December 4, 2008

Jrex sums it up . . .

My company has global offices. In our particular branch, we have around 80 people. Yesterday they laid off 15. Captain Chaos is gone. Fine. Dancer and British Boy from my department are gone. That sucks. We got through the morning of layoffs. Took British Boy out for a farewell lunch (Dancer is in Europe on PTO. Imagine getting laid off while on vacation?!) Came back, went to the pep talk by our department VP, The Devil. Blah, blah, blah: "We decided to take a pessimistic outlook and cut deep and hard just once rather than be conservative and do another round later." In that meeting, Savvy Tech Woman was asking great questions. She came by later and we chatted about our shock as well as a few things related to design stuff I've been helping her with. At 3:55 pm she had to scoot across the building for her one-on-one with Fresh Face--the guy in charge of our branch.

Around 5 pm, The Devil stopped by to check how we were doing. I shared my hope that Dancer would be able to continue as a contractor out of our London office. She's been there for two months doing an exchange and they want to keep her on. I told The Devil, "Dancer has been Savvy Tech Woman's go-to person on the technology update. With Dancer gone, she'll be coming to me!"

The Devil looked straight at me: "No, she won't"

Beat.

"What do you mean?"

"She was just laid off. She was the last of the layoffs."

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When I got home and downloaded my day onto poor Jrex's head, he listened well. Then he said the words that will be echoing in my head throughout the rah rah "Town Hall" meeting we're supposed to have this afternoon.

"I heard a talk by a guy at Hopkins. He was an oncologist who tried it all: private practice, industry, academia. He told us, 'One of the things I learned in all my different opportunities: You may love the institution, but the institution doesn't love you'."

11 comments:

Asianmommy said...

Sorry to hear about the lay-offs. It's a scary time.

Snickollet said...

I'm sorry about the layoffs. We lost 30% of our staff on Tuesday, and it really sucks.

That quote from the Hopkins guy is so, so true.

Rachel said...

So stressful. While I'm glad you were spared, it must have been hard to see so many friends and co-workers lose their jobs. Hope they are able to find work quickly.

Mama Nabi said...

Sigh... that is devastating. I may complain about being overworked and underpaid at my job... but I have job security. More or less. I don't know what I'd do if I were to be laid off. From reading my facebook status updates and blogs, it sounds like many companies/institutions are doing layoffs this week. I hope the economy picks up soon. It's heartbreaking to see so many people stressed about their basic needs.

Lil Sis said...

So true, sad but true. I hope things get better for you there in terms of feeling secure and keeping your work morale up, I found that difficult in a position I had years ago where so many of my co-worker/friends were let go, making sure I still cared about my quality of work and not just getting my paycheck, it's a hard time for many and I will keep their well being in my prayers, as I will yours:)

All the Best,
lil'sis

Inkling said...

Wow, and right before Christmas. Geez. That is scary. We are feeling it up here too. A builder we know had to move into a house he built just so that he's not paying on it for nothing, since no one here is buying. He's hoping to keep his business afloat. (I am too, since it gives us our rent money currently) Another business owner we know is laying off 75% of his work force, and still only has enough resources to keep going for six months unless things improve. It's scary all around, and I haven't even checked yet to see if we still have a government where I live. If that goes, we are really screwed.

I'm still surrounded by boxes and things that need to be unpacked and settled in, but my husband has to have time to do most of it. But we don't know how much longer he will have work, so we're afraid for him to take even an afternoon off. People aren't wanting to start their renos or building projects, since they don't know if they can pay for them. And people are also holding back on hiring our wilderness business, because they see that as a luxury that they can put on hold. I'm ready for the economy to get better in the USA, and for it to trickle back up to Canada. Right now, it's just too scary.

swallow said...

wow...

jrex is good at doing that.

glad your job is safe thus far!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the layoffs. Listening to people in the Boston area and now you....and we are completely devasted in the Detroit area with job loss obviously due to what is in the news....it is everywhere. Hopefully 2009 brings better news.

mary said...

wow. I didn't expect to read about layoffs on blogs too! Well, I'm thankful that *you* still have a job. I'm glad I work in a pretty stable industry.

OTR sister said...

My firm announced on Monday (right before reviews) that there is a salary freeze for now and bonuses will be limited. But no layoffs for now. I guess they are doing the conservative thing and waiting to see how the first and second quarter of 2009 go.

Aimee said...

Maaaaaaaaaaaaannnn... that sucks.

I'm glad your job was spared. And, I'm glad Jrex was there to listen.

(((Hugs)))