Five months ago I was laid off from Benevolent Dictators, Inc., aka, Morgan Stanley. My family and I gutted out four months of unemployment. At one point, 7-Year Old Daughter’s first grade teacher phoned to say that Daughter told her, “My Daddy got fired and nobody wants him.” It was rough stuff.
Four weeks ago I lucked into a consulting gig at A Company Called Malice, Inc., a global investment banking superpower. The financial services community in New York City is flat on its ass and the fact that I found a job AT ALL, much less one in investment banking, is a miracle.
I signed a three-month contract. At its expiration, they can elect to renew it, offer me a staff position or leave me to the tender mercies of the economy.
While the work I’m doing at A Company Called Malice, Inc. is satisfying, it requires 60+ hour work weeks. I’ve not seen my daughters, wife or friends since the day I started there. It’s horribly managed and the workload is heavy.
Yesterday I was pulled into a conference room by the department head. He said that everyone is so pleased with my work that they want to terminate my contract and offer me a staff position straight away. The horrible paradox is that I love what I’m doing, but am afraid I’ll never see my family again. I don’t want to overhear my daughters say, “Oh, I never really knew my dad. All he ever did was work.” I don’t want to be weekend dad. I’m not that motivated professionally. I’m just regular.
But I have to be pragmatic. I need the benefits. I could take the job right now and trade up when the economy improves but you have to be careful about stuff like that. You know what they say:
And then one day you find
10 years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun
I’m posting this from Bryant Park near 42nd Street and 6th Avenue. It’s very early in the morning and there aren’t many people about yet. It’s warm and the sun is just starting to crack between the Chrysler Building and the New Your Public Library and spill onto the freshly sodden lawn. The trees are finally full of leaves. I thank God for this dirty old town that causes me untold heartache and then helps me to get through it.