16 June 2014

Turn of Events

I'm not sure where to start with this...but I've had a turn of events in my life. As you may remember, I was taking today off as a vacation day. It was just going to be a fun day, perhaps a trip to Disney, possibly a late afternoon movie with O that would have most assuredly included dinner.

On Friday afternoon I was informed that my position has been eliminated.

To say I was - and still am - in shock is putting it mildly. My immediate boss and a Business Partner Manager (a/k/a employee relations) dropped this bombshell. The BPM talked through the situation and gave me a blue folder filled with information and forms for signing. Evidently I have about 14 days to sign the separation agreement which basically says I won't sue the company. If I sign this agreement then I get a (generous) severance package. But that doesn't eliminate the sting of being let go after 18 years of service.

And speaking of 18 years of service...I want to know why this was all done hush-hush. I wasn't escorted out of the building but I was told that my personal things will be packed up and sent to me. I was basically asked to turn in my badge and keys and to leave. This was a job elimination NOT a firing. I did nothing wrong. So why was I treated so? I'm expected to walk away from 18 years of professional and personal relationships that I formed over the years without saying goodbye? That goes to show that the company knows this isn't right because now they can spin the story however they want without my presence to dispute it. I did send one email to someone I worked with these 18 years. I sent it from my personal email address.

Tomorrow I'm going to ride the train into LA so I can tell my train buddies that I won't be on the train. At least not for a long while.

I've never gone through anything like this before. I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude but I admit I'm still in the "denial" and shock stage. Anger is creeping in and I know will take over soon. I've always wanted to have a steady income but not have to actually work for it but I wanted it to be MY decision.

I've decided to wait a week before looking into revising my resume and beginning the job search. I need time to get my head around this. I can say though without hesitation that I have an awesome family. Friday I called my sister and told her what happened and we went to dinner. She was very good at listening and giving me a bunch of info she printed off the internet as well as a handful of different gift cards...which I thought was sweet but I had to tell her I'm not out of money or destitute! Telling my parents was really difficult because - although it isn't my fault - there's a stigma to losing one's job and a sense of guilt and failure. My parents were both very supportive and - as my sister had reminded me - my father went through this twice during his career. So he totally understands what I'm going through mentally and emotionally.

So I'm going to be around a while. Haha! I do want to do the job search thing although at 51 years of age it scares the bejesus out of me. I also want to concentrate on some other things, like having the time to do serious yard work, housecleaning, and taking care of those little things that have gone undone.

Expect me to revisit these topics over the next few weeks/months. And if I start sounding like a broken record or as if I'm feeling sorry for myself then please comment and tell me to grow a pair! 

My future my be uncertain but for now...I'm treating this as a well-deserved vacation. 



Roy said...

Did they know about your blog? That may be a reason.

behrmark said...

Because I have fat fingers I accidentally deleted the following comment from my phone....THANK YOU Brother Bear!

Dear Behr,
I cannot imagine the shock you must have felt at the time this occurred. The idea that you could not even finish out the day, have a farewell party, say goodbye to contacts and co-workers, much less mentally process losing the job is too harsh for words. I'm glad you have good support from your family. You are young. At 51 you're going to be a great fit for another job right away. Get on that right away because, believe it or not, we do identify ourselves with our work. I've enjoyed your blog so much over the last few years, so keep it up and keep us posted on how it goes. Wishing you the best.
Brother Bear

Howard in CT said...

If they want you to sign that you won't sue them - you might want to talk to a lawyer. You may be able to sue for a lot more money than their "generous" settlement. I think you are wise to kick back for a while to collect your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog,your writing, very sorry to hear about the job, really hope you get another, even better job. All the best.

Stan said...

So sorry you are going through this. I've been there before too. I was getting ready to end the day at 4 PM when I was told to go to the managers office where I was told the same thing. It was a lay off and I was the last hired.
Take the summer off and collect unemployment. These corporations are so fucking heartless! You will be okay.

Nik_TheGreek said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. They should be embarrassed of not dealing with this better, after all this time. You deserve so much better.
Add Howard said, have you consulted a lawyer?

Mark in DE said...

It has been my experience that down-sizing and job eliminations are typically treated just like yours. There is no concern for saying goodbye to long-time colleagues, clients, vendors, etc. They feel they must eliminate any possible retribution (ie: deleting of important files, etc.).

So sorry this has happened to you. Take your time to wrap your head around this, and then when you're ready, start to think outside the box. Think about what you WANT to do, because if you do what you like, you'll never 'work' another day in your life. Take it from someone whose job as a client services manager was eliminated and who became a real estate agent!

Good luck to you!!

a{GAY}tekeeper{iam} said...

way to see the good in the situation

Kyle Leach said...

First off, I'm really sorry you are going through this. Unfortunately, the way they did this is commonplace now. It may take a while for it all to sink in but you are strong and dynamic. You'll find a new job and hopefully this will put you in a place to be happier and focus you in all kinds of different ways. Leaving the corporate world was one of the best things I ever did. Sometimes a shakeup is a good thing for us even if we aren't expecting it. All the best Mark!

Rick said...

It's a shitty way to do business but...that's why I tell people don't screw around giving a notice. Just quit. Companies consider you dead weight immediately when there's a separation/resignation announcement. I hear from HR that they don't want those "left behind" to be upset by the action.

Good luck to you though. Enjoy this time and do something that you haven't had the chance to do.
I'm thinking of you.