Nothing Focuses the Mind Like a Deadline.

I’m going to be out of work effective August 1.

Not permanently. Just for 30 days. Let me attempt to explain how this works.

I am a contractor at the place where I work, not an employee. This is a very common situation there, it’s how they run their business, with many, many contract workers alongside employees in the same roles. I’ve been there nearly 6 years. I doubt I’ll ever be offered a permanent position at this point. I’m not really complaining, because after the year we’ve all had, I know I’ve been incredibly lucky to have stayed employed, been able to work from home, and generally was able to continue my semi-normal life without major hardship.

I came very close to major hardship. I transferred positions within the place where I work at the end of 2019. When 2020 hit the fan, my prior contract position was eliminated. So, though I may complain about the gig I have now, I know I dodged the disaster of being over 60 and unemployed during a freaking pandemic. It doesn’t make what I’m doing now any less aggravating, but I’m very grateful for the paycheck, such as it is.

So my supervisor at the place where I work told me my contract was being renewed for another year on Wednesday. On Thursday, he IMed me to tell me that I had to take my 30 day break this summer. Maybe someone who understands the legalities of this can explain the why, but basically, as a contractor, every three years you have to take a month off. I last did this in 2018, so yes, this would be year three.

I was somewhat prepared for this, I keep a month plus of living expenses in a separate account for it, BUT when had I asked the company that pays me when my break would be due, they’d told me 2022. Apparently they had started counting from when I took the new position in my current department, instead of the date of my original contract. Oopsie.

Good thing I didn’t dip into this account for the auto maintenance and home repairs I need, right? I was thinking about doing precisely that, figuring I’d have time to replenish the balance before 2022. Once again, my natural gift for procrastination saved my ass.

So, instead of being able to plan my break for when the weather would be nice, like, April or May, I am now involuntarily taking the month of August off. Although I have money in the bank for the month of unemployment, I don’t have any spare cash to travel, so I’ll be staycationing.

After a few minutes of panic, and a lot of internally screaming “FUCK!!!” I realized that this is actually an opportunity.

You all (my few but loyal followers) know by now that I’m a hardcore Disnerd. Disney World is my happy place, and I hope to work there as my retirement job, because I’ll never be able to completely retire. I have a silver level Florida resident pass to the parks. It’s one of the less expensive options, and because I renew it annually, it costs about $40 a month.

It has what Disney calls “blockout dates”: this year it’s the months of June and July, then a couple of weeks around Christmas and Easter/spring break. The blockout ends on August 5th. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

I’m going to do a Disney immersion experience for the month of August. Heat and rain be damned, I will be at the parks whenever I can get a reservation. I will use myself as a crash test dummy for surviving Disney in the “worst” month. If I really do want to work there in “retirement” (always in quotes for me) I need to see if I have what it takes to keep smiling through August.