Saturday, September 1, 2012

Beer and Water Don't Mix

I have just finished two of the longest weeks of my life.

Two weeks ago we first started hearing rumors of layoffs at my company.  Originally, it was 200 people... essentially a whole division.  Every time I heard the rumor the number had grown.  This past Monday, the day before D-Day, I heard 400-700 people.  Then there was a big managers' meeting in my building and I heard one of them (through the door... they were loud) mention 1700 people worldwide.  Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of restful sleep the last couple weeks.

Well, D-Day arrived and I woke at 5:30 and checked the news sources and there it was: 1700 people including 350 regular employees and 200 contractors at my facility.  The drive to work that morning was the longest of my life.

I was at my desk for a total of maybe 20 minutes before my boss called me on my cell, which he never does.  I nearly relieved myself involuntarily.  Fortunately, he was calling to tell me I was safe; I still had a job.  I had friends who weren't so lucky.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before but I survive on anti-depressants.  My doctor picked the last two weeks to transition me to a new medication.  That meant stopping one of my current meds cold turkey... the one that lists suicidal thoughts as one of its adverse side effects when stopping it.  This has made me hate the people making millions and laying off thousands probably more than I should, although I'm sure they deserve at least a little loathing.  It's also made me drink more alcohol than I have been, just trying to cope with the prospect of being jobless in a town where software engineers have few choices for employment.

Probably the only thing that's kept me sane has been my training (and my ridiculously awesome wife and daughter; seriously, no man has been luckier).  I still haven't missed a workout and as I'm able to go longer in each discipline, I appreciate it more.  The time I get to spend by myself working out anger and frustration has been priceless.

Yesterday I had my longest scheduled swim of my plan, so far.  We were given half days Friday because it had been such a sucky, depressing week at work so a small group of us went out for drinks with a very good friend whom had unjustly lost his job.  I think I had 5 beers but I'm really not sure.  We were worried about our former colleague and blowing off steam and we ended up having a pretty good if bittersweet time.  Don't forget I still had a workout scheduled.

16x25 yds with 5 seconds rest.

On 5 beers, a burger, fries and mini corn dogs.

And a 20 minute nap.

I'd like to say I nailed but all I did was complete it.  It wasn't pretty and I thought I was going to collapse at the end but I finished it.  I even added on a couple 200 yards at the end.  I'm not sure but I think the suicidal thoughts took over and I was trying to drown myself.  Anyway, I got it done and made it home and even took my daughter to her high school's football game that night.

I never would have survived the last two weeks without the time I spend alone on my bike or on the trails or in the pool.  If that's not enough of a reason to get up and get out the door I don't know what possibly could be.


  1. Holy crap! I had no idea you were going to swim when you left! WAY TO GO!

    I do think the beers helped me have a strong run & one of my best rides all year this morning!

  2. Lay-offs suck. Be there for your buddy who lost his job. It is so easy for those people just to go away and be forgotten about. Now that he has some free time, maybe he could be a training partner.....