Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Zen of the Layoff

Tuesday, 28 Days to go

I have become quite philosophical about this now. Since there are 5 stages of grief, I have created the 5 stages of Layoff:

1. Astonishment
2. Fear
3. Anger
4. See #3
5. See #4

For the others around me it's quite different. As I encounter people in the hallway, at meetings - and the true cradle of power - the ladies' restroom, I elicit a predictable response. Some cry and hug me. Some shake their fists and are angry for me, but I get the feeling that they are secretly relieved it's not them. I completely understand this because I used to think it too. There were a certain number of positions that needed to be cut and we all knew this. So, each time I heard of someone being laid off I subconsciously breathed a sigh of relief. As that Ten-Commandments-Firstborn-Fog rolled through each building we all counted it's victims, and counted ourselves lucky.

I have observed another response which is really disconcerting. Twice now when I have mentioned my deep seated fear of having to call my mortgage company and other creditors, two different co-workers have cut me off in mid-sentence and changed the subject. It's as if I have spoken "that which will not be named" i.e. losing your house and possessions. The first time this happened I was a little shocked as I considered this person a caring, compassionate human being. The second time it happened I was less obliging to stop the description of the downward spiral of my life based on this idiotic decision. I don't know, I may have gone a little far, conjuring up the image of that urchin in Les Miserables. In rags.


On the street.


Note: You 'll have to forgive all my movies references, but I'm trying to get the most from my Netflix subscription before I have to cancel it next week...

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