Tuesday, June 16, 2015

All Right, Where Was I?

You know I'd rather be writing about the weather (so inconsistent), hockey (did Chicago have to win the Cup? yuck), or my haircut, but hey, let's get the layoff crap out of the way, and then I can discuss more fun things.

So, Thursday morning the guy at the parent company who is the boss over our office showed up, which didn't initially worry me because the word didn't always get out that he was coming in, but he arrived along with a woman who turned out to be the VP of HR, and as soon as I heard that, I got very nervous. A VP*, and especially HR, doesn't fly 3000 miles for no reason, right? It's got to be a big reason. We all stood around in nervous groups, guessing, while they were in with the boss, and after a while, we got the invite to a meeting at 11.
*I mean, I think he's a VP too, but that's not the same.

That's when they told us that they were suspending operations, and we'd all get 2 weeks notice (though few of us have enough loose ends to tie up that we would need to work that long, we get paid for it anyway), and six weeks of severance pay. Which, honestly, is nice, given that we've almost all been there just a year. And they're paying for our healthcare through the end of the year, too, which I also much appreciate. Basically, they could have done a lot worse by us, but oh, I wish they had given us more time. It isn't a year and a half since they bought the company! And they're giving up already? I know I don't understand big business decisions, I can't say they are wrong for the big-big picture, but at ground level, it really hurts.

It hurts in a lot of ways, actually. I'm sorry for myself, sure: 4 layoffs in a dozen years seems like particularly bad luck. I don't want to job-hunt again! (Do I even know how? My last two jobs have found me, but I can't count on that.) I'd actually really enjoy the time off, if I could be sure I'd get a job in August or September, but without knowing that, there's just a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Plus, this was such a good group of people, who largely worked really well together, and I did not take that for granted. How to find it again?

I'm also sorry for the people who founded the original company, who had this idea and nurtured it until it was successful enough to be bought, and now have seen it die before their eyes. And for the younger ones who haven't gone through layoffs before, the older ones who worry about the harder job search at their age, the ones with kids or student loans or whatever makes it particularly hard. For all of us. It just sucks.

Anyway, back to Thursday. We all had 1-on-1 meetings with HR, but we'd been told to stop working on everything, so there wasn't much to do until then*. Two of us went over to Starbucks for a break, and sat there in disbelief for a bit. They brought us in sandwiches, so I tried to eat one. I wandered around talking to people, who were all as shell-shocked as I was. Finally I had my meeting, and kind of took in what she was saying, and took all the paperwork, and didn't even snarl when she wished me a good evening on my way out, which, yeah, not likely I'd have a good evening, is it, dear? Think before you talk.
*Some people started packing up their desks, and I'm not blaming them, but I couldn't bring myself to take things off the walls and then sit staring at blank walls, so I did a little, but didn't get much done.

I went home, and called my mom, and sat like a lump, and hugged the kitty. I went to bed early, and though I took a unisom, I still didn't sleep that well. Or late, and I really wanted to, since I could! But my brain wouldn't stop, so I got up, but didn't go in until around 10. Packed up my desk, talked to people, then waited around since the boss was taking us out for drinks/lunch. After that (which was nice of her, but about as merry as you'd expect), I picked up the last of my things, and went shopping for peas and ice cream.

Friday night was a little better than Thursday; Saturday wasn't a great day, but I got a few things done around the house. I also almost killed Belmont when she thought that my beloved office plant, Seymour, had been brought in for her to chew on, but I managed to let her live (barely). Seymour is currently living in the hall outside my door, but I'm going to try getting a hanging thing and see if she'll leave him alone way up in the air, instead of on the kitchen table.

Sunday I already had plans. First, Mary Ellen had invited me to join her, her husband, and their guinea pigs at a pignic in Wellesley, and on a nice summer day, who could resist that? I don't know a lot about the piggies, but they're cute, and this thing was very well organized.

One pen for boys:
And one for girls:
Apparently mixing them is not a good idea. And if you're wondering, the dust pans are there for breaking up disputes. Who knew?

Piggies investigating.
A good time was had by all. Later on I went to dinner with friends, which was also very pleasant, and since I didn't have to get myself home early for work, I went on to the ice cream after, yum. It was a big enough group that I didn't get to catch up with everyone, which is always too bad, but still it was very pleasant.

Monday I slept in, then went off to have lunch with someone I worked with before: we'd been trying to coordinate our schedules for dinner, and hey, look, my lunchtime availability just increased! It was good to hear how he's doing, and get to talk a bit about the current situation. (I both do and don't want to talk about it, so I'm kind of hard to please right now.) I ran some errands after, and then it was stitch and bitch, a good distraction too. Today I only went out for a few errands, but I've been trying to chip away at all the Things To Do, too. And I'm working on setting up daytime meetings with friends who are available then, since after all, why not? I may as well appreciate the opportunity.

Trying to look on the bright side, anyway. Mixed success.


Anonymous Mary Ellen said...

I will happily tell you anything you could possibly ever want to know about guinea pigs any time you want! Just try to shut me up about them, in fact!!

7:33 PM, June 16, 2015  
Blogger Suburban Correspondent said...

I'm sorry! I'd give you some job-hunting advice, but - seeing as how I've been jobless since April of 2013 - I don't have much to offer.

4:49 PM, June 17, 2015  
Blogger Alice said...

Not that this is at ALL helpful to hear right now, but that is a semi-decent package at the very least. (Better package: one where you keep your job! Bah.)

My only advice is start working LinkedIn like it is going out of style. Make sure you have every keyword and buzzword for your job and industry in your profile, make sure your experience is up to date and fleshed out, and start hunting for interesting companies/jobs - with a freshly updated profile you should also start getting hits from various headhunters and private companies with openings too.

And enjoy sleeping in right now :)

11:14 AM, June 18, 2015  

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