Life goes on…

… subtitled: Sets Of Three

So here we are, one week post-Armegeddon. Ashes fall, buildings glow in the dark, and cats eat day lilies. But let’s put things in order, shall we?

I inadvertently left my severance contract on my desk when I was escorted from the premises. I only had seven days to review it and lost two of those to the US mail and two more to a weekend. It had been strongly advised that I get a lawyer to review the document, so first thing Monday morning I hit the yellow pages looking for a lawyer who specialized in employment law. I ended up finding a lawyer almost literally across the street from where I live. I called, explained what I wanted, and was told someone would call me right back. Three hours later morning had oozed into afternoon and no call had oozed in with it. I called another lawyer, and they tried to squeeze me in that afternoon. That lawyer had an emergency, but I got a set appointment for Tuesday at 11:00 in the morning. I left the contract there for him to review prior to our meeting.

Monday evening saw the Prof and I being domestic, making an Indian dish from scratch while The Little Black Shit and The Little Brown Shit played in the cat pen on the deck just outside the kitchen. The Little Grey Shit does not seem to share the other two cats’ joy of the great outdoors, so we left her in the kitchen with us as we chopped tomatoes and onions. I was getting ready to crush the garlic when I glanced out the door to the deck to check on LBlS and LBrS. The sliding screen door had been pulled open about four inches. I can only guess that the steroids LGS is on have done more than amplify her appetite.

Fortunately, LGS hadn’t gone far. We found her in just a few minutes, between our deck and the neighbor’s deck. Unfortunately, LGS had apparently escaped in order to find grazing material, and the grazing material she selected for the evenings salad was leaves of orange daylily. Fortunately, I had her to the local veterinary emergency clinic within half-an-hour of finding her chowing down on toxic shrubs. Unfortunately, the cure for this is two days in intensive care with fluids and multiple blood tests checking for damage to the kidneys. Fortunately, LGS is doing well so far with no sign of renal failure. Unfortunately she’s cost me another $800 or so that I can’t afford.

The Prof took it hard – he’s the one who failed to latch the screen door, though neither of us ever thought for a second that LGS would make a break for the wilds. He’s insisted on paying at least part of the bill, but I should have been keeping a better eye on her. It’s not fair to have him pay for the stupidity of my cat.

So onward and downward. The next morning I kept my appointment with the lawyer. It was suppposed to be a one hour quick review of the document and my options. It turned into nearly three hours of review, though he only charged me for two. Apparently there’s more things wrong with the proposed contract than with Britney Spear’s parenting skills. The addendum of proof of non-discrimination due to age actually supports that they were discriminating based on age, I’ve been asked to give up things that they can’t legally ask me to give up, and I was misled (although it isn’t clear if that was deliberate or due to ignorance) on the status of my medical coverage (I still have it for the time being). The lawyer asked if I still wanted to work for the company. I said, “No way.” He said that I might as well go ahead and sign for the severance then, because there was no way they could hold me to most of the contract if push came to shove. If the company gives me any trouble, I’m to go back and he’ll be happy to represent me. He seems to feel that he’d have no trouble nailing them on the Age Discrimnation in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act for starters. He’s sending a letter out to me detailing his opinions on the contract, but meanwhile I can sign it and get my benefits rolling. He also put me on to the fact that I can file for unemployment now, that I don’t have to wait until the severance package ends. That means that I’ll actually have a little additional income for the next two months – totally welcome with the money I already owe on LGS and the money I had to pay for the lawyer.

So last night I filed for unemployment, and this morning I drove one last time back to the hell-hole I once called “work” and dropped off the signed severance contract. I left the envelope with the guard shack, made a u-turn and started to leave when my cell phone began to ring. It was LGS’s vet, saying the latest bloodwork was absolutely normal and she would absolutely be able to come home tomorrow. As I was parked on the shoulder of the road talking, one of the guys I worked with every day drove up and parked behind me. He just wanted to shake my hand and wish me luck.

And so it goes.

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