A Solid Plan B

We live in scary times, yo. It seems like every day I’m hearing another sad story about someone losing their job, and those stories are beginning to have fewer degrees of separation. The circle is closing in, going from affecting total strangers, to people I kinda-sorta know, to people I know quite well and have worked with until very recently, and while my department isn’t directly threatened, it’s still feeling like time to batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst.

My employer has already completely shut down an entire branch office and downsized two departments, and told two more departments that it wouldn’t be a bad idea for them to brush up on their resumes and networking contacts. The admin staff, meanwhile, was told not to worry, that we would be the last on the chopping block, that it will probably never come to that, that if it did part-timers and temps would be the ones to go, and that the full-timers are safe. Probably. I guess we’re not quite as replaceable as they tried to tell us we were, huh?

I mostly believe them. We’re the least expensive employees, for one. We’re also pretty necessary. We might not be this company’s reason for being, but we are its backbone, and without us everyone else would flail around in a panic, not knowing where to find anything or how to do any of the mundane behind-the-scenes necessities that keep things running smoothly. But then again, stuff happens, and it wouldn’t be the first time I went from being told I was too necessary to be cut to holding a pink slip and trying to figure out how long I could live off of my severance package.

So this time, a little more wizened, I’m not trusting their assurances. This time, if the worst happens, I’ll have a plan to put into action immediately instead of sitting around, dazed and depressed, wondering what the heck I’m going to do next. As soon as my novel’s finished, these are the things I will do to prepare for the possible storm:

1. Sign up for that copyediting course, while I’m still in a position to have the company pay for it.

2. Update my resume.

3. Apply for disability (actually, that’s Husband’s job), and get a plan in place to appeal if his claim is denied.

4. Think of things he could potentially do to bring in money if the disability doesn’t work out for some crazy reason, like maybe they’ve handed out too much money already this year for people with depression or bad backs to be able to help out the guy with one leg (not to disparage anyone with crippling depression or back pain).

5. Hope that Husband’s band is successful and they get lots and lots of paying gigs and sell a lot of CDs and get a record contract and become rich rock stars.

6. Hope that my novel is so successful online that it gets discovered and bought before I even finish editing last year’s NaNo to try to sell.

7. Stop dreaming and start blogging for money again.

8. And stocking my Etsy shop.

9. And culling my stuff for more things to eBay.

10. And writing shorter things to try to sell.

11. Get very familiar with the Virtual Assistant industry.

12. Get very familiar with the freelance networking sites.

13. Get in touch with my contacts at my old temp agencies.

14. Brush up on obscure Word and Excel functions that I never use in case I have to take an Office test again.

15. Pray. A lot.

Oh yeah, my husband’s in a band now.

It’s a Christian rock band. Well, it’s more a rock band made up of Christians, and not so much a band that’s out to write and perform “Christian Rock,” because let’s face it, “Christian Rock” is, for the most part, not good art. They’re not out to evangelize with their music. Rather, they want to make good music with a positive message and an eye toward not causing people to stumble with their lyrics. At any rate, it’s full of talented people who met for the first time only a few weeks ago, and already they’ve written a radio-worthy song. Even so, it’s too soon to tell whether this will ever be anything more than a group of talented people sitting around and jamming together for fun (although with all of the Christian coffee shops and mega churches around here, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to get a gig). Either way, I’m very proud of my rock star husband, even if I don’t get to play bass in his band (darn that total lack of time for practice).

I haven’t written today.

Boo on me. I have a headache, though. I didn’t write in the morning, when I felt fine, because lately the late afternoon has been my most focused and creative time of day. But now my head hurts and I can’t focus on the story and I’m just biding my time until I can go home and lie down. Tomorrow night, though, I’ll attend a write-in, and then I’ll have a long weekend to work on it. A busy weekend, mind–I have appointments and errands all day Friday, and tickets to see a show with BFF on Saturday. But if she has family plans for after the show, as is often the case, then I’ll have another write-in that I can go to while Husband’s at band practice. I hope she can hang out, though. We don’t do nearly enough of that since I got married.

And now it’s close enough to 5:00 that I can go home and crash. See ya.