Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Impending Transition (Insert ominous music here)

on September 2, 2010

My Career (Ha! funny story about that). Let’s not bury the lead.

Earlier this Summer the president of our company gathered everyone for a meeting. He then dropped the bomb that they are shutting down the wholesale division of the company.  Translation: You are all losing your jobs. Happy Thursday! Really, it was a Thursday.

There are various things that made this announcement worse than it already was. A significant percentage of the employees are from Puerto Rico and don’t actually speak English. As the president is dancing around the bad news telling us we’re wonderful (It’s not you it’s me…), he’s stopping every two sentences to let the translator…well…translate. It took at least 20 minutes for him to get to the big news. Eventually he told us someone would be by later to discuss us our exact end date and what sort of severance we’ll get (Peachy!).  Later, our CFO dropped by to individually tell us our fate. Here’s mine. My last day is December 31. My 8 years at the company have earned me one month’s severance. What am I thinking when presented with this news? “I have to work through the Christmas holiday to get my severance?! Seriously?!” Really, that is all my brain could process.

So how have the past three months been?  To paraphrase “You’ve Got Mail“: “It has become something really depressing…” Honestly I drive around the half empty nursery with Meg Ryan‘s voice in my head saying that line over and over. I’ve also had to deal with many uplifting conversations that go something like this:

Customer: I can’t believe you’re closing. What am I going to do?! Where am I going to go?!

What you think: I”m losing my job I could give a crap what YOU’RE going to do. I’ve got other things to worry about right now.

What you say: You’ll be okay. (YOU still have a job!). And other similar platitudes.

Customer: Why are you/they doing this?! You guys are great! Your stuff is the best around.

What you think: Hey genius this wasn’t my idea!

What you say: Basically a summary of the letter the company sent out explaining what is happening. Also politely remind the customer that “this wasn’t my idea.”

Customer: So what job are they going to move you in to? (OK, so most people did realize that us closing meant we were all out of a job but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve been asked this actual question)

What you think: Where did you get this crazy idea that I still have a job?

What you say: There isn’t a job for me. They’re letting me go at the end of the year.

Customer: Oh no! I’m so sorry. What are you going to do?

Such a good question…

Luckily my job requires me to interact with many different people in my industry. As it turns out, I have a pretty good network to tap in to. Who knew? I’ve had a couple interviews.  One place is very interested. But, I’m not so sure I want to stay in this industry.

Here’s the bright side (really there is one). As of January 1st, I am a free woman. I have a college degree, money saved up, and that severance thing. To be completely honest, I was thinking of changing jobs anyway (I just don’t have a  choice about it now). Who knows where my career or I am going to end up? This concept scares the crap out of me. One thing is certain. No matter what I decide my life will be totally different next year and that’s kind of exciting.

Wow…that was very therapeutic. Thank You for your time. I need to find some chocolate…

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