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Reduction

Considering that two co-workers had come down the stairs from the director’s office in tears, I was a little anxious when the director called and asked if I could come see her. One co-worker had been laid off, another had to take a 20% pay cut AND take on another job. As I walked up the stairs I was actually a little excited. Perhaps, I thought, this is exactly what I need. Please lay me off, I thought as I climbed the stairs.

So it was a disappointment when she told me they were going to cut my job to 32 hours a week. Which means more money cut from my paycheck for health insurance, and no holiday pay. I’ll give you the day to decide if you’ll accept the offer, she told me.

Accept your offer? That’s an offer? Uh, gee, thanks.

Oh, it’s probably all for the best, another day of the week to write and look for a better job. What drives me crazy is the gradual deterioration of the job, as beloved bosses and co-workers drop like flies, as my job absorbs other jobs. I think I’d prefer one solid blow rather than these little irritating scrapes. Yes, I will count my blessings and I will accept the offer. I have HIV, I need the health benefits. I need the paltry paycheck. It’s a big, scary, unemployable world out there right now. One hand on the vine behind, the other stretching out, seeking something to grab.

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