now what?


Yesterday Rocky recommended to me that I come here and write.  It might be cathartic.  It would give me a place to drop some feelings.  Perhaps it will help me work through some things and sort stuff out.  It’s helped before.

See, I was laid off on Friday.

Like so many, I work in an industry that 100% depends on people gathering, traveling, staying in hotels, attending events.  You can’t really do any of those things right now.  We haven’t been able to for weeks and we won’t be able to for some unknown time into the future.  Companies that thrived up until a month ago were brought to their knees in a matter of days.

The doors to work were closed on a Tuesday and we moved operations home.  I spent two weeks trying to figure out a way to keep as many people intact on my team.  People I trained, engaged with, cultivated, laughed with, learned from, hand selected, and loved.  Yes, I loved these people.  Work families are a real things.  I worked countless hours for almost two weeks only to be left with a spreadsheet that slaughtered my team.  My spreadsheet was v4.

Little did I know that v5 existed.

And it included my position.

My last paid activity included a 10:30am conference call where we were preparing management for the tough conversations that they would have to work through that afternoon.  I was a part of the team helping others to prepare.  I spoke with my last remaining manager the night before about it.  We shared our fears with heavy hearts.  I’m not sure how I was being prepared for something I wasn’t even going to be expected to do.

When I received the call, about an hour before they were supposed to start, I thought nothing of it.  Perhaps it was just a call to make sure I had what I needed and was doing ok.  It didn’t take more than 4 seconds to realize how wrong I was.

“Erin, I’m calling to let you know we’re laying you off”.

When asked if I had any questions, I couldn’t think of any I didn’t have an answer to.  After all, I’d been on all the calls and knew the callers were told to empathize but not give information.

However, I finally thought of one.

“How long have you known that I was going and why did you include me in the prep and planning if there was no intention in my doing that”.  It was a question that came from anger.  Anger that quickly built up, towering over me.  The kind of anger that left me wanting to scream into the phone until my voice cracked.

But who was there to scream at?

I read an article this morning about grief in relation to COVID-19.  You can read it here: That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief.   I immediately thought about an ex that died suddenly in an accident when I was in college.  I hadn’t talked to him in months, and since things ended badly in our relationship, we had split with so much anger towards each other.  When he was suddenly gone, I was wrought with grief.  There was no closure.  No one I could reason with.  This feels the same way.  It feels cheap to compare the two. The significance of one is far more heart wrenching than the other.  The death of a person compared to the sudden loss of a job due to no fault of your own.  But that’s the feeling sitting in my stomach right now.

I don’t really know what to do next.  And by next I mean in the next 3 hours.  I know what the larger NEXT is.  Find a job, right?  But I’ve had a Monday morning work routine since May 2004.  I guess I don’t know how to do Monday when I’m forced to stay at home… forced off my work laptop… and forced into an uncertain future.

3 thoughts on “now what?

  1. Thank you – but I’m optimistic under all of this. I’m not one who comfortably leaves a job so this will force me to find the next great opportunity.

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