The great posts usually come when I'm fired up and angry, so I'm sorry if I disappoint. I do have good news though.
On Friday, April 3rd, I finished the patent application that I was working on and submitted it for review. I had one last project before I ran out of work again, and defying fate, instead of spacing out my work so that I was assured billable hours to fill my daytime in the days to come, I blew through the project being as efficient as possible. This was a challenge to G-d and to my boss because I knew that after this project was over, there was nothing further for me to work on.
Hours before I finished the project, my boss asked me for a status report on the project, and within minutes, I saw the CEO in a closed-door meeting with my boss. Minutes later, I got an e-mail stating that there was to be a company meeting with only a select number of people in attendance. In my heart, I thought to myself, "wouldn't it be nice if this meeting was the meeting where I would be laid off." "No luck" I thought, "G-d doesn't like me that much. I'm just going to have to quit after I use up my remaining days off during the coming Passover holiday."
I entered the meeting and thought the select people in attendance made for an interesting combination. "Mostly administrative staff," I thought. "I wonder what they want from me on this matter."
The CEO and the other partners entered the conference room and handed each of us an envelope. "Effective immediately," one said, "you are free to go home. We have terminated your employment here." Inside, I was totally overjoyed because work has been so dead for so many months I was thankful that I was being laid off and that I didn't have to quit. Instead, I kept a straight face and I said nothing.
Some stormed out of the meeting in anger, others just got up in shock and left without saying a word. I asked a few questions, offered to spend a few more days to make sure that everything went smoothly regarding the projects that I finished, but they told me it was not necessary and that they wouldn't be offended if I went home.
So that is it. I closed up shop, had a meeting with my boss explaining any loose ends that needed to be closed after I'm gone, and quietly left work without saying goodbye to people. I didn't want to make a fuss about it, and I didn't want to make a scene, if only to save myself embarrassment from being pitied. I called my wife and told her I would be home early, found a terminal where I had access to the internet and filed for unemployment online, and headed to my car to leave work for the last time.
Now all this might sound like a sad sad story, but as you know, I was days away from quitting. Not only that, I was quitting so that I could go back to school full-time to finish up my engineering degree and move my family to California where my in-laws are so that my wife can be around her friends and her family where people can help her out with the day care and the day-to-day activities of our family. Now I get to do all that *AND* I get unemployment insurance to fund my transition. I also called the unemployment office, and found out that there is no need to stay in the state, and going to school (even full-time) is not a hindrance to receiving unemployment; I would only have to be available to move back if I find comparable work which is fine with me. So there you have it. This chapter of our lives is over and the next chapter is about to begin.