Bad Moon Rising?

Saturday morning as I left for work I saw one of the most beautiful moon's ever. The full moon was framed, almost supported by, a tree on either side at the end of my block. In the darkness you could see the red shine of mars just slightly higher than the moon. An absolutely beautiful omen that I thought nothing of other than, "Wow. Won't see a view like that ever again."

Little did I expect what it meant.

The work day rolled along, prepping students for the final exam the following day. They were excited. The ones inclined to work payed attention. Others, not so much.

Around noon our supervisor goes around telling us there is a mandatory meeting for work at 3:00. We all are mildly annoyed, but don't think it will be about anything interesting. Maybe something about Config 3 or some other missile system contract. Annoying to lose part of the afternoon, but no biggie.

Three rolls around and I stroll out the door in my camo pants and sandals. I meet up with Jeff, in his usual after work shorts and gym shoes, and we wander over to the supervisors house for the conference call.

The rest of the crew is there, snacking on pretzels and kevetching about company meetings. Blah, blah, blah. The meeting starts late, no big surprise, aren't they like that, blah, blah. Oh, hey, its our head guy. He's like, talking to us. That's decent of him. That never happens. What, military directive, change of generals, they, what, THEY'RE OUTSOURCING TRAINING?!? That's us! We're training? Outsourcing, to a Saudi company? What the hell?

The meeting actually goes pretty well. We're told we're all being laid off and will then be offered jobs by the contracting company. The company will negotiate to insure we are "made whole"in the transition. Made whole? Oh yeah, no company, no benefits. Company pension, education benefit, 401k, social security being paid. All gone.


I get that same sick in the stomach feeling when I ran the numbers and realized that when the lay-offs hit Sun I was one of three people in my department that should, logically, be laid off.

I'm in something of a daze for the rest of the afternoon. Waiting to talk to Ash. As I think about it, two things come to mind. First, I haven't been terribly happy here since Ash left, and second, I don't want to work for a Saudi company. Not really.

With trepidation, I ask Ash about not buying a house right now and how about I come out to Portugal by June. Too my relief, she's delighted by the plan.

It takes another day or two for the change and possibility to sink in. I find mostly I worry about how to get my cats from here in Saudi to the States, and how all that might work out. Other than that, as happy as I've been here, I'm also ready to go. Particularly when faced with a cut in pay and benefits.

By Monday I'm mentally drafting a letter to department head of the linguistics department at Oporto University. I've already mentally reviewed three months of kicking back in the States and getting in touch with friends and family. By Tuesday morning, I've sorted out where I'm storing my stuff (always important) and planning a road trip from Colorado to Alaska.

All in all, for a portent filled moon, I have to say it was a pretty good sign. A little creative destruction, in this case of my life in Saudi, can go a long way.


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