the book), and I wanted to stab myself with the scissors. Not because I objected to doing a project with UG — far from it, which is why I was able to stick it out — but because drawing the grid on the cardboard, and then cutting out the shapes … made … me … all … twitchy … arg! I’m perfectly happy doing big things with my hands, however; a few years ago, my father-in-law and I spent the weekend building an enormous playset in the backyard for the kids — no problem.
  4. If I go more than a few days without running, I have dreams that I’m smoking. I quit smoking in 1992.
  5. Last movie that made me cry? Armageddon. Not the ending — it was the scene where [SPOILER ALERT] the young son of one of the crew members who didn’t know his father at all is watching the crew board the shuttle and says to his mother, “Look, that salesman’s on TV,” and his mother says, “That’s not a salesman, that’s your daddy.” [END SPOILER] My only excuse that I was watching it on an Air France flight home from Paris, and I drank a LOT of Veuve Cliquot before the movie started.
  6. My least favorite chore before going to bed is feeding Big Pink Fishie. I have no idea why; it’s the easiest thing in the world.

Enough about me; let’s talk about you talking about me. Or about you, if you must. I hereby tag:

Spynotes

Everything Under the Sun

Orbis Writings

Polybloggimous

Spontaneous Derivation

Life in Scribbletown