Sunday, October 11, 2009

Facebook Panic

Tim Friend is unemployed.

There's a whole story behind this. Most of the story was caused by the appearance of these four words on Facebook this past Friday.

I check Facebook occasionally. Sometimes, it is the only way to find out what my college kid is up to. I rarely post anything. The signal to noise ratio on Facebook is quite low and adding to the inane posts will only increase the noise level.

Such things as:

So-and-so is bored.


So-and-so is tired.

appear frequently, so I thought that:

Tim Friend is unemployed.

would be just another four words in the endless digital chatter.

I was wrong.

On a whim, just before I shut down my computer for the last time at work, just before I turned in my ID badge, I logged into Facebook and typed two words (my name was already filled out). I then handed my computer to my boss and walked out the door for the last time.

I had David with me. The secretary from the Tech Center where he is taking his auto mechanics class called me to tell me he missed the bus, so I picked him up and had him help me clean out my office. I learned that his bus had left an hour early because of homecoming at the high school and had left him behind.

When I walked in the door at home, my dear wife went for the jugular. It took a little effort to pry her hands from around my neck and when I finally could breathe again, she went for the verbal jugular.

"What do you mean, you lost your job?!" she screeched.

"You know what's going on," I told her, "I start my other job on Monday. Unemployment is only for the weekend. You've known about this for two weeks."

As she started to calm down, the story came out.

When she arrived home from picking up Abigail from her class, David's car was not in its usual spot in the driveway. Deb's immediate thought was, "road kill" and Panic 1 started. David has had his driver's license for about a month and his car (which we affectionately call 'the bomb'--see The Car Crisis) for a week. So Deb thought he was splattered on the road somewhere.

She checked the answering machine, which was flashing 9 messages. When she finally got to the last one, it was me, telling her that I had David. The panic started to abate as turned on the computer to check email. She doesn't have a Facebook account, so she could only see the emailed responses to the above four words. "We're so sorry." "We'll be praying for you." "We're sorry you lost your job." These sorts of messages greeted her and started Panic 2.

We have great friends and family, by the way. They've showed lots of concern for what turns out to have been a false alarm.

While Deb was still reading the email, the phone rang. "Did Tim lose his job?" asked my mom. They are currently travelling and had received a phone call saying I had lost my job.

"I don't know," said Deb, "but I'm going to wring his neck."

So, just to set the record straight, I no longer work at Gentex as of this past Friday, but I start at a former employer, X-Rite, on Monday. So the statement "Tim Friend is unemployed" is true, but only temporarily.

And if you want to be in on the fun, just be my friend on Facebook. You may not hear from me that often, but when you do, it may make waves.

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