At the beginning of last week I started hearing rumors that there was going to be a major round of lay offs in the corporate office of my company on Friday, 12/7. You could feel and hear the tension all throughout the whole building...EVERYONE was nervous.
A few co-workers that I am close to got word that they were on "the list" so as Friday got closer they started packing up their desks and the tears started coming. I was 100% convinced that I was not on the list. I have always thought that there is no way they would be able to let me go because I am the only person in my whole company who does what I do and it HAS to be done. The things I do day to day at my company can not just go away...whether I am here or not...it HAS to be done. So, I pretty much thought I was safe and thought my whole department was safe.
Friday morning came around and I started my hour drive to work...excited that it was Friday but sad because I knew I would have to say bye to a lot of good friends and co-workers. It NEVER once crossed my mind that I was on the list...seriously, not even once.
Within the first 30 minutes of being in the office, everything changed.....
My boss works from home about 2 hours away from my office. So, I always know way in advance if she is going to come in to see me. I called her about 7:30 Friday morning and could immediately tell she was driving so in the back of my head I just had a feeling she was coming in to the office. And sure enough, she was. She told me she was coming in and she would talk to me about everything she had found out the night before, once she got in. I could tell by the sound of her voice that something was very wrong and when she said she had not slept at all the night before, I just knew it. I got off the phone with her and the tears came. I knew that within 2 hours I was going to hear the words " You are being let go."
The time between when I got off the phone with her and when she showed up, I spent sick to my stomach and trying to force myself to start taking down pictures and personal items. I was sick to my stomach and trying to hold back the flood gates. It was pretty much one of the worst hours of my life.
My boss got here around 9, came to my desk and told me to come see her in this empty office down the hall. I asked if I should bring tissues and she just gave me a look. I go in the office, shut the door, sit down and say "well I know you didn't just drive 2 hours to give me another promotion??" ( I was trying to lighten the mood...it did not work). I looked at her and she just started crying. Which led me to start crying.
She explained that our WHOLE department was being dissolved (aka- going away) and they were only keeping her and one other lady who works on the west coast. Everyone else ( literally, EVERY ONE ELSE) was being let go. She said she tried fighting for me and even tried to find me something else in another department that was safe, but nothing worked out. She felt terrible because I am having a baby and it was right before the holidays. So, we talked and talked and cried and cried.
Turns out that over 30% of our corporate office (only 180 employees) were cut on Friday. That is over 50 people in one day. 4 whole departments were completely dissolved. Our company has been struggling the past year or so and things have just gotten worse recently so in order for the company to survive they had to make some massive changes.
So, on top of my shock and sadness of losing my job, I had to spend all day watching friends and people I have worked with for 4 1/2 years pack their desks. Some were escorted out with boxes of their personal items in hand (seeing that was AWFUL) and some were allowed to stay for a few hours to say their good byes and tie up loose ends on projects. It was one heck of an emotional draining day. I kept thinking to myself, "this is so not how I imagined this day going." And kept thinking about my drive in to the office that morning...I was so clueless about what was about to happen to my whole company.
My boss managed to fight for me to stay a few extra days so that I could transition all of my duties to her and a couple other people. Like I said...just because I am going to be gone, my job still has to be done. So, either Wednesday or Thursday of this week will be my last day. I am spending every second (except the time it is taking to type out this loooooong post) I can to tie up projects and get things ready to hand over to someone else.
I know I am going to be ok... my husband and I are very fortunate so I know financially we will be fine. Plus my company gave me a pretty awesome severance package so I will basically be getting paid to stay at home for the next few months. Other people did not get so lucky... some that got let go are single and this was their only source of income. Some are much older and single and worry that no where will hire them because of their age. Others have been here for 20+ years and feel completely lost now and don't even know what to do next. I am sad for myself in some ways, but more than anything, my heart hurts for my co-workers that are in these other positions...ESPECIALLY right before the holidays :(
Now that I have had a few days to come to terms with this new situation I am in, I am still full of mixed emotions....one minute I am so excited because I will get to do what I have always wanted- be a stay at home wife (and eventually, mom) and the next minute I am sad to leave the corporate world. I love the routine I have gotten into and love having something that is mine and that I have been successful at. My heart beaks for the people who are sitting at home jobless now, and I am reminded how blessed I am and lucky to be in the situation I am in. I will miss silly little things like the view of the skyline as I am getting close to downtown at 6:30 AM (we have a pretty awesome skyline in Houston), the convenience of working close to the Galleria and all the awesome restaurants, my routine of walking to Randall's every Monday morning to get my fruit and breakfast for the week, my weekly emails with co-workers who have turned into close friends and so many other little things. I will not miss the hour drive into work every morning, waking up at 4:40, and conference calls ;)
If you want to read someone else's take on this terrible day, head over to one of my favorite bloggers and co-workers blog and you can read all about it there too!
Remember to pray for those that are unemployeed and stuggling, especially during the holiday season!
And if you are still reading, thank you for sticking around for the longest rant ever. :)