My former colleague, now friend, got "the call" last week that changed her status from "employed" to "stay-at-home-mom". Rather than pay a psychologist, she's self-administering therapy and chronicling her post-lay-off experiences at her new blog, The Fortuitous Haus Frau. Here's an excerpt from her first posting. Enjoy!
Last Tuesday I was summoned down to the small conference room with my manager for what turned out to be "The Talk". Not the usual Talk, but the one about how my job had been eliminated and I was now unemployed. While I must admit I did have a slight sinking feeling in my stomach, what I felt mostly was relief. I now was free! Now my first quandry.... do I pretend to be upset or do I graciously shake their hands and skip happily out of the room?
For whatever reason, perhaps it was professional instinct, I chose the first as they may have surely called the padded wagon for me with the second. As I sat there watching the HR manager's head bob up and down as she take me line-by-line through my severance agreement all I could think of was.... I am Free! I am Free! I am Free! and oh crap I really need to call my husband.
As luck would have it my husband didn't pick up and I returned to my desk only to find several voicemails from my child's school telling me she was sick and needed to be picked up. At no other time in my career has "I am packing up right now and will be there as soon as I can" have such meaning.
I decided to start this blog after that fateful meeting to share some of the most humorous and absurd adventures as I journey through this process, as truly no one in their wildest imagination or under any type of influence, could possibly make them up.
Turns out as part of my severance I now have access to an outplacement service... a what? They do it all for you and they pride themselves being there with you through the end.... how long do they think this is going to take?
But first things first I had to fill out a gazillion online forms telling them all about me. Pretty typical stuff. Then they asked for my parents names, their occupations, city of residence, my children's name and ages, my personal values, my financial values, and what don't I like about people....which I was promised all have a tremendous impact on my next position.
If my parents live off the grid in a tee pee in the Arizona desert raising prickly pear cactus is that a good thing or a bad thing? Does it signal that I come from hearty, adaptable stock or that I am more comfortable being closer to nature with no schedule and a sturdy pair of Birkenstocks? Needless to say I declined to answer.
As a recruiter told me last week, I will go through all the stages of loss... which to this point have included....thank god I don't have to come here anymore, oh no how am I going to pay the bills, what do you mean I can't go shoe shopping, dictator-like energy conservation, to lastly (as of this morning), now that I am home I have tons of ideas of how to improve the house.
"The more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it."- Bill Nye.