Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Karma: It Bites Back

Did you hear that noise? It's me patting myself on the back. Rigorously.

I'm at a week-long training at a hotel in a strange isolated business park. And during the first hour of the training, I found out I was seated alphabetically next to the people who hired me into the industry ten years ago, and then, rather unceremoniously, laid me off four years ago.

They weren't in their seats next to me. Were they avoiding me? I saw them later, but they looked around me, above me, underneath me, but not at me. Intentional? Oblivious? Forgetful? Just awkward! So I spent the night sort of in a self-imposed exile so as not to run into them again in the lobby, elevator, restaurant, or God help me, the swimming pool.

But this morning I sought them out and shook their hands. I'm not sure why I'm proud of this, except that I didn't want to spend a week sequestered in a hotel dodging people. It's a small industry, and if I didn't run into them here, I'd run into them elsewhere. I realized that they were probably far more uncomfortable around me, since they laid me off, than I was around them, since I'm happily employed elsewhere (or actually by myself).

So I'm not sure what this means, but it's some sort of reconciliation with my work past and with being laid off, and that's good.