Tuesday, February 17, 2009

surreal : the first 5 days

Surreal Day 1, Friday

The news came swift and quick. The President himself delivered the news first thing in the morning. It was a combination of personal and corporate reasons that resulted in the decision. None of us had an inkling of what was to come as we were assured that business was as usual even though there seemed to be no incoming projects for the new year.

The Singapore office had to be shut down while the Tokyo HQ would go into hibernation mode, so to speak. Half of us had to leave. The rest who remained agreed to take a pay cut while working part time. I doubt they will be working less if we were to maintain the same no. of clients.

My sidekick and I decided to leave the office as it was becoming awkward. We headed to Yoyogi Park. It was my first time there on a winter day, quite apt as the trees were all skinny and bare while the lake had almost dried up, almost reflecting how we felt that time.

Even while talking a leisurely walk in the park, I had already formulated in my mind next steps for the coming weeks. Sidekick was visibly more upset than I was, while I was more teary. At that point, I did not care if people were looking at us as if we were a couple who just had a fight.

We could've stayed out longer if not for the chilly weather. As I began to text close friends about my status, I started getting messages and calls from them. When I reached home, I was overwhelmed at all the love and concern. That I cried again. I decided I was too puffy to meet anyone, so I had to decline kind suggestions to meet up.

Surreal Day 2, Saturday

Feeling much better after the night's sleep, I woke up thanking God I still had a place to stay and many caring people around me.

In my unsociable state, I made myself go downstairs to welcome my new housemate. She had just moved in that morning itself.

It was a beautiful sunny weather, felt almost spring-like. Went for a walk near the Four Season's Hotel garden. I had already decided that I would take it easy that weekend. Stepping back from the shock of the previous day's event and immersing in beautiful things turned out to be the right decision.

Surreal Day 3, Sunday

Contrary to how I felt, I decided to join the gang at Goto's residence since they had already planned something earlier. Stephen was leaving for overseas assignment and they wanted to accompany Masami. It was good getting out of Tokyo.

Shared about my experience and the dream I had at church. Turned out that Sree was also asked to leave her company. But at least there was a job waiting for her back in India. By this time I was no more teary, and so did not look as pathetic.

Finally managed to talk to my parents. Had emailed them a long essay on Friday about what had happened as I did not want to choke on emotions if I had to say it over the phone. They were really understanding and supportive. Mama, as always, would like me to return home.

Surreal Day 4, Monday

Today was the last day I was to see the boss. He was leaving for UK the next morning, so there were a flurry of activites; handovers, status updates, final talks and goodbyes. I don't know if I'll ever see him again.

Everyone was pretty positive at the office despite it all. Those who remained were sympathetic and wondered how we would cope. They asked if we had enough $ to survive the coming weeks.

Surreal Day 5, Tuesday

Today felt quite different. For the following weeks, I would not have to be at the office all the time, which makes me miss going to the office. Ironic.

Was very productive with my time. Felt as if my time unemployed is busier than when I was employed. While still working, I also managed to tidy up my resume, update personal details on recruitment sites where I have accounts in, sending out CV's to recruiters, contacts and friends, communicated with referees and even planned for a probable weekend getaway before the snow melts.

Even got my recommendation letter from the boss before he left, and already thinking of alternative streams of income. Also need to file my taxes and attend the upcoming career fairs.

And to think I would have the break I needed to do things I couldn't do when I was working!

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