Thursday, December 03, 2009

Damocles' sword has fallen.

Yesterday, everyone in the Cleveland office received a message about a site meeting taking place today. There was a fair amount of concern that the meeting was to announce the early closing of our office. Our team leader answered those concerns in the meeting with a statement that it was not eight weeks' notice for the site; and there was a fair amount of joking and black humor.

I just felt as if something was wrong. This morning, I wore the same outfit I wore on October 7th, but with pants instead of a skirt. While some people might be superstitious about a "bad luck outfit," even if I had gotten bad news while wearing it, it still makes me feel attractive and confident. Since the outfit is mostly brown with a "pop" of turquoise, last night I did my nails to match--brown on six fingers and both thumbs (China Glaze Unplugged), and turquoise overlaid with glitter on my left ring finger and right index finger (Finger Paints Art Dealer Teal-er and Sinful Colors Nail Junkie).

When I got into work and opened my e-mail, there was a meeting request in my inbox for a 9:15 with the biggest big boss, my department head, the Codes department head, a publishing specialist from Codes and two of our three administrative assistants. I thought it was a mistake--why would the big bosses want to meet with me? So I declined and deleted it.

At 9:16, when I was on the way to the bathroom, my department head came down to get me, and made some empty small talk as we walked upstairs. I knew then what was going to happen, but had no idea why it was going to take all these people.

It turns out I was right--I got my eight weeks' notice today. The reason for the crowd at the meeting was that the two admins and the PS from Codes we all canned along with me. Apparently, closing the Cleveland office was not a big enough cut for Unnamed Corp., and they wanted to cut $10.7 million from the 2010 budget in addition to the savings from closing an entire office. There were 100 cuts throughout the company, and four of them were in Cleveland.

I met with my team leader and then the team met. Let me tell ya, it's not easy being the tip of the iceberg. Everyone was very sweet about saying they were sorry, and then the rest of the meeting was basically questions about "what will happen to the rest of us." These questions were answered to the best of her knowledge by TC (and shortly into the impromptu meeting, Baklavette). Later, one of my teammates said that I was more calm and collected that she will be when it's her turn, and I said that I'm like that in a crisis--at first, I am numb and not feeling things, and then when it sinks in, I'm a wreck. I got hugs from all of the women on our team, and expressions of sympathy and one arm slung around my shoulder from the guys.

Maresche took me out to lunch and I had comfort food (tomato soup and fancy mac & cheese) and then I came home and took the HRbot's suggestion of taking the rest of the day off. When I got home, I had a good cry, spent half an hour of recalling the worst job-related moments in my life, then slept.

I've now notified everyone, whether via phone calls, e-mail, message board and now my blog. I've also done my math, and it looks like I'll get my last severance check on April Fool's Day. Thanks so much, Hyphenated Corp.


Mike from Eerie said...

Like i told you in the email i sent - it is almost the year anniversary of my being told that my office supply store was closing its doors.

You should feel fortunate, in a way. When i got that notice i was told it was going to be a 12 week process. It ended up being a 16 week process, and after about the first month we were all ready for it to be over.

(BTW thank you. I had an especially horrible day at work today, and was all set to spend the rest of the evening feeling sorry for myself. Then I read your email and suddenly feeling sorry for myself seemed kinda stupid, at best.)

And like i told you in my email - you will be in a far better place soon, just like i am now.

Unfortunately, i have gotten to be an old hand at closing places of work - its kinda like being told you are dying and then having to dig your own grave.

(And ironically i had gotten an email from someone in the big wig office at have a map for that corp, who said a call center in Toledo is closing soon. I understand the timing in making these announcements before the end of the year, but unfortunately that means a bunch of holidays get screwed up. At least with you its just Christmas and maybe Valentines Day - i lost Christmas and Easter last year because of it.)

Just make sure you take care of yourself. Find out first everything that you have coming to you - especially if you have any vacation time coming - i think they have to pay you for it. And find out too if there is a severance package. And waste no time filing for unemployment - i did it the first day after the store was officially closed.

But right now i think an extra order from Lush is in order.

the queen said...

That sucks so much. It's happened to the best of us. Did you like what you were doing? Maybe it'll be nice to not do it for a few weeks.

If it's any comfort, the market has been rebounding for six months and I just heard of three people today who are buying houses, so the jobs should be coming back soon.

Becs said...

I'm so sorry. Weds was my one-year anniversary of being laid off from Unnamed Co. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks.

Again, I'm sorry.

Many hugs to you. And lots more mac 'n' cheese.

The Mad Tatter said...

I'm so sorry! Many hugs and puppy nuzzles

Jammies said...

Thank you all. :)