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.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I recall waiting around when it was time to pack up the boxes, so I wouldn't run into people.

Sucks, it does.

Jennifer said...

We're in strange times... have been for a good, long while... I'm sorry you got sucked into the vortex.

Smut Clyde said...


Smut Clyde said...

"Yay!", I thought, "A new post from Von!" But it was not Yay after all.

fish said...

I am with Smut- joy turned to ash.

I won't say "things will turn around" or "you will find something better soon."

I will say, work is what you do, it isn't who you are. That Von is awesome.

mikey said...

Yeah. I don't leave anything at the office anymore. Everything comes in in my backpack in the morning and goes home with me in the afternoon. Don't want to have to do the whole pack up the desk thing with everyone pretending not to be watching and trying to hide their glee that it was me and not them...

harada57 said...