Friday, 19 June 2009

My Story: Twice Bitten (Laid Off) But Never Shy

This is my story and I'm sticking to it!
Five months ago today I was "laid off" quite suddenly, and very unexpectedly from a job I was sure I would retire doing. It was a job I had waited three years to find. A job that utilized all of my skills. It worked all of my previous experience in some form or another. Everything from: radio, television, photography, writing, advertising, public relations, community relations, event production, sponsorship activation, marketing, advertising and employee engagement. I had had little experience in Aboriginal Relations. Something which I later picked up along the way. To which I was grateful for. But I was completely dumb founded. Why me? I know I was doing a bang-up job. My peers recognized it, customers commented on my work. VP's applauded me. Why me? Economic downturn you say?
The Law of Attraction works in mysterious ways. The only regret about taking this job that I had was that I had to move to Comox from Victoria. Away from 17 year-old son. Away from family. Away from my friends. And off of my boat. There was no moorage available for a "newbie" live-aboards in the Comox Harbour. I had no choice but to move onto land. Which I did.
I found a sweet little "shack" close to the water. It was cheap. No bathtub. A bachelor. Not a great heating system in the winter time. But it worked. I could still pay my moorage, live on land and get by.
Two years flew by. I put almost 90,000 km on my vehicle driving up and down the Island, both for work and to spend time with my son and my family. During the second winter, I was told the "shack" was to be sold. Around that time I was also told the Courtenay Slough needed a "caretaker." A backdoor way of me getting back on my boat as a "live-aboard." I took the opportunity. Moving in November 1st. Yup. Just in time for winter.
It didn't take long after that for me to start using the regrettable word of "hate" for Comox. I realized I wasn't stimulated living in Comox. I'm not married with young children nor am I retired. I wanted back to Victoria. That door opened when I lost my job. Without hesitation I was on my way home within a week.
Great for me you say? Sure, but.. I'm unemployed again.
You see, three years previous to starting this job I was also "laid off." Again, quite unexpectedly. I never got a face to face with my boss on that one. I actually heard it on the news while on my summer holiday. Go figure.
Now this job, I'd worked a good hard long three years to get to. I was a TV Producer. I started as an Assistant Director on the weekend news. I moved into Editorial by doing "Dubs." Later I became the stick handler at the Legislature for the political clips required for the political news commentators. Push came to shove and my ideas and editorial experience (I was a newspaper reporter previously) were eventually listened to and I became Producer of all the live call-in talk shows. I had it all. Picks of trending topics. Innovative and progressive crews to work with.
I'm always seeking a challenge. I created a significant opportunity for myself and a core team, including an incredible Executive Producer. With the vision in my head, we produced a three-part TV mini special feature series on Crystal Meth. Back in 2004 this was just starting to emerge as a big deal in the downtown scene.
Less then six months after I was laid off, I got a call from the Executive Producer. She still had her job at that point. "We're up for a Jack Webster Award." I was jumping for joy. But sad at the same time. How was I going to get to Vancouver to attend the Jack Webster Awards? I didn't even have a pot to piss in at that point. I was broke and unemployed.
I called up some old co-workers. Peers I had the utmost respect for. One offered the money for the seat to attend. The other her place in Vancouver to stay with. A friend at Harbour Air gave me the flights to get there.
We didn't win. We were runner-ups. It was great. Sitting next to the CBC's and the CTV's. I loved it.
And like a speed bump on the road, I carried on after that. No turning back. Seeking out what I could do for the rest of my life. But my best friend became ill with lung cancer and died. My father passed away a short time later. My head was down. When I looked up, all I saw was boats. So I got a job at the local boat builders for $10 and hour. I worked hard. It didn't take long to realize painting and varnishing was my fortay - not grunting and groaning when lifting things. I had no wood working skills. I couldn't even change the bit on a screw gun. Sadly, I was completely useless for anything other then holding a paint brush.
So I set out to become the BrightWork Gypsy. I varnished for a living. On my hands and knees and soon suffered several bouts of tendonitis. Like everything I do. I gave it 250%. Before long I was tired. Weathered out and reacting to toxic smells in a harsh way. I got back to business. Looking for the right job for me and my skills. And I found it. But then, like I said above - I lost it.
So the moral I suppose to this story, my story is this.
You gotta do what you have to do to survive. It's called, as my dear friend, Jo would say, "Turning A Buck."
But when you get down to business, the business of finding the right fit for you and for your future. Well, no point in rushing now. It's just gonna take time.
So I've been bitten twice, but I'm not shy. I'm turning myself inside-out. I'm going to start blogging. I'm a photojournalist. I'm a writer and a photographer. I'm a producer. An Award Winning TV Producer. Did I tell you the special feature series also won the prestigious RTNDA awards, both regionally and nationally? Nobody told me until just a few months ago. You see, when you're gone. You're gone.
However, today. I'm back. Head up, chin out - boobs taunt. Ready to rock n' roll. Look out blogger world. Here I come!
A blog a day, I say - will help keep the depression away!
Truth in words? We'll see.


freshleaf said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Jane. You have achieved so much through out this roller coaster ride and I'm sure that you will have amazing stories to share in the near future - this world rewards those who give 250% !!

Jodie said...

Wow... thank you for sharing - thought I was the only one who had a wild ride. Nice to see we have "company" ;)