The Tale of Mandalay, Part Three: The Waning of Countrycorp

It was the spring of 2009, and now I knew what I would be doing in my new department.

Data entry.

Oh, sure, it was dressed up with a fancy title and was considered a promotion (with an accompanying raise), but still, it was data entry.  Countrycorp was one of the few companies left in the world that had its own mainframe operating system, which got its start around the time I left college … in 1986.  Still, once I got used to the work it was easy.

Because there was no room in the department when I joined, the other noobs and I were at study carrels for two years.  When we got the word we were moving up with the rest of them on the sixth floor, we looked forward to having cubes instead of the cramped carrels.

Unfortunately, what we gained in elbow room we lost in drama. Continue reading “The Tale of Mandalay, Part Three: The Waning of Countrycorp”

The Tale of Mandalay, Part Two: Ginormocorp Arrives

“Holy shit, we just got bought by Ginormocorp!”

On a sunny Monday morning in May 2005, these incredulous words echoed across the Countrycorp call center as I settled into my workstation to begin the day.  A quick check of CNN’s website showed me that headline, just as an email arrived announcing a “brief meeting.”  A few minutes later in that meeting, the director of the department confirmed it.

“We’ll still be Countrycorp,” she cooed.  “We won’t lose our identity, what makes us such a great company.  Nothing will change.”

Several mutters of “bullshit” disguised as coughs were heard.  One may have been mine. Continue reading “The Tale of Mandalay, Part Two: Ginormocorp Arrives”

The Tale of Mandalay, Part One: Before Ginormocorp

I have had, let’s say, a long and storied employment history.  In my younger years, it was dictated by boredom and lack of general life skills.  I did everything from cashiering at convenience and discount department stores to managing a dry cleaners to telemarketing to being a phone sex operator (I got fired for laughing too many times).  After much personal upheaval in the mid-to-late nineties, I began my road to adult respectability with a job as a file clerk for a credit reporting service in Lexington, Kentucky.  Since I actually knew the alphabet, the files were in order for perhaps the first time ever, which caught the attention of higher-ups.  I was offered a promotion to customer service rep.  I was surprised to learn that I was good at this, and thus began a pretty enjoyable two years.  I loved my job, my coworkers and immediate boss kicked ass, the VPs were cool and the office was plush. Continue reading “The Tale of Mandalay, Part One: Before Ginormocorp”

And so it begins

Exactly one month from today, I will lose my job.

It’s not an uncommon story these days, particularly for someone like me.  I’m a fifty-year-old woman who’s worked for fourteen years at a branch of one of the largest corporations in the world, a corporation so well known that if I mentioned the color with which it was associated, you’d immediately know it.  My title is “specialist” but I’m essentially a glorified data entry clerk.  Although I appreciate the money and other perks, I’d be the first to tell you that I’m grossly overpaid for what I do.  I did go to college, but I majored in heavy drinking and minored in dope smoking so I didn’t graduate, therefore I don’t have that all-important piece of paper that says I passed tests and was able to pay tuition.

Let’s recap–middle-aged woman with no degree and a semi-dead-end-but-decent-paying corporate clerical job, about to get shitcanned.

If your first thought was “God, you’re fucked,” I wouldn’t blame you.  In fact, it would surprise me if you thought anything else.  Under normal circumstances, yes, I’d be fucked.  Many of my soon-to-be-ex-coworkers are about to take it without lube, and if you pay even the slightest attention to the news these days you know that when a company does a layoff, it goes for the old folks first.

Note, however, that I said “under normal circumstances.”  As you will find out through this blog, my circumstances are not normal.  Yes, I am losing my job, but thanks to a lot of planning and a little luck, June first will be my departure from the corporate world.  Not only that, but I will be in the very fortunate position of being able to do a life reset.  Some would say it’s retirement, even.

I’m just saying freedom.