A hard week…

So.

I am sorry that I have fallen a bit behind on posting, after stating that I was going to go hell bent for leather, but that is how the cards fell. I really will try to get back on track, and posting more than once a week again! Not only is it something that I actually enjoy, it is part of my Personal Development plan, and something that I need to kick in the ass and get going again!

It has been a very exhausting and emotional week.

One week ago, my company had a sizeable layoff. The news was announced (per Federal law) that morning, and those of us on the later shifts were left waiting, to see if we would still have jobs or not.

We had gotten an email regarding a mandatory meeting that would occur on that day, and once the news had been reported, we knew what the meeting would be for.

I am relieved to say that I was not one of the ones cut, but many of the people I have come to know and love in the company, were.

I have been through layoff before. I have been one of the ones cut in both of those.

The first was the month after my divorce from my first husband was finalized. I was truly on my own, with only myself to look out for, but also only myself to pay the bills. This one was from a job that I hated, in a company that I hated, with (mostly) people that I disliked, the exceptions being my friend Brenda, (love you Brenda!) and Cheryl. (Love you too, Mrs. Ma’am!)

While the idea of starting something new in a place that WASN’T slowly sucking my soul was exciting, the idea that I would only have 66% of my pay (unemployment) for a bit while looking for a new job was scary – as well as just having to look for a new job! What would happen if I didn’t find one? Would I have to move into a shelter? Would I decide that pride was over rated and become a pan handler? Ugh. It didn’t help that the actual “termination” date fell on December 25th. Merry freakin’ Christmas, huh? I cried most every day for a couple of months with worry over this one.

From that job, I started spamming resumes. Unemployment required a minimum of 5 contacts a week. I went over and above. Any job that I felt the least bit possibly maybe could be even slightly in some way qualified for? I went ahead and sent a resume. Sometimes, 20 – 30 a week. The guy at the local Kinko’s got to know me very well.

Finally, February, I got an interview for a job. It was with a securities firm, and paid better than the one I had been laid off from! New stuff to learn! New people that I might be able to stand in an office! Benefits! Holidays! The interview went well, I loved the office manager, and I got the job.

This job was pretty good. I enjoyed what I was doing, the people in the office were pretty great (and the back office, where I was, was very small. 4 people, and we all got along pretty well. BONUS!) Other than spelling the receptionist for her lunch and breaks, I didn’t have to deal with anyone outside the office, and the pay plus benefits were rather awesome! We even had a rotation of 4/10 day workdays – each week, one of the back office people would work Mon. – Thurs., with Friday off, so that we could take care of things like Dr. appointments, or shopping, or just lazing on a three day weekend.

This job, I thought I might possibly want to retire in. Not because the work was challenging, because it wasn’t so much, but because the PEOPLE were ones that I could handle, and the environment was one that was nice.  I could get my learning, and challenging, the way I had for countless years as a work from home/housewife type.  By choosing something, and learning it!

Unfortunately, four months later came the second layoff. The office was a satellite. The main office was in Worcester MA, and the Denver office, where I was working, was going to be closed. I cried for a different reason on this one. Yes, I was still worried about money, and still worried about supporting myself, but mostly, I mourned the loss of the future with this company that I had dreamed for myself.

Again, for the second time in a year, I was a regular at Kinko’s. 20+ faxes a week being sent. Looking for a way to support myself. The next job I found? At least I was paid as much as I was at the securities firm. Benefits weren’t as good, but I was able to pay all my bills again, on time, and having a job was better than not. Or not.

This was a small, family owned business. Their product was amazing. They however? Were not so much. Family owned businesses can be a bit tricky. Unlike corporations, smaller family owned places like to have a LOT more micro management – and that can be… a bit overbearing.

Add to this an office manager that should positively definitely NOT be in charge of an office, and you have hell. Complete and unmitigated. This woman was overbearing, obnoxious, totally unprofessional, and completely unsuited to any kind of workforce administration.

True story here. I had been having a hard time. I had not been in the best of moods, but while less than communicative, had been doing what I was supposed to do.

One night, I go to clock out, and I find the entire staff of workers (minus the supervisor) from the warehouse/production side of the business waiting in the lobby of the building as I punched out for the day.

Turns out, the office manager had gone to the warehouse (a walk across a street) and had announced that I “needed to get laid”. They were there, waiting to see if I would ask one of them home. Seriously. Nope. Not a joke. I was livid.

I did let the higher ups know about this, but nothing was done. “Maybe it was misunderstood – English is not their first language” was the best I got out of it. I did not feel bad at all when my husband (then partner) suggested a change of pace and a move to Massachusetts that I gave less than 2 weeks notice. Had I been a bit less “flight – run hide turtle!”, I probably would have handled it differently. However, we know from previous posts, that my first reaction to bad is “RUN!!!!” That is what happened.

So – back on track.

I know how it is to be on the cut side of layoffs. I know the insecurity, and fear, even if it is a place that one isn’t happy in. I know the feeling if it IS a place that one is happy in. Now, I know how it feels to be on the other side.

Quite simply, it sucks. Rocks. Through a straw.

Yes. I do still have a job. And with the hubster STILL not employed by a company (though doing odd jobs) I am grateful that I still have some sort of set income to depend upon.

However.

Being in the office, while others were having their meetings, and then cleaning out their stuff. Being on break, and having hysterical people show up for their meetings, unsure if they would continue the night or not… Trying to make sure that the work still got done, that trouble tickets were still answered, and that business continued as usual while all this was going on, was hard. It was exhausting. My heart mourned for every friend that didn’t make it, for whatever reason.

And of course, there is some kind of guilt attached. While we have been assured that there is a reason that those of us that didn’t get let go…. well… didn’t, it still cuts. And it still is hard to figure out how to deal with the ones who did, whom we like or love, and who are having all of those feelings that I remember from my own layoff situations.

I want every one of you to know right now, that I do love and honor you. My heart mourns for you, for the fear, and the unsurety, (is that even a word? Now it is! ‘Cause I say so!) and the… open endedness of things right now. Please know, I know EXACTLY how you are feeling, because I have been there. My shoulders are here to cry on, and my ears are here if you need some one to rant to.

Most of all, my heart, and my love go out to you.

Advertisements

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vicky
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 09:12:43

    *hugs*

    Reply

  2. Dicey!
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 15:08:17

    *hugs*

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: