Thursday, July 29, 2004

That old gang of (not quite) mine...

I work as a tech writer. When I started out about four years ago, I had a boss here and a co-worker. The co-worker left after about six months, then my boss after about nine. That left me here by myself, and that's how it's been for nearly four years now.

I stayed in touch with my ex-boss, though, and he moved to a company about a fifteen minute walk from here. He wound up leading a posse of three other tech writers. I got to know them through him. He even tried to get me into the place, but it started going sour on them all before that could happen. They laid off one of the guys, then my ex-boss, and finally the other two guys. But believe it or not, over the space of about six months, they all wound up working together at another company, just down the street from here. That lasted about a year and a half, till they laid off my ex-boss around last Christmas. Another of the guys was on contract, and his contract ran out at the end of June about a month ago. Just today I got e-mail from one of the remaining two guys saying a round of layoffs had hit. He'd survived it, but said he was now the "lone tech writer", which I suppose doesn't bode well for the other guy.

So, my ex-boss is now living and working in his home town, hundreds of miles away from here. The contract guy, who lives downtown (I work out in the 'burbs), isn't around anymore. God knows about the other two guys now. I didn't work with these guys (the nine months with my ex-boss notwithstanding), but we hung around a fair bit. Lots of lunches, a few movies... the guy who probably got laid off today attended the same weight loss program as me for about a year, and we both did really well together. Now I feel kind of blue because after all this time of taking it for granted, I'm probably not going to be seeing much, or any, of these guys again.

I'm especially sensitive to this lately because in early June, I lost one of the best friends I've ever had, Ailuro, who had a live journal on here. I never actually met him face to face, but we knew each other for ten years over the net. We talked just about every day, and we were really close. I wouldn't have imagined it was possible to get to care about someone that much at such a distance, but it's true, I did. Ailuro — Jody — came to be something like a brother to me. Life feels really different now that he's gone. But as a result, I now talk to his uncle nearly every day, and one of his roommates every few days. I've been talking with Jody's dad for years, and that's carried on. But I guess my youth is truly gone now. People are beginning to slip away, getting caught up in their marriages, their jobs, their lives, ...their deaths. It's hard to find much to be cheerful about right now.


Anonymous said...

Be not sad!
First of all assuming I am the "freind" mentioned in the post, I'll point out to you that I didn't "leave" but they happily "downsized" my ass!
Second, as you know since we are all but chatting in realtime using e-mail, when my time is done at HP next Friday and I start working closer, It should be easyer to visit...
So cheer up. Sure we are getting older, And yes people change or move on or even die. But that is just the way it is. Live life to the fullest, live life for the moment. What you had with your friend is something special that you should cherish.
Ok now you've done it, as I sit here writning this on company time, I'm now getting depressed thingking of the friends I lost, the things I havent acheaved and the one I might never get to do...
Happy Now?

Lone Primate said...

Re: Be not sad!
Hey, Anonymous! No, it was another Anonymous who got laid off. I don't think you've met Anonymous yet, but he he used to work for my ex-boss, Anonymous. :)