Thursday, April 17, 2014

Start at the beginning

Seems like a very good place to start.

There had been rumblings and rumors since last year about another mass layoff at the company I worked for.  The public knowledge was that the portion of the larger company I worked for was going to be spun off to its own entity some time in 2014.  This meant new CEO, new C levels in a lot of areas, and, of course, "restructuring" and the like.

I had been with this company over six years at that point, and had already survived several mass layoffs.  It became kind of an eye-roller for my family and friends when I would voice concerns that the writing was on the wall and that I may be laid off this time.  I had been saying that pretty much every year I had been there.  So, they stopped listening. (Story of my life).

For five years, I had been a rock star on the small team I worked with .  I have a $650 watch and $300 bottle of scotch to prove it; these were bonuses/perks I received for all of the awesome I had been doing.

Then, in October of 2012, things took a turn.  We were being reorganized with a similar division.  In one day, I learned that my job was pretty much eliminated.
"But don't worry Von! We are giving you to the Client Services team!"
I was sat down with my VP and the Client Services Director to have this conversation. The Director was someone who I had fought with for five years about any number of things.  Even though that was the case, I still respected her, and was (once again) happy to still have a job.  I learned an entirely new position in a few months. I cut off contact with my former boss as much as I could, because I was instructed to do so.  I adapted, and happily so. I resigned to the fact that I was a pretty-good fish in a really fast-paced smart pond.  No longer a stand out, no longer a rock star.

Things went along.  I learned how to be a part of a team that was in another state.  I received little direction and no kudos from my new boss, the Director.  I really only heard from her when I fucked up.  I was lonely, yet I made the best of it.

In December of 2013, my former boss/mentor/friend was let go.  It was an awful, terrible day.  I knew then that I should worry and start looking. BUT NO - the Director assured me that this event had no impact on ME, or my career, or anything.  Blah blah blah. 
A smarter person would have started looking then and there.  But no, I drank the koolaid, and went along with the party line that I would be fine.

Again, I adapted.  I missed Rep terribly, every day, but I kept my mouth shut and my head down, as instructed by higher ups in the office.  I tried to become friends with my team-mates.  Like I said, I was lonely.

January came, and the talk ramped up to a frenzy.  It was pretty bad.  Every day was tense. 

February 4th, 2014.
It was a Tuesday.  Large Company loves to layoff on Tuesdays.  They probably paid big bucks to some consultant to figure that one out.
Office Manager is a friend of mine, she had let me know on Monday that layoffs were going to happen the next day.  I was soooo busy, had so many projects to complete, or start, or review.  For the first time in my work life EVER I was super-confident that I was going to be safe this round.
Still, I had a queasy stomach.
It was snowing that day, badly, so OFMGR mentioned that it might not all happen in the morning due to flight delays.  Hm, good point.  I was also finally able to get out of her that our office was expecting four layoffs.
Four, I thought, that's not bad, considering we had two full floors of people.
Heard from Friend mid-morning about two of the people. Both I knew, but were sales people.  One had volunteered back in October. The other was told a little in advance, so he was not surprised.  Friend and I decided to go out to lunch, just to get some fresh air. 
We came back from lunch in under an hour.  We went in the main front door.
I noticed two things right away.  1. The lights were on in the main conference room, they had not been on before. 2. The curtains in the conference room were partially closed, they had not been before.
Friend walked ahead of me.
I looked in the conf room, curiously.  My VP of $ was sitting at the table. Alone. On his phone.
And he waved me in.
I offered to come back, he waved me to sit. STILL NOT GETTING IT.
He got off the phone.
"This is a pleasant surprise VP of $!"
"Well, Von, it's a surprise"  and he pulled a blue folder out of his bag.
I lost it.  I'm not going to lie, or try to pretend I was better than it.  I LOST IT
I don't even know what he said.  I just sat there, sobbing.  Of all of the big shots of my group. VP of $$ was someone I respected, trusted, and admired.  Here he was - ruining my life.
The first thing I said
"I thought I was doing a really good job"
This was also the second and third thing I said.
He told me more or less that it had nothing to do with performance.
He told me to apply for unemployment half a dozen times.  I don't know why that was his go-to, but it was.
He told me my last official day was 2/14, but that 2/4 would be my last day in the office. 
At some point, I told him I was not going to go postal.
I needed to speak to HR, but he could not get her on the phone at that moment.  We were both at a loss.  He asked me what I needed, and I told him that Saggie and Smether needed to not be at their desks while I packed up my stuff. (More on those two some other post/s)
He looked relieved/shocked. But at least, he could do this for me.  He removed the two bitches and the rest of their team, just to make the area completely clear.
He left the conf room to make that happen. I texted VonSis and Friend "Laid Off".
He came back and let me know the coast was clear and I could go start packing.  I got MailroomGuy to help me pack up.  MRG was/is my true friend.  My desk phone rang while I was packing. It was VonSis
"Oh my God"
"sob sob sobby sob"
"Can you pick me up?"
"Where? Downtown?"

