"So, what goes through someone's mind when she's laid off from what she so long described as 'the perfect job at the perfect company?'"
Funny you should ask. I just might have a little insight into the answer. One of the first thoughts might be something along the lines of, "Why did I start with the novel about the pastor in the satirical 'small town' series instead of the one about the publishing company?" She might spend the whole afternoon of the day she's told her position is being "eliminated" at the library, sketching out a version of this second novel in the series (all being a "complete work of the author's imagination," none of the characters being "based on any real people"), fantasizing about its being serialized in some online magazine, the way Armistead Maupin's books began as serials. In this fantasy, some good publisher she loves picks it up, and it becomes a bestseller. She captures headlines by turning down Oprah, a la Jonathan Franzen. Meanwhile "the perfect company" collapses.
Then, she'll feel horrible for having such a fantasy. She loves that company, believes in it, has friends there she hopes will not only survive but thrive. She knows it has published some trend-setting, fantastic works. Still, oh man, could some of her experiences make for some fantastic satire. But no, that just wouldn't be a nice thing to do. That would be biting the hand that's fed you. Then again, who ever said not to bite the hand that's quit feeding you?
You get the picture. Want to spot "Person-Laid-Off-From-Perfect-Job-At-Perfect-Company?" Look for the woman with multiple personalities. Depending on what second of what minute of what hour of what day it is, she can be any of the following:
Ms. I'm-No-Good: characteristic thoughts = "I never was any good at that job. I never knew what I was doing. I have rotten, horrible instincts. No wonder they don't want me."
Ms. Who-Do-They-Think-They-Are?: characteristic thoughts = "Don't they know extraordinary talent when they've got it? Who are they to do this to me? They never made good use of me. They completely wasted me."
Ms. I-Know-Better-Than-They: characteristic thoughts = "They're making a huge mistake. I bet they're getting rid of me to hire someone just to keep right on doing what they've always done. Companies that just keep on doing what they've always done in this climate are going to die. They're going to die, and they can't see it. I can see it, and I know what they need to do, but they can't."
Ms. They-Always-Hated-Me: characteristic thoughts = "I never fit in. They hated me from the moment I started. They always acted as though I'd suddenly sprung a second head every time I opened my mouth to say something."
Ms. Extrapolate-to-Entire-Life: characteristic thoughts = "Life sucks. It always has. It's all so useless. Why do we even bother?"
Ms. Oh-Thank-God!: characteristic thoughts = "You mean I'll never have to deal with that manuscript/co-worker/damn inefficient computer system again? Hallelujah!"
There are probably some other personalities waiting to make an appearance, but right now, they're in hiding. They'll likely surface as days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months. Then again, maybe by then Ms. This-Is-The-Time-To-Do-What-You've-Always-Wanted-To-Do will have become the dominant personality, and all the others will have vanished, realizing they've been completely conquered.