2013-04-11 / Lifestyles

The old ‘heave-ho’

Lois A. Corcoran

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news,” she said, “but we’re putting you on sabbatical.” My dictionary defines that term as “a leave of absence for rest, study, or travel.” Sounds kind of pleasant when you put it that way. But glossy wording aside, she dumped my column.

Given today’s economy, lots of folks have experienced the joy of being canned—also known as laid off, pink-slipped, or shown the door. Plenty of these sugar-coated euphemisms abound, but they all amount to the same thing: No more paychecks.

Being sacked is a blow to both our finances and our fragile egos. In the world of business, however, it’s important to accept decisions of this nature with maturity. Initially, I wanted to storm the place with a loaded squirtgun. Either that, or call up and demand, “Why don’t you like me?”

But I exercised supreme selfcontrol and refrained from such juvenile behavior. Unless you count thumbing my nose in their general direction.

Obviously, this turn of events required us to tighten our belts. I try to remind myself that learning to live on a reduced income builds character.

In my case, the development also meant that, without any fanfare, my 15 minutes of local fame ground to a halt. On the brighter side, at least I don’t have to see my homely mugshot in the paper any more.

I bristled at their wording though. “This is her final column” sounded pretty darned permanent. You’d think I kicked the bucket— or was that wishful thinking on their part? I’m surprised I didn’t show up in the obits.

“That’s it,” my husband Dan declared. “When our subscription ends, we’re quitting the paper.”

That says a lot. For as long as I can remember, his evening ritual after wolfing down supper has consisted of sitting at the dining room table and leafing through the periodical. He also announced interesting news stories or bizarre write-ups in the police log to those within earshot.

The thing he misses most, he said, is sale flyers advertising women’s underwear.

As for me, I’ll miss the notoriety. I’m grateful for supportive calls and comments from loyal readers, but this, too, shall pass. Dearest to my heart is a letter my completely unbiased second grade teacher wrote in my defense.

It was worth getting fired just to read it.

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