Monday, January 6, 2014

Just When I Thought I Was In... They Kick Me Back Out

It's the beginning of the new year and I'm starting it just like the last one: Unemployed. That's right folks! I was laid off... again. TODAY! It was the perfect complement to the 2 hour train ride in to work due to faulty electronics on the commuter rail train I was riding. And as I sit here writing this blog post, only one thought runs through my mind:

I should have seen it coming.

It's been my experience in life that for every good thing that happens there must be a bad one to balance it. (Nature abhors a vacuum and always seeks an equilibrium. Don't believe me? Drop a bit of ink in a clear glass of water and see for yourself what happens.) For example, to balance the Bad of being rejected by a girl after having an amazing first date and even getting a kiss, I got a Good Christmas this past December. To balance the Good of my epic birthday party, I got the Bad of being unemployed. Which brings me back to the thought currently running through the back of my head: I should have seen it coming.

There's never a good way of finding out that you're fired, but this was a weird one in my book. Mostly because of the speed with which it happened. The VP was telling me that I was laid off and it was the first my direct supervisor had heard of it. Thankfully it wasn't personal. There was a mandate handed down from the parent company to reduce cost. So, downsizing was the only option. A lot of people were gone today. Then the weirdness continued because the higher-ups didn't like the idea of losing the people either. The VP of my company disagreed with the decision so much he decided to voluntarily quit.

My direct supervisor then took me in his office and started talking about the immediate details of transferring my projects over to the other team members and such. During this, he actually started tearing up. I felt proud when he told me that the team I had been a part of was the best team he had managed in his 13 years of managing. And then his voice just cracked and then the tears. I didn't know how to react. I was still stunned that I was getting laid off and now my boss is crying... After that, I just kind of deflated.

I got all my personal stuff off of my computer: music, pictures, links, stuff like that. I went through my work stuff and transferred files to shared folders in case they wiped my machine without actually going through it. I packed up what little I had in the way of personal items at my desk, and just felt like my battery had been removed. My colleagues offered to take me out to lunch, but I just didn't have the heart to do it. I made an excuse about having to catch a train to make it home, which was true, but I just didn't want to deal with their sadness and sympathy. Looking at that sentence makes me feel a bit callous, but it's the truth.

Then I didn't really register what happened. Now, it's finally sinking in and I'm going through all the memories. Talking to the girl that ended up being my co-worker during my first interview and thinking about how HOT she is. Working with her for the past year, and gaining an appreciation for her dry wit, agile mind, and enjoying the amiable fights we got into for no good reason. Meeting a whole crop of interesting people, actually being able to write software for a living again. The beginning of a new year is always a time of reflection on the past time, but now I get double duty as I look back on one of the most fun work environments I ever had.

According to the VP, I'm marked as a "Re-Hire", so if the financial climate allows it, they can call me back. But I don't think that's going to happen. I've never heard of that happening either. I've made some adjustments to my resume and I'm putting out feelers to start my job search again, but it'll be a couple of days before I have the heart to dive into it.

There is a silver lining though: This time I have a bunch of people, including my roommate's 2 year old daughter (who is obsessed with me), to help me through this time. (Now, that's a move forward, I guess I am becoming more positive.)

I hope that I don't spend too much time unemployed, though. Wish me luck, my dear readers. In this economy, I'm going to need it.

1 comment:

  1. Suckiest of news, damn! It's always budgetary when they lay you off either at the end of the year, or at the beginning. So, yeah, don't take it personal. In fact, it sounds like you did a bang up job for them there. You weren't fired, you were let go. There's a world of difference there. Most importantly, it means you can probably bet on some pretty kick-ass references from your supervisor and the VP. Add that to the fact that it looks good that you were in fact gainfully employed until right this moment, and not coming off of MONTHS of unemployment like last time around, and I think you have very good chances in fact.

    Actually, I highly recommend you DO NOT wait a couple of days. Seriously, dude, you really need to start tonight! Or, barring that, tomorrow. Trust me. I hire people all the time, and I can tell you it matters. Strike now while the iron is hot! Cheesy, I know, but you can't allow yourself any moment's self-pity here. That way leads to snowballing depression.

    Good luck!