My company issued another round of layoffs yesterday. Bottom line is the title of my post, so I’m eliminating all suspense to actually get you to read this post – I am still employed.
But it was touch-and-go all morning.
My manager does not work at the same location I do. Our team is scattered all over the country, though a lot of us are in three locations in the northeast. When I walked into the office yesterday I got word that one of my co-workers (who works in a different location from me) had already been notified he was laid off, and soon after someone else told me that my manager was on his way to my location. I am not indulging in hyperbole when I say I started shaking and sweating.
I was standing up in my cube, talking to a co-worker in the next cube, when our manager walked towards us. We both knew he was there for one of us, maybe both. He stopped in her cube, and asked to speak with her. They walked away. We all knew why. I felt awful for her (as I did, and do, for everyone else who was affected, many of whom I consider friends). At that time I didn’t know if he would be coming for me when he finished with her. She was gone for a long time.
About 45 minutes later, my manager IM’d me to say he was available if I wanted to talk. That was my cue that it was over, and I was safe. That’s the word we use – “Are you safe?” was a question that was flying around over cube walls and IM all morning.
I’ve been with this company for 12 1/2 years. They have been exceptionally good to me, and I enjoy a level of autonomy and flexibility that I consider as valuable as my salary. Although I work 40-50 hours per week, they are not always contiguous hours, and they are not all in the office. If I had to actually be physically present in an office for 40+ hours per week, I would go insane. I would feel like I was in prison, and it would severely impact my personal life in terms of time with my children and drive my stress level off the charts. I am extremely fortunate to have this job. Truly.
And yet, I’m also stagnant. My work is not interesting, and I’m not learning anything new that improves my life in any way. It has decent pay, excellent benefits and an extremely flexible schedule that works for me as a single parent. I’m not knocking it. But if I didn’t have it anymore, I might be pushed into finding something that fulfills my soul, even if it doesn’t fill my bank account.
With the way things are going, I might get to find out in March, May or June, depending on the rumor that turns out to be true (too soon to tell).