I am sitting here with my mind racing. I work remotely (from home) 60% of my schedule. I am in the office the other 40% (2 days). I am spared much of the inner office turmoil and drama. Two years ago my employer hit a serious cash flow crisis which resulted in a major restructure and a 20% reduction in positions. 100 jobs were eliminated during that time. Over that last 18 months, there have been several smaller reorgs and lay offs. Also, many people have simply jumped ship and found other jobs with other companies.
Yesterday I witnessed a co-worker told to pack-up her desk and get escorted out of the building by a rep from HR. I sit in the cubicle next to her and the walls are thin. I could her her sadness and anger rolled into one as she dumped personal belongings into a box and tried to suppress her sniffles.
I felt sick.
We knew something was ‘coming’, but we thought our unit was safe. There was no heads-up. No forewarning and I we all walked around with a grey cloud over our heads as 26 additional co-workers were let go that day and 23 more the next day. The worst part is that we know it is not yet over and more lay offs are to come. Those of us left are picking up the peices and doing double and triple work loads.
This is the reality in working America. Less workers, more work, and less pay or no annual raise. This is what our kids are graduating college and stepping into. It’s hard.
I have officially survived my 2nd round of major lay-offs. I am not sure I will survive another. The irony is that two years ago I was envious. With my first born turning two, I was itching to catch up with my peers. The company had been expanding over the years and my peers were climbing the career ladder.
I held back. I chose to stay in a flexible, middle salary position to be with my child and work from home. But I was envious. I wanted to feel what it was like to make more money. I wanted a better job title. I felt jealous and would get angry or bitter in my thoughts and perspectives.
I have had several opportunities to take better paying positions, and I chose to decline the jobs because I could not bear the thought of spending less time with my children. It has been my heart winning out over my mind, over and over again. This realization has calmed the green monster.
As positions are eliminated, the sad irony is nearly all my peers who excelled past me, have lost their jobs. They have all had to deal with a reality that I have yet to deal with (thankfully!). I am not sure what to make of this. Maybe I am I like the tortoise; slow and steady winning the race?