Looking into the abyss

Spineless cactus
Yeah. I know. If you're a writer, you're supposed to be writing. Big change of plans. I thought I had everything planned out so nicely. Car, debt management, all at least to ground zero by the time I retired. Since I took out 4 years of state service, I'm not eligible to retire until I reach 65. Five months away. Only five measly months away.

Life, the fickle bitch, stuck out her bony leg and tripped me once again. As of August 31, my job at the university will no longer exist. Due to reorganization, my team and I are considered redundant, as the folks in the UK would say. No incentive, no severance, just a session with HR. No keeping me on for those crucial five months.

OK. So resist panicking. Nope, that causes my blood pressure to skyrocket. Ignore it. Not an option. Find other work. Five months from turning 65? Right. Do you know anyone who would hire someone my age? Would you hire someone my age? Be truthful, now.

Eighteen years of working at UT, 24 years working for institutions of higher ed in Texas. What a waste. Teacher Retirement in Texas is a joke, especially after 15 years of budget cuts, downsizing, reorganization, attrition, all those tiny little cuts (see Frida Kahlo's painting, "A Few Small Nips") that finally bleed you dry.

Am I shocked? More than at anything else in my life. Am I surprised? Not really. UT is not a people institution, or at least not a staff-supporting institution. It's just a reflection of the state of affairs in the US right now. Rich get richer, poor get thrown to the wolves. Pretty soon there will be no one left to support faculty, administration, students, or facilities.

My stomach churns when I see orange. Not to mention the latest brain fart for supposedly raising money for scholarships, et al--the GSDM/UT partnership to manufacture and sell water bottles in the shape of the tower--H2Orange. And no, it's not orange colored or flavored. Just purified Texas river water. Stunning hubris. They proudly tout that they have bought carbon offset fiat, which means they can claim they're environmentally friendly. Totally defies reason and common sense. Texas has the worst air in the country, thanks to Twig grandfathering the oil refinery industry on the Gulf Coast, so all the crap associated with the manufacture and distribution of the tower bottle will still go into Texas air, water and soil. Well, maybe they will help keep the environment cleaner in Podunk, Idaho, but it just adds more garbage here. Does no one see the faulty reasoning there? And to top it off, only 40% of the proceeds go to the scholarships, et al.

I did not set out to post a rant. Nor will this be a "just think positively, everything will be OK." It might not be. I will do my usual I Ching, open myself to universal possibilities, and reaching out to all my networks like crazy. It is imperative to find work, I just don't have any prospects yet.

At least I'll have more time to post to FOP...