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laid off, part ii


In trying to express my feelings about my misadventure, I finally decide I should just type about it, rather than ponder over these events of today and figure out who else to call to let them know about it. This almost feels like a funeral, the way the phone calls have been going:
�Excuse me, my job just died so I figured I�d let you know�..yeah, it was pretty sudden… 4 years�I know, I�m just as shocked as you are�.well, we�re not asking for much, but if you could pay my bills for the next year, I�d really appreciate it�.� Ech.
This morning�s dreaded conversation was pretty brief and to the point. There were no security guards waiting for me, my manager didn�t have a can of mace, and he actually gave me some really good insight on where to find my next new job so I wasn�t disappointed. By the time the �meeting� was over, it was 9:30, I had gotten my last (free!) can of Nestea, a handshake, and documents to think about over the week and sign in order to receive a severance package. I was in my car making my phone calls to friends, who can no longer be referred to as my �work buddies�. Sigh.
I felt like going for lunch, but then figured I would be fine with cheese toast until I figured out what I was going to do with the rest of my day. So what did I do next when I get home? I had absolutely no clue. I hadn�t updated my resume in almost four years, so when I got home and started making phone calls to headhunters, their response to my situation was, well, immediate. �Sorry to hear that. Why don�t you send us your updated resume to us. Right. About. Now.� In my flurry of activity of sending this to them, I also fielded other calls from comrades who pieced together a list of people who also had exit interviews today. It felt good to not be the only one getting laid off. (Well, not really, but I thought I’d say that anyway….)
So tomorrow�s adventure? More of the same. I get to have lots of phone interviews, lots of other phone conversations, and piece myself together for the family reunion happening this weekend�.oh yeah, the family reunion�wonder how those conversations are going to turn out�

7 Responses “laid off, part ii”

  1. Bernie
    22 April 2003 at 09:37

    Eric, as someone who has been fired more than once in his life, let me tell you it ain’t that big a deal. It is only a problem if you allow it to be.
    First, never allow a job to define who you are. You are the sum total of your life experiences, interests, skills, values, beliefs and goals. You are NOT a _____ (fill in job title).
    Second, find out what kind of severance package you’re gonna get and don’t rush into anything until it’s what you really want and need in your life now. Severance allows us to not only pay our bills, but time to think about our next move. There are lots of books on the subject of redefining yourself in the face of a career or job change. Get some and read them.
    Third, go to the family reunion and have fun. The past is the past and what’s happened has happened. No need to bring that to the reunion. If anyone asks about your job, tell them you’re taking time to consider all your options. Then go eat some barbecue chicken.
    This isn’t the end. It’s the beginning.

  2. 22 April 2003 at 09:39

    I think the proper thing for me to say would be something like “when one door closes another one opens” or something silly like that, but that’s just not my style. So I say take a few days off, have a few cocktails and really think about what you want to do next. It is an opportunity, not one you were asking for, but an opportunity nonetheless.
    Be well.

  3. 22 April 2003 at 12:14

    I certainly do not advise arriving at the reunion with news about your layoff. I know you are very forthcoming about your personal life so that may be hard for you. But, really, I don’t see anything positive coming out of it. You will just get sympathy and advice which most likey will not make you feel any better. There are still associates of mine who think I still work for Cypress and that was two years ago. Use the reunion as an escape and just enjoy it.
    And what is your complete scope of emotions? When I was laid off, I was relieved. I didn’t like that job. The resulting months of looking for a new job was horrendous but then again, my choices are not as rich as yours. You are so employable it ain’t even funny. Phone interviews, already? You will be fine.
    Also, keep in mind you were beginning to feel burned out and was considering a career move or self-employment before your health got goofy. Those are still viable options not to be obscured by this layoff which, if you really think about it, is not that sudden or surprising. It’s just a necessary step to greatness.
    Baby, you can do it. Take your time. Do it right.

  4. 22 April 2003 at 14:22

    I think Bernie and J. took the words outta my mouth — Go to the Family Reunion and enjoy yourself … Don’t allow a job title to define who or what you are. Before the job, during the job and after the job — You’ve been EJ Flavors.
    Scratch getting a cocktail — Take some time to think about the Severance Package and it sounds as if you’re making moves already with the telephone interviews.

  5. 22 April 2003 at 23:37

    I don’t want to send out some sympathetic message. I don’t want to offer advice. I just want to say, keep your head up. I truly agree with most of what everyone has said her. As someone who has been laid off twice in her life, and off her chosen career track a couple of times…everything works out.
    And sorry I was out of town when you were in town. Let’s talk soon! :-)

  6. Bernard
    23 April 2003 at 10:41

    The family reunion is a time to have fun…. I don’t recall my occupation coming up much at my reunion last November… and I hadn’t seen that side of the family in 25 years!!!
    Try to take a step back and enjoy the simple things in life…. hugs, laughter and some good food… and don’t forget to ask the question “who made this potatoe salad??”.

  7. 23 April 2003 at 12:45

    i lost a job once. i drew unemployment for 6 months, read tons of books, and got a fabulous tan. i later realized that, not only had i really needed the time off, but i needed to veer aWAY from corporate america. (me, in banking?? please.) i’ve worked in non-profit/higher ed pretty much ever since, and probably always will.
    anyhow, i’m not worried about you. your resume is SCARY (in a good way ;). and anyone who’s making calls and contacts the day OF a layoff is driven beyond my wildest dreams.
    oh, and enjoy the reunion. :)

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I'm just the kid trippin' over the sea of CDs....