Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And there you have it



I knew it was coming. We all did. Our company has been dying a slow, painful death over the last few years, and especially during the last 8 months or so. We were just never sure when. And with all the games, the intimidation, the finger pointing, keeping your head down was a priority and you expected the ax to fall at any moment. Seriously, every day was agony. Would it be today? Who would go? How would they go? They have botched previous layoffs before. People were sometimes notified by hearsay from others about their own layoffs. Or the "angel of death"—an employee chosen to retrieve the unlucky ones from their cubes and take them to the HR office—would incite fear and panic every time her head could be seen bobbing along a department's row.



Yesterday was no different. The early email about a company-wide meeting was the first panic alarm sounded. Then it was the glimpse of corporate higher ups milling about. Finally, seeing the HR person on site on her off day (she only came by our company twice a month) incited nervous chattering and upset stomachs. No one could focus, and you could cut the tension with a knife.



So when we all finally sat down in that meeting, some of us with kleenex at the ready, others already wiping the tears away, we all knew. That didn't make it any easier, although the certainty of it happening and having an end date (April 1st) for our doors to permanently close was somehow a huge relief. Never knowing if you might be working your last day or not was agony; knowing you were working toward your last day is strangely not. Not being singled out as in previous layoffs, but instead leaving in one large group, together, was easier to stomach too. And although not all of us will likely make it to April 1st, we are fairly certain we'll be around in February for the job search seminars. March, on the other hand, is another matter entirely.



So the severance packets have been passed around, an HR meeting is scheduled for today (there are so many questions), but life at our company goes on for the moment. It's a scary world out there right now, with record unemployment levels and a global financial downward spiral underway. But I think this current dark and ominous path will lead to brighter and happier places ahead. To have nowhere to go but up can be a good thing in a way. It lends an air of hope and promise, and gives one a sense of purpose when job hunting, especially if careers are to be changed and professions to be re-examined.



Until that time, however, our company's slow painful death continues—but with all of us in this together now, until a definite end, which has finally been granted.

10 comments:

Cut Copy Create said...

Sorry to hear of that :(

Lovely written post. You are taking the right attitude, think of it as a new start and how exciting that could be. You have a while to plan and look into new things, who knows it might be a change you needed :)

Georgia B. said...

this is the first time i have cried at one of your posts.
:(

like i said before, it is you i will miss the most.

Chris said...

You will only miss working with me (for now). Friends are friends because they have a relationship where they want to talk and be together, as we surely will outside of this place. This was just the means to starting an awesome friendship, not the reason for its existence. Right?

Sorry I made you cry! :(

kat said...

So sorry to hear - I do wish you brighter and happier times ahead. The wheel turns.

avant garde said...

bummer bigtime! perhaps though this will eventually be a weight lifted that was keeping you down? here's hoping anyway. funny how once you resigned yourself a little while back about your job probably ending, things started coming in like freelance work etc. keep putting it out to the universe and good things will hopefully find you. that's what i'm trying to do with my new business. thinking of you! :)

Claire said...

i feel such a heavy weight for you and yet i am expectant. i can hear that you are too.

i raise a toast to new beginnings...

Char said...

oh hon....you know that I know some of what you're feeling. you are so talented and creative I have very positive vibes for you. in the meantime, feel what you're feeling and let me know if I can help or give pep talks. I'm so sorry the shoe dropped.

drollgirl said...

i am so very sorry you are going through this. i hope you move on to bigger and better things, and at least you know what is up at your job and you don't have to fret about it anymore. please hang in there.

p.s. my brother, several friends, plus co-workers have lost their jobs due to this shit economy. so far i have survived the cuts, (but that leads to survivor's guilt) and have had my workload doubled or tripled. i think the stress everywhere is through the roof, and i can't wait until it gets better for us all. HOPEFULLY SOON!!!!!

creativelush said...

Hey lady... You made my heart tender. And, you as well, put things into words that I myself might not even have the strength or heart to say, but want to.

Thanks for posting.. This is hard,my stomach is in knots, but like you said, its almost like a relief...

Thank you for you words

dolcechic said...

I'm sorry girl. I'm glad you're keeping your head up in this mess! All my best to you :)