There was much ado about yesterday’s date, 09/09/09, and how both September and Wednesday consisted of nine characters. However, yesterday’s magic number was really 4. I was laid-off for the fourth time at four o’clock.
At this rate, I’m a pro at the game. I get called into a conference room filled with people with long faces telling me that it has nothing to do with my performance, but everything to do with the economy. I always say the same thing, “I understand.” But, the first two times my statement of “I understand” really meant, “Why me?” and “How did my name end up on that list?” Although the statement remained the same the third time, the sentiment was down right opposite, “Again?” “What happens to my work load?” “Is someone going to take over? Will it just sit there, like it really never needed to be done?” “What will happen to my office space? Will former co-workers walk by it and remember me? Will the close the door to my office and put an imaginary crime scene tape in front of it in the shape of an X?”
All valid questions – without answers of any consequence. Luckily, I was able to apply the lesson to my fourth boardroom experience. This time, I said, “I understand” and meant it. I understand that the economy is tight. I understand that I don’t quite fit in a box, department or even industry. I understand that what I do is important, but not important enough.
And, for the first time, I’m fine with that.
So, I’ve decided to start this little blog. In the hopes that it will help others suffering from the curse of the number four. Perhaps we can brainstorm ideas on how to become our own bosses, how to make a million bucks on twitter or simply how to enjoy the sounds of four o’clock at home.