Jeanasina here! It’s the Final Countdown…What do you do when you get laid off (besides contemplating biting down on a cyanide tablet)?
This year in September would have marked 12 years I had with the company I work for. Twelve years of smiling and helping people and feeling so lucky to have such a great job! I have made it my career to be a receptionist and I’m a spectacular receptionist! I am the voice of the large company I work for and as some have said “The Director of First Impressions!” I love my job! I love the people I work with! I enjoy what I do! This past Monday, my wonderful boss called me and said “Could you please come up to the conference room and meet with me?” My heart fell and I think it stopped beating for a moment because that one little sentence conveyed to me that this was the beginning of the end. My boss pretty much ‘never’ calls me into the conference room to talk; we just chat at my desk. I went to that conference room and looked at my nice boss and she said some words, I can’t remember exactly what they were, but the gist of them was that they were laying me off. I was crushed. I was shocked. I was sad. I was devastated! I cried on the spot. I had hoped to retire with this company, the company that I had given so much of my life to! I had just a few years to go before I got my retirement package. “This can’t be happening!” I kept thinking. I called my Harley man Husband from the conference room and had my boss tell him all over again all the words she just said to me. There was no way I would or could even remember anything she said after the words about laying me off came out of her mouth. I later learned that 33 of my other co-workers got the ‘We won’t be needing your services any longer” boot also. Grim Reaper appearances on two floors of my building!
I know this has happened to many of you out there so I thought it would be a good topic to discuss. Every day since Monday I have gone home feeling like I have been shot up with heavy duty sedatives, I can’t seem to function or keep my mind on any one subject. The company where I work, has been kind enough to send me a hundred emails with information to read and read and READ before exiting my life here! The company I work for is ENORMOUS, there is no one-on-one personal help or eye contact involved in getting help with the you’re outta’ here baby thousand formats of paperwork and transition materials they want you to absorb and fill out. It’s sort of like communicating with a machine or several machines and if you don’t provide the machine with the correct answer they are seeking you are locked out of the place where you are supposed to input information or add information. It’s killing me – the entire horrible process. Everything is wrong with this picture!
Then there is the stress this has brought to my home life! My new marriage and our little house! How will we pay for the mortgage? How will be pay our bills? How will we eat? My own personal fears creep by in my mind too, such as….”Will I ever be able to get my skin care, hair care, make up products ever again?” I have imaginings of me turning into Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies in just a couple of months without money for my products!! I’ll have to resort to using Crisco for my night cream! EEK! It’s all about thinking about budgets now – trying to imagine how the month to month living we have been existing in for the last few years now survive? Conversations are no longer light-hearted like “How was your day sweetie?” “What do you want to watch on TV?” “Do you want to snuggle?” Now it’s all about how are we going to make it and what should I do first? It’s like all the joy in the room at work and at home has been squashed. I alternate between crying and having semi-rational moments and trying to do some things that are just ordinary every day chores etc., but there is a damper on everything now. If I ask “Why is the company letting me go?” Well there is no real answer, it’s more of a visual of a bunch of executives dressed all in black including their masks, sitting in a room somewhere, making decisions about our lives! They are undoubtedly holding red laser pointers over photos of employees and saying “Hmmm let’s get rid of that one, and that one, and…OH!!! for sure THAT ONE!” I miss working for a smaller company where if it came down to you having to leave, there would be several lovely H.R. people ready and willing to walk you through every step of the way all the while letting you know how concerned they are and how bad they feel. When you are in a BIG company and this happens – it’s kind of like – if they could manage to have you sign all the umpteen exit papers they need without actually seeing you, they would! Then they would simply be able to just press an eject button connected to your chair so you can cleanly exit through the ceiling and out the roof! (That would work for them!) They would launch you through the ceiling because it’s harder to hold on to company merchandise when you are sailing through the air at warp speed!
“You are getting laid off “ are the words you hear just after you hear someone shout, “Release the hounds of doom!” I feel like an incredible weight has been placed upon me and I don’t think I’ll be able to shake the damn thing off for awhile. I’m betting you have some great ideas or suggestions that help people who are no longer with jobs cope and survive! Talk to us…share with us…and if you have something to share to help us laugh – BRING IT! Maybe you have tips for how use old popsicle sticks inside of your mouth to force a smile even though you are constantly silently weeping! I’m thinking eventually when I have to start interviewing I can’t be looking like I have been spending a lot of time with the grim reaper!
In the meantime, I’ll be packing up all my personal stuff that made my desk mine and hauling it home in an old box or suitcase while looking back one last time at the place that used to hold my daytime family. I will miss them all, my wonderful co-workersl. With one last look at the building, I’m going to shake my fist at the guys in the black masks who are undoubtedly watching me from their penthouse on the top floor of this building! I’m sure I’ll almost be able to actually hear their diabolical laughter as I cart my slumped over body and overflowing box of memories to the bus stop one last time. If my Harley Man were he’d pointedly say, without question, something along the lines of “Those son’s of bitches!”
Can any other of your wonderful women relate? How did you handle it?