Live blogging from layoff-central

The herd is about to be thinned

Actually, I’m not at layoff-central right now – I’m at the public library down the street where I can get my own internet access on my own computer, login to WordPress, and get away from the generally unhappy atmosphere at work.

I just overheard the librarian here saying, “Times are tough…” and she would be right about that.

This is very hard for people. The tension is very thick at work, and it’s very glum and bleak-feeling. I’m not sure which is worse – being on the “chopping block” or being left behind. No, I know which one is worse – it’s being left behind. Because then you have to do twice the work with half the people, and you don’t have the same expertise as the folks who left, so you have to work that much harder to keep up. And you don’t know whether to be happy that you don’t have to look for another job, or to be unhappy that you don’t GET to look for another job.

The suspense is killing me. I’m pretty tired, as it is, from a very busyย  and physically active weekend, followed by a late trip to the airport to pick up my spouse, and then this morning being sick and my spouse being sick, and some things I did over the weekend getting screwed up and having to fix them before I left the house to go to work.

To work… I was really conscious of the fact that I might not ever be doing that commute again. And ironically the drive just flew by, because it was such a beautiful morning, and I was noticing every little detail about it. I tried to be really present as I drove, just soaking up what good stuff I could get. But my hands were really shaking, and I felt sick and trampled and un-needed… expendable, like I didn’t matter anymore.

Oh, screