Yes, it's a little late to be talking about Halloween, but I've been busy, so I'm just now getting around to it. And no, I'm not going to talk about how many trick-or-treaters showed up at the door, even though there was one awesome kid who actually had a hollowed out, real pumpkin stuck on his head. Crap, he must have felt really squicky after a few hours.
And no, I'm not going to talk about my previously best Halloween ever, when I saw a bunch of sheep in a pasture, thought they were ghosts and ran face first into a barbed wire fence.
No, my best Halloween ever happened just this last Wednesday when I was laid off by a pirate.
As a few of you know, I work off and on for Giant Pharmaceutical House as an outside contractor. They lay people off, figure out later they made a mistake and then hire me to clean up messes until the mess goes away, then I get a few months off to recover. On my most recent stint, which took up much of the year, I was ... a Research Chemist ... which is pretty cool because I never took a chemistry course in my life and it looked good on loan and credit card applications and will look great on my income tax form this winter. Actually, I did do a pH test once a long time ago, but I screwed it up.
Anyway, I was having a great time doing this until just before we left for my son's wedding. You can always tell when work is winding down, and you start making bets with yourself on exactly when you're going to have your contract cancelled. Jan and I discussed this during our trip, so we were both ready.
And when I can back from vacation on Halloween Day, I had a feeling the jig was up. No e-mails, no phone messages, no notes or work on my desk.
So, I settled back in my chair with an excellent cup of Giant Pharmaceutical House Cafeteria Coffee and made a mental note of what to pack in my "brief bag". This consisted of my "222 Riverside Drive" coffee cup and my magnetic name plate, so I didn't have to make too many mental notes. And then I waited.
Sure enough, about noon, I received an e-mail from my supervisor requesting a "one on one" meeting an hour later. I've never had a one on one with him, so I knew this was it.
An hour later, I skipped up the stairs to his office and found him sitting in his chair ...
Wearing a pirate costume.
Me: Nice outfit.
Him: Uh, thanks. I wonder why nobody dresses up for Halloween here?
Me: I don't know ... you look very dashing though.
Him: Uh, thanks.
Him: So, how was the wedding? Blah, blah, blah, awkward time filler, blah, blah, blah.
Me: Blah, blah, blah ... Say, why don't we cut to the chase?
Him: Um, yeah. We've run out of work for you to do, sooooo .... today's your last day.
Me: Ooookaaaay. You want me to stay the rest of the day so I can steal a decent amount of office supplies?
Him: A-ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ... you're kidding, right?
Me: Yes I am.
And then there were awkward platitudes and the last awkward handshake ... and I was off.
Elvis left the building soon after, and I know I'll be back one day soon, hopefully with an even more awesome title than Research Chemist, but I'll never have a much better story than "I got canned on Halloween by a guy in a pirate costume".
Shit ... who am I kidding? Of course I will.