Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dirty Deeds

The news is finally here. We all anxiously watched our inboxes for any hints at when and who would be told about the layoffs. Usually they sneak the e-mails into our boxes after 6pm or before 7am. It's a horrible way to schedule people if you think about it. After all, what if you have a dentist appointment that morning and don't come in until 9am and discover that you missed you're "Mandatory Meeting" already?

They really lost the element of surprise this time. A little after 4pm, half the group received an invitation to a 10am meeting. There is one person who we know for sure is keeping their job, so knowing that they were invited to that meeting, verified the fates of the rest of us.

Really, nothing was a surprise. I took my laptop home for fun and checked it at 10pm to find that a "MANDATORY MEETING" has been added to my calendar for the morning. I wasn't sad or jubilant, just satisfied that we'd finally get some answers after so many months of rumor, speculation, and boredom.

Because there are so few people left, the handful of us went into a room with the president and HR director. He was very down-to-earth about the whole situation, no false sympathies, no formalities. He said what he had to say from a legal standpoint and offered his support as we make plans to leave. At some point that day, he even had to give himself a layoff notice.

There was one surprise. I had expected to receive the same date as everyone else. To my dismay, however, I was given an extension until July. If I had kids, maybe that would be fine. After all I could work for a couple hours each day and spend the rest of the time with my family. But I've been slacking off for six months now, I'm ready for a challenge. Sitting around to help close down the office is not my idea of a morale builder.

No one really escaped this time. The people who didn't get a layoff notice still have a big decision to make because those who remain must relocate to the East Coast. It's unlikely that more than half will choose this option. It's not just the geographic change, it's also the unknowns of the new corporate environment and who the new co-workers will be. Not knowing what will happen to the team dynamic is probably the worst unknown.

With the new year come many potential opportunities. Now, I need to negotiate myself out of here earlier. It's a delicate situation because I can't sign on a new job with out risking my severance package, but I can't pursue new jobs until I know I have a clear end date. I want some money, I think it's the least I deserve for staying around as long as I have.

I'm honored that they appreciate my ability's and want me. It's always nice to feel valued. That boosts my confidence that companies out there will want to hire me.

1 comment:

teahouse said...

Hey, I'm so sorry to hear about stuff at your office. I went through a law firm merger a few years ago, and it was structured as a massive layoff/closing, where some of us got offer letters from the new place. I did, but many of my coworkers didn't and things were really tense for about 6 months.

Good luck wrapping up stuff. I'm sure you'll find something new and good really soon.