April 16, 2003

five years peace out

Well, the check finally arrived today. It buys me maybe three weeks to get it together and see if I can make a go at my own business without having to split again--jeneane the good corporate citizen/jeneane the passion blogger. If there are even any more good corporate citizen gigs out there. I'm beginning to wonder.

Fed-ex knocked on my screen door and left the 9x11 envelope on the floor of my pollen-stained porch. One little package, as thin as a dime, all that's left of a five-year commitment, being among the few with a clue, the celebrated achievers.

I'm old. I know the scene. Been there done it--should be no surprise. Then why do the tears come? Why do I think of all the overnights I pulled at the office, fuzzy slippers and blanket beside my computer, Jenna waking up in the morning wondering where I'd gone, George finding her crying on the basement steps: "Mom had to stay at work all night--she'll be home soon," and where was I? I was getting out the RFPs that would help bring in the biggest wins in the history of the firm. Not once, not twice, but three of them. Never mind two solid years of billing never less than 180 hours a month, usually in the 200s, during richer times.

Never mind. I know.

It's the economy, stupid.

Never mind.

Never mind.

And it's not like I didn't want to go. I could have stayed. On their terms I could have stayed. Was encouraged to stay. But those terms weren't terms at all.

So I repeat my mantra over and over: when you get an offer you can't not refuse, refuse it.

I think. I hope.

Never mind.

Today we're un insured. Jenna's got that look again--sneezing up a storm. Hopefully just allergies. I'm scouring the house looking for my stinking COBRA form, figuring I have to at least start it, then see if we can pay it.

If the government really wanted to stimulate the economy and encourage entrepreneurship, they would figgure out how to make this health insurance quagmire work. I could meet the challenge of starting my own business and running lean for a year or two if I didn't have the added burden of paying nearly $1000 a month just for COBRA health (not dental, not vision, just health).

Why not take that burden off of the new free agents of this economy. Why can't the government contribute to health coverage for those who get laid off and really want to contribute to the economy by starting their own business. Why not unyoke us from the outrageous cost of COBRA, or the alternative of declining insurance and living with the fear that a single hospital visit could wipe you out? Suddenly big corporations would have cost-effective happy free agents providing services; consultants would grow their businesses, teaming up with other smart ex-corporate colleagues, all of whom could focus on moving business ahead instead of tossing and turning at night wondering if their child's next cold will turn into strep.

A thin cardboard Fed-Ex envelope with a piece of paper inside that should have another zero on the end of the printed number. But it doesn't. And I'm not surprised.

Three weeks, maybe.

Nap. Bank. Coffee.

peace out.

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