~Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Schadenfreude at its finest

When my dog The Femme Fatale doesn't want to acknowledge my existence, she turns her face away from me. It's like if I am not looking at you, you can't see me.

The other day she was parked under the table in the living room and let out one of those double-syllable burps. Ba-burp! It was as loud as a human's and I shrieked with laughter at her. On cue, The Femme Fatale turned her nose and watched the wall. She did not like me laughing at her.


Last night at Tuesday Night Knitting I informed everyone of my new work status. "So now I get health insurance and vacation time," I finished.

And then I saw it. The three girls' noses turned away from me. Two pointed away from the circle and one stared hard at the lime green work-in-progress in her hands. No one said a word.

It took me a minute to register that the other three girls had previously held marketing jobs like me, but they were still laid off. Tuesday Night Knitting has operated more like a Knit while you Network since its inception at the beginning of the year. The girls share information on who is hiring and in what capacity as well as preferred yarn fiber and the best way to cast on.

To make matters worse, two of the girls had interviews the previous week and neither were selected for the open positions. Their own depression rendered them unable to be happy for me in any capacity. It had taken on some perverse form of reverse-Schadenfreude.

Even Christopher gave me a cursory "That's great" when I told him. At least he made an unconvincing effort.

It's really deflated my joy in my accomplishment. Last night I opened USA Today and read that unemployment in my state reached a double-digit all-time high, the national debt topped 1 trillion dollars for the first time ever, and the 800-billion dollar stimulus package has had no effect other than stemming the bleeding. Even recent college graduates in China were pushing each other down to clean toilets.

I thought back to my immediate circle friends and counted. Seven of them have been laid off and have yet to find work. Three of those have been out of jobs for over a year. I am already thankful for the opportunity I've taken advantage of, but it's made me ashamed of my good news. No one wants to hear it. They would rather keep company with others' doom and gloom.

So I'm not telling anyone else about my job/apartment. And that makes me feel inferior.


preciousandpriceless said...

OMG I think its GREAT!!!! Don't you dare feel inferior! You have been through so much and the fact that you are able to gain full time permament employment is flipping fantastic!!!!!

But if you still feel a bit sheepish about the bragging rights you totally are deserved, maybe try and keep it close to the vest unless asked. It's their problem they are unable to see that if you are getting work, that means there could be work in the future for everyone. [the power of positive thinking].

Hold your head high.

Find that apartment in the new neighbourhood [which is also awesome!].

Enjoy the new adventures!

Beth said...

I know totally how you feel.

My best friend was facing being laid off just as I got promoted at my company and it was hard. Kind of a plus point though, a member of my team is leaving and we've just interviewed my friend for the job.

You shouldn't be ashamed though. As long as you're not rubbing their noses in it, which I'm sure you're not, then you should be able to tell people your good news!

Congratulations - you should enjoy it!

MamaBear said...

Well, I'm still happy for you, even if my own life still sucks! :-D I'm underemployed and haven't had health insurance in years. And I need it. I still don't see why I can't be happy that you have some good fortune; it's not like you're bragging and flaunting and insufferable about these things. Far from it. I dare say you've earned it, karmically.

...So, lunch on you? LOL

Dawn said...

I'll never understand people like that. Never. I've been employed when others have been unemployed, and vice versa. A friend is one who shares in the good and bad times -- both equally.

You've got nothing to feel badly about. You've earned your good fortune. Enjoy it.

Debbie said...

I'm sorry your friends are having a hard time, but that doesn't mean you can't feel happy about your own accomplishments.

My hours have been cut at work, but I know my job is stable. Therefore, I am still planning on buying a home.

I'm proud of you for wanting to move forward. You have been through a lot in the past year and deserve to have some good things happen. Don't let anyone rain on your parade! :)

Last week, I ran across the hand-written note you had sent me; you have such a kind soul and deserve all the good things headed your way.

gekkogirl said...

I echo every single one of the commenters before me. It is brilliant that you have turned your life around and yes, it may be difficult for some people to be happy for you but that really is not your issue.

Sometimes it can be hard to be genuinely happy for someone when you're own situation is not that great so I am trying hard not to judge them for it... (and I am trying hard!) but really truly, please do NOT feel ashamed.

Its bloody brilliant. You are awesome and you totally, 110% deserve every good thing that is coming your way.

Don't let anyone drag you down.

Croaker said...

You should be proud of your new job! Those others should be happy for you. Networking still happens too and now you are employed and could help them.

TexInTheCity said...

I don't knit but I am over the moon THRILLED for you and your new position! At the very first sign of a cold...GO TO THE DOCTOR! Why? Because YOU CAN!

Shake them haters off,

Melissa said...

It's tough navigating womens' strange emotions. I think you might be selling your newfound independence short. You've just had a great turn of luck, and right now there aren't a lot of people in your immediate circle that can appreciate that - but we, your readers, absolutely do. I'm proud of the great distance you've come in the last few months. Keep going, Sarah!

erin said...

Congratulations on finding a permanent job! I know you have a stat counter on your site- I'm the one who's been reading through your archives for the past few days :) I've really enjoyed your writing! I'm from Georgia too and I'm pretty positive we went to the same University... Ha, anyway, you definitely deserve the happiness you have right now!

me said...

congratulations on the permanent job and impending homestead!

enjoy your success for yourself, you deserve it. just because those around you can't be happy for you doesn't mean you can't be happy for you. even if it's patting yourself on the back, doing a private happy dance, or treating yourself to something. you have worked for and earned what you have and deserve every single ounce of success.

plus, you'll be joyously celebrating for them when they get their victories.


AmyB said...

Screw that!!! You have paid your dues ten times over. If people can't be happy for you, maybe there is a reason why they aren't getting jobs they interview for (even strangers can see through a veiled bad attitude...)! Your newfound success is fantastic. So glad you can at least get the support you need HERE. ;o) Congrats again!!

smidge said...

Im a lurker, but i just wanted to say congrats and how inspirational this is. I wonder if your knitting circle knows how much you have been through?

In your own head, whatever other people think you know you deserve this :)

Time Traveller said...

I'm about to lose my job but I am happy for you :)

dont eat the token said...

it IS good news, congrats!!! it sucks that they can't be cool about it, but you're doing great. Period :)

Paige Jennifer said...

Two Words: Fuck 'em.

(classy, I know)


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