Up in the Air O.G.: Tales from the Cubicle

From 2001 – 2003, I worked for a now-defunct company that created auction software, amongst other things. It wasn’t a horrible place to work; it was just horribly boring work, really. And like all dot-com glommers-on, this company was on a downward trajectory post 9/11. When its stock was introduced, it was in the stratosphere. When the company was sold, it was somewhere between the ground and the gutter. Ah, the 2000s.

So, after a humongous dip in morale, as well as who knows how many restructurings and layoffs, the company brought in some super-nice man to turn the company around. One of his first orders of business was to send out a poll to all the employees about what we’d like to see in the office. Most people were excited (“They’re going to change things!”). However, this little filly had been around the farm a few times and knew it was all bull hockey. Instead of changing things, the super-nice man weaved golden parachutes for all the higher ups and helped sell the company to a competitor.

I personally quit before the buy out when the job I was promised was eliminated. Oh, the work wasn’t eliminated; I was still doing that. It was the position and the salary that was eliminated. I knew I was moving to California soon, so I said “Sayonara” to the company and felt pretty darn pleased with myself. Two weeks later, they laid off all the writers, and I missed out on a severance package.

[But it wasn’t all stink bombs and sad clown tears. Soon after, I got a contract position with a Web design company that was located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. It was run by a wee French Canadian man and was located in an old brick house. I had a big dark wood desk, and there were a couple of Labrador Retrievers that roamed the office. I got some great stuff for my portfolio and could eat at Ali Baba’s whenever I liked. Best. Hummus. Ever.]