So yesterday, I almost got laid off. Well, not really, but that’s how I felt. I’m sure the decision to keep me on wasn’t made yesterday morning as I came into work, but I didn’t know that. Neither did the 800+ people at my job who did get laid off. I’m sure they walked through the doors thinking that 10/16/08 was going to be just another ho-hum Thursday.
The night before, I received a phone call from a co-worker who got a tip-off that axes were going to be falling the next day. I was worried, sure, but I’m a good worker and my bosses know it. Well, by the time I got in, two of those bosses were gone. Actually, one hadn’t been told yet, the other was tearfully packing up her things, so upset she couldn’t speak. My direct boss was so nervous she was throwing up in her mouth. I quickly realized that I had no reason to be cocky. They were phoning people, one by one, and asking them to come to the conference room. Inside were three top managers, an HR rep, and a box of Kleenex. My phone kept ringing; each time, I jumped a foot.
By noon, it was all over. Head Office, where I work, had lost around 150 people. My division had lost 19. Only 1 was from my immediate work-group (plus one temp, which was a crying shame, really. I didn’t care for the full-timer that was let go, but oh well).
So last night I had a dream: I was told that I was going to be taking over for another gal in a different department. I was shown to her desk, told to sit down and get to work. “But I’ve had no training,” I protested. Doesn’t matter, I was told. There was work to do, and I needed to do it. Plus, my phone was ringing, and I had better answer it. I woke up very quickly - and quite shaken.
I’m lucky. Others weren’t. Today, a lot of us experienced survivors’ guilt.