I knew it was coming, and the fact in itself didn't bother me. What bothered, or rather bothers me, is the way in which it was done. Back in September I broached the subject of my contract, which expires in February. I was told by my boss that it was a bit early for that conversation and I informed him of the endless logistics required if I need to find a new job. Anywhere. Even if I stay in India, there is a circus of endless paperwork, meetings, red tape and then I would need to go to another country to get a new visa. While visas can be renewed in the country under certain conditions, if you switch companies, it is not possible. Yes another display of the logic that plagues Indian policies.
Then the recession hit. One of the first things that gets cut in companies are budgets and as I work in advertising, that is never a good thing. I figured my contract would not be renewed and saw it as an opportunity to embark on a new adventure. Around that same time I got cast in a play, got contacted by a casting director for a television project and had some meetings with a couple of magazines to do some writing.
I came into work one day and was called into the office of our financial guy. Not my boss, the financial guy, who, with a smile on his face, handed me a letter stating my contract would not be renewed. No explanation. No handover discussion. No phase out discussion. A piece of paper. It felt like a slap in the face. It is the first time I have ever been in this situation. It feels odd, and the total lack of respect is just amazing.
A couple of days later, I saw my boss who shook my hand as though we were old golf buddies. And now, I have to stay motivated and ready to go for the next two months. TWO MONTHS! My work has gone from being involved with twelve or more clients and new business pitches to one presentation. That's right, one. This is going to be a long two months.
Now I am looking for a new job, which is completely unfamiliar territory for me. I haven't looked for a job since the late 1980s. They always come looking for me. I am quite out of my element. So now I am looking at companies in India, China, Australia, and anywhere else where there might be a great opportunity. Or even an interesting one. What is frightening is that the one time I need to look for a job, the global economy is pretty much in the toilet. I don't know what to do. Less than two months from now, my visa expires. I have no job. No place to live. It's very intimidating. I can't sleep. I find myself getting depressed and this is just not the time for that. I need to be on top of my game, but I am not sure what game that is anymore.
My Indian friends don't understand the stress. They have family here. They have a place to fall back on. I don't. There is no falling back, only moving forward. But to where?