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Sunday, October 2, 2011

One Door Closes

Will the Detroit Science Center close for good?  


I wake up this morning screaming . . . “Fire, fire!  Fire in the kitchen."  Okay, it was only a dream. It was something about paninis (why paninis?) burning on a grill and not in my kitchen at that. 
Eyes open.  All is well with the world in my immediate realm.  But the significance of the dream is not lost on me.
A fire in the kitchen.  


I haven’t been fired.  And I'm not about to retire.  But today I wake without a job.  There's more time than I need for my morning rituals as the entire day stretches ahead.  And it dawns on me: it's  a beautiful day indeed.  Endless possibilities.  Plenty of work to be done.  Yet I stop in my tracks. By habit, my mind turns back to the work I’ve left unfinished on a desktop back “at the office.” Whose work is it now that I’ve been laid-off?  
Laid off.  Laid-off is such a foreign concept to me I literally have to recheck my spelling here. This can’t be right.  A layoff.
In all the years I’ve been working -- for decades (that’s four decades)  -- I’ve never lost a job. Never even moved from one job without another.  Not until now.  
“Congratulations!” I say, cheering myself on,   “You haven’t lived until you’ve been terminated!”    
Terminated. Furloughed. Cut. Prematurely retired. Benched. Laid-off.   It’s just a job after all, I say.   You’ve played your hand, you’ve lost your chips, now walk from the table.  Losing your job is a life experience.  Take it for all it’s worth.  Move on.  Find your place at another game. 
Easier said, than....laid-off.


As life experiences go, this particular layoff made the Detroit news.  In a stunning, gut-wrenching turn of events last weekend my place of employment, the Detroit Science Center,  closed its doors. With not even a day’s notice, the entire staff was sent packing home. One hundred employees in two museums and an exhibit workshop. Laid off.  Positions cut. Our formal notification is still the mail. 


How permanent is this?  As much as I would like to deny it, the writing has been on the wall. In a perfect storm of exuberant expansion and economic contraction,  our museum has been steadily losing ground. And like so many other businesses and cultural institutions here Detroit,  we are now under water.  And under fire. 
While there’s hope (there's always hope) that the Detroit Science Center will reorganize and reopen, there’s no telling that I will have a place in the new order of the museum any time soon.  And so here I am: unemployed.  Or “self-employed” as many prefer to say.  First day of the rest of my work-life.  All dressed. With no particular place to go. 

One door closes as they say. . .and the roof leaks. (Time to get it fixed.) 
One door closes, as they say... and your WINDOWS jam and the server goes down and the printer’s out of ink.  (Time to redo the resume.)
One door closes, as they say. . . it slams shut and you find yourself:  in a new place, a new state of mind.   I’m a writer, after all.  Time to turn back to my craft, to search, to scrape, to patter, to banter, to think, to tinker, to blog, to spatter, to cook,  to scribble, to take a shot, tap-tap-tapping words on a keyboard across a virtual page. 
Oh yes, there it is.  The journey begins.   


Photos: Vhenoch, Monday September 26
Thanks for stopping by. 
You can find me hunting . . . on LinkedIn, Smug Mug and at my homeblog page: wildturtlecrossing.blogspot.com



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