Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Coffee, anyone?

Imagine this Tuesday morning pick-me-up:
You saunter into work. (Four days before a long holiday weekend.) In the midst of your morning log-on routine, the phone rings but you don’t recognize the name or the extension. You conjure up your most officious 8:30am corporate office voice, only to realize that you are speaking with the HR representative down on the second floor. She requests your presence in a meeting. Now. And you’re not even caffeinated. Shit. You get up from the desk just as you see your new manager striding over. He’s quite brief… but confirms your apparent 8:43am meeting with HR. Holy shit. Something’s up. You quickly grab your keys and wallet… because you know you won’t be returning back to your desk again.

This was my brother’s morning yesterday. He was laid off without warning or much reason. I have been through similar experiences- a merger, a layoff, and a corporate bankruptcy (as have many of my friends), but the bite from a new unemployment testimonial never quite loses its edge.
I am an eternal optimist and immediately reminded my brother of the ensuing ten week vacation he just earned. But personally, I know that nine of those upcoming weeks will undoubtedly be spent wrestling with resumes, rejection, embarrassment, and frustration. It is humbling to realize that for all our work history, personal experience, and wisdom that we bring to the office- it can all be ended before your first cup of coffee.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sucks big time. I think you hit the nail on the head -- the sting never goes out of it. But at least your brother is now married and has an at home support network/friend. That is key for him and missing for many. Not that it does not suck, but just trying to blow some sunshine/glass is half full stuff on a shitty event. Be there for him -- he'll need you. I am sure that you will be, but just try not to forget. And never forget the power of laughter.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Marley Angel said...

Man, sorry to hear about your brother. It's never fun getting laid off. Amazing to me - the fact that they chose a Tuesday morning to do it. Usually companies save those tender goodbye moments for Fridays - nothing like a good kissoff to start your weekend. Thankfully (or should I say, regretfully) your brother can take these couple of days before the holiday weekend to get his resume updated and posted on Monster and enjoy the holiday. Wish him good luck for me.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous mmmmmK? said...

I worked with your brother and it was a strange sitch indeed. Lots of higher management went out this time though. Still some asshats that don't deserve a job there are still there!

We really enjoyed working with him as he had a great sense of humor.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Layoffs suck, no doubt about that. But these things tend to be blessings in disguise. Once the initial sting wears off and new opportunities begin to emerge, he'll most likely find a job he enjoys more.

When I got laid off earlier this year, I was able to find a new job in about three weeks. And it paid 20% more.

Good luck to him.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Jantzen said...

Damn, that really sucks for Stephen. Hey, Mikey, remember when I was laid off and unemployed for 7 months? You kept my spirits up ... or, more exactly, you kept the spirits flowing my way. Countless drinks and one heck of a Memorial Day weekend in Pensacola later, I found a job and I've been with the same company since (it'll be 4 years next month). I only hope Stephen has as good a friend as you to help him through his unemployment ... however short or long.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm Stephen, the unemployed brother of Michael. Today I took my dog, Thurman, to the beach for a run in the morning, met someone new while on my run & had lunch with that same person at a club I don't belong to, then watched Magnum PI at 3:00. I'm not too sure I have time for a job right now but if you have any offers or leads, please call me between the hours of 4 & 5 in the afternoon...

2:37 PM  

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