The Nordic Job

The Nordic Job: like the Italian Job only with Volvos!

So hey, you want to know what happened around Thanksgiving of 2011? Nordic Boy got laid off. It was so awesome, by which I mean that it was terrifically spectacularly not awesome.

I didn’t want to talk about it then because (a) I have a rule about blogging about my work and so it hardly seemed fair for me to blab details about Nordic Boy’s, but I just couldn’t not talk about the details for a while there, so I thought I better just not mention it at all or diarrhea of the keyboard might happen. I have specific ways that I will talk about my job on the internets and they are super narrow parameters, mostly because I think that work takes up way too much of my brain already so why would I spend more time dedicated to this and also I just think it a bad idea to blog about work in general because there is probably some way that you will get your ass bit by that, or at least I would. And also (b) it was super stressful and Joel had just died in the fall which was still on our minds a lot of course so we weren’t really feeling our most strong anyway and so we did something in our family that is akin to “circling the wagons” or “huddling up” but not those things because I don’t like sports metaphors and circling the wagons makes me want to barf, as a phrase. Basically, for the month of December, we told people, but in terms of talking about the real stuff- how it felt, and what we were thinking- we kept that for the most significant peeps until recently.

But, now the huddling of wagons is over and I’m still not talking about Nordic Boy’s job details, but the feelings stuff? Ok, in a nutshell.

I know that, unfortunately, being laid off is not an uncommon thing to have happen to people these days. Heck, I am from Flint where, when I was a kid, pretty much everyone I knew was getting laid off of something somewhere, so it’s not even a new event in my life. I knew what the term “laid off” was by the time I was 4 years old. Still, it sucks. Su-hucks. It sucks because it makes you aware that sometimes, it doesn’t matter how good you are at your job, how much of a difference you make while doing it, how much experience you have built up, how much expertise you have, how much your coworkers respect what you do, how well you are liked, how much money and efficiency you bring back to your organization, how much you completely kick ass all day every day, or how ridiculously hard you work. Nordic Boy was at the top top top on all of these fronts, and I am not just saying that because I think he’s the cat’s pajamas. Really, it’s just an objective fact: he is all of these things and more. But keeping his job just didn’t have anything to do with any of that. Not one little bit.

Seriously, you guys. Markets shifted and none of that awesomeness that he was bringing to the table meant a good goddamn. When it came to keeping his job, all that good stuff just straight up did not matter.That’s fucked up when you have to think about it, and sit with it, and know it in your guts. That’s a faceful of reality right there.

To use another sports metaphor, but only because it is so appropriate that I can’t not, Nordic Boy took it like a champ. He really did, and not in a stiff upper lip way. He took it in, felt some feelings, and then moved on to what he could do about it and figured out what he couldn’t do about it. Man, if we could package up his reaction to stuff like this, we would be RICH. Also, this is further evidence (as if I needed more) that he is who you want to have around when the zombie apocalypse comes. If the braineaters show up, you all need to hightail it to our house.

Before you all become too worried about the state of things around here (I should have said this right up front, sorry), we are ok, and Nordic Boy has found another job that he starts today. It’s hard for us to know how to feel about this- of course we are happy and we want to feel proud of him for getting out there (“put yourself out there!” as the Bachelor always talks about) and making something happen that is positive and a great opportunity, which it is and we do, but I also want to make sure I acknowledge that there are so many other people out there losing jobs, losing homes, losing a lot, and they deserve good things too, pretty likely more than we do. I don’t think, and I know that Nordic Boy doesn’t think, that he deserves it more than them. I just have to say that and if you are someone that has lost a job and have not been able to find another one yet, good luck to you. Not an ironic, sarcastic good luck to you. (How did that phrase become so flip? “Oh yeah? Well good luck to you, sucker!”) I’m not talking about that kind. I’m talking a heartfelt, sincere one. Good luck to you.

Anyway, this was kind of a big deal in our lives, even though the turnaround time was thankfully, luckily so short, and so I thought I would let you all know about it. As I said, he starts his new job today, and he’s really excited about it, and again we’re lucky that not only did he find something, but it’s a something he wants to be doing. And super bonus: no more travelling! At least not on a regular basis. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I get to see him every single day, and we get to sleep in the same bed every single night. SO COOL.

And to our peeps who were in the wagon huddle: super big ups, y’all.


  1. I wish I had known NB was available as an ergonomic force/human resource, because I'da implored him to apply for something at the company I work for. I don't know what he does, as in DOES, but we have a phrase here that summarizes what we look for in coworkers (we have a lot of cows to ork) and that phrase is "smart and gets things done". From everything you've written about him, he seems like he's smart and gets things done. And the zombie thing, it could happen while you're at work too, and well…I was thinking about my own hide.

  2. ouch. "Laid Off," unfortunately, is a tune i can now hum in my sleep. sorry the last few months have been so circle-the-wagons-inducing. but yay for a new job for Nordic Boy! i'm sure he will be a superstar at it, and the facetime itself sounds like a step up. congrats.

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