Not Working is the New Working

As of last Friday, October 30th, my employment as the chef of the Minnesota Humanities Center came to an end.

I was informed of the decision to eliminate my position on the Tuesday of the previous week, and my emotional ride pretty much ran a full course in the week and a half I had to fill out my job duties, and help in the limited way I could transition the remaining staff to life with no chef at the helm running a full service conference center with now only two people in the kitchen and… well, it was a pretty big surprise to take in. Shock, bitterness, melancholy, ennui – all the standards. On this first Monday of unemployment, I’m sitting here feeling pretty okay about the whole thing.

As to the why – to make a long story short, the organization was dealing with a budget shortfall, and my job was a casualty of filling the gap. The meeting/conference industry has been down 40% the last year, and our place followed that trend. The board of directors wouldn’t approve next year’s budget without zeroing out the income and expense equation, and, well, here we are. My chunk of the expense pie was a pretty big piece, and the simplest one (on paper) to cut out of the conference center budget. The more time I’ve had to think about, the more I think this explanation is the real one. No rational mind makes this decision unless forced to – they acknowledged to me that nobody knew how it was going to work without me there. I have some idea, but, enough said.

All in all it’s not a complete surprise – I’ve known that things were shaky for some time, but still… it’s always a bit of a shock when things like this happen. I’ve got some severance, and my health insurance will be affordable for the next 6 months, so there is no looming disaster on the home front. We’ve got plans B, and C, and we here at Team Wonderful are pro at making lemonade out of lemons, so everything will work out for the best – that much is pretty well assured.

Besides this, all in all, I’ve got little negative to harp on about in life. My kids are attractive and healthy, my wife is beautiful and good to me, and I’ve a few dollars in the bank to help us transition to whatever we’ve got coming around the bend. Also Dragon Age: Origins comes out tomorrow. Little blessings yaknow.

On to the future I guess.

– Mr. Wonderful

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