I grabbed all of my snacks and practically ran them over to Friend's desk. I kinda threw them at her. Apparently, she had not read her text message from me.  I told her what happened, I sobbed, I left her there.
I finished packing up so fast, I couldn't risk running into the bitches.  I spoke to HR, got my instructions from her. 
I said goodbye to VP of $$. Because I am a deeply emotional person, I want to say, and I hope - that this was hard for him to do.  I don't know, even now I look for the good in all people.

Mailroom Guy went downstairs with me to wait for VonSis.  He carried my boxes and patted me on the back. VonSis and VonBrotherinLaw pulled up in minutes.  I can't imagine how fast she was going.
VonBroinLaw jumped out of the car and took all of my boxes and bags and got them in the car. I hugged MRG, and looked back at the shitty, rusty building that I was so sure I was going to be retiring from down the road.

I got in the car.  VonSis handed me a 16oz adult sippy cup of ice and Rumchata. VonbroinLaw handed me a box of kleenex and took my car keys.

Thus began the shittiest time in my life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Well, I'm back

I'd been tossing around the idea of bringing this monster back.  Who still reads blogs? Who would read/find/care about this one?

Then, 2/4/14 happened. To me. 
I got laid off in a national news mass layoff from the place I thought I was going to retire from.

Now, I need an outlet. Somewhere to throw things, and rant and rave.  Apparently, the gainfully employed really don't give a shit about their unemployed friends.  I don't mean to offend, it's not my intent.  I'm just getting the feeling that some of my friends are tired of hearing about my troubles. 
And, if I have to hear "You'll find something way better soon! You'll see!", I might punch a bitch.


Here goes.

I've been working full time for over 20 years.  College was not my thing, and I jumped into the working world early.  I was 19 when I got my first full time job.  Each job I got after that was easy to get. When I was ready, or needed a change, I looked for a job and took whichever one best met my needs at the time.  I have never been fired, downsized, laid off until this year. 
I'm such a good worker bee that I am still friends with people from every job I have had.  Every. Single. One. 

When I finally had the stones to leave a job I loved, but was stagnating in, after 10 years, I jumped for joy when I got the job of my dreams - in advertising, for an amazing and popular major publishing company.  Sure, the industry is going in the tank, but I was confident that I was working for the first, best and likely will be the last one standing.

The older (and wiser?) I've gotten, I've learned to really appreciate what I had.  I'm single, no kids, no man, my work was what defined me.  If I was awesome at work, I was awesome.
Every night that I prayed, I thanked God for the job that I loved.  I was grateful to be there, and I asked God to let me continue to be there, or at least let me leave on my terms.  Aside from some awful, sub-human "co-workers" (to be fully explained in future posts), I was so very happy and never complained.  I had great hours, amazing benefits.  I admired my boss, respected my superiors, and genuinely cared for my team mates.  I could not have been in a better place.  My whole life was perfect.

For the first time in my working life - I was so very confident that I was safe for this round of layoffs.  I was so busy! I was so involved! I was well liked! I was totally necessary!


I will never again be cocky or feel safe, and that's a sucky way to live, but I'm just being honest.  My confidence is shattered, my mood is numb at best and super scary dark when I can't control it.
Hence, the rebirth of VFN. 

I think that every post I write will be about this current sucky phase in my life.  Because if I don't get it out of my head, I'm worried ....... well, I'll just say I'm worried.

Totally not a cry for help - my family is so close to locking me up in a padded room.  They keep an eye on me waaaay more than I think is necessary. 

I know this is a  ramble, and I do apologize.  I am pretty rusty, and hope to have better structured posts in the near future.

Thanks for reading. V

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So, Goodbye for now

I've thought about this a lot. 
I didn't sleep much last night, weighing the pros and cons, making a list, all of the things a person is supposed to do before making a decision.

Here is the end of this blog.

I almost wish I hadn't named it to include my name, because in a way, it feels like the end of me.

But I know that it's not.

I had the best intentions.  Ok, maybe not the best, but pretty good ones.  I wanted to write, to practice writing, to become a part of something.

I know this was a blog about nothing.  I know it was an angry rant, most times. 
Please know - while it was me, all of me, I'm not always that person.  I enhanced some tales for entertainment value, stretched the truth to get the laugh. 
I have feelings - I get hurt.  I have super happy silly days and some not so much. 

I am sorry this past year has been pretty crappy over here.  I've written a few posts that were more for me, to get my feelings out of my head and onto something I can go back and re-read - I've always had a bad memory.

I hope to still be around, I'm going back to just commenting.  I think I'm better at that anyway.  Turns out I can't do this. 

So, I'm sorry to everyone for everything.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To all of you

Even I thought I'd have written something sooner than now.

I am shocked and embarrassed to see how many days into November it is, and not a word from me.

Ideas have come and gone and been developed and discarded.

I'm afraid for this blogging thing. 

I'm afraid that I can't keep it up, and for no good solid reasons.

I'm afraid that my "community" is also flailing a little too.

I never realized before how much I actually (real life) like you people, until now - until I think that I'm losing you. Most of you. Some of you.

I've come to miss the actual emails and phone calls and texts and visits and developing friendships that used to happen.

I miss the catty chats on teh FB that I would have with some of you ladies, usually riling me up to start something with other ladies we don't like very much.

I hadn't really appreciated what I had here, until my Dad passed away.  That day, the third person I called (of all of the many many people in my life) was one of you.  And through her, this community rallied around me and showed me so much love and compassion and kindness - so much more than I probably even deserved. 

Up to that day, I thought I was a small time jester in a very large, much smarter court.

So today - no snark, no bitchiness, none of that -

I miss you - all of you.  I hold on to my friends as tightly as I can, because I feel if someone is in my life, they are valuable to me and I need to hang on to them, because they add to my value.  I feel I am losing this community, and I really don't want that.

So help me hold on somehow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Good days and bad days.
Long days and short days.
Meh days, blah days, and just one of those days days.
Brilliant days and rainy days.
Quiet days and raucous days.
Full days and half days.
Holidays and birthdays.
Some days and those days.
Musical days and reflective days.
Stressful days and silly days.
Save for a rainy day days and expensive days.
Family days and friend days.
Work days and Sundays.
365 of these, all of these.
Each one of them less than, missing something, a little less bright.

I miss you, Dad, every day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A break

I want to be honest with you all, so I'll just lay it out here.

I'm having a really hard time with October - and that's why I haven't been around.
I don't think you want to hear about my melancholy, my wanting October to both speed up and get the fuck over, and to slow down, because I do not want 10/23 to come.

I can not believe it has been nearly a year since my Dad passed away.

I don't want to write about it or him, not yet.

So, I just do not write at all.

It's not that I don't have other things to say - I do, sometimes - it's just that I don't really feel like it.

Things are just, you know, fine.  Like FINE in a fucked up insecure neurotic and emotional kind of fine. 

Work - fine
Dating life - meh, fine
Family - fine
Other work - fine

See - you don't even want me to write right now.

So, unless something super magical or inspiring, or God forbid really awful happens, I'm taking October off.  

I'm sorry, I never wanted to be this kind of blogger, but that's how it is right now.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mini catch up

Headed to Connecticut last week for a big work meeting. 

American Airlines?  You and I are FINISHED. 
Flight out of O'Hare on Wednesday morning at 6:40.  Everyone gets on the plane, all things are stowed and all people are seated.
And the plane breaks or something.
Everyone, off the plane.

I get on the phone with my company's travel service, who are always so awesome. 
"Sure, Von, we will get you on the next flight!! It leave in 20 minutes and you have to go about 3,000 miles across the airport to get there! Have a nice day!"
Not her fault - she didn't know I was in heels and lugging massive barely carry on-ables. 
I get to the gate (barely), give up my luggage, and throw myself into the last seat on the plane. 
Of course, I caused upheaval in CT.  My pickup car had to be rescheduled, but no one knew which flight I was on, so ooops.
I arrived in CT about two hours past when I was supposed to.  Ooops.

Heading home, not much different - almost worse.  Our meetings ended earlier than expected on Friday, so we headed to the airports two hours earlier than we had planned.  I decided to see if I could change my 8:40 pm flight home.  I waited in line for about an hour, and finally put on my best face and headed to the counter.
"8:40? That flight was cancelled....."
best face gone.....
"But this is good because I can put you on any other flight I want."
Of course, there was a flight leaving in about 30 minutes.
I get to the gate (barely), give up my luggage (again) and throw myself into the last seat on the plane (hello, old friend).
Only to sit on the runway for about an hour.

The Big Work Meetings were actually pretty good, for me.  I'm going to have a new position with new responsibilities and a new team and a new boss as of 11/1.  This means I get to keep my job here (YAY) and learn things and work on my career growth.  This is a very good thing.  There's not much I love more than my jobs.

I'd love to tell you more, but it'll have to wait.  Lots of secrecy and such.

Other than that -
I am super pissed about things on the home front. 
I am still kinda dating a couple of dudes. 
I'm tired.  Very tired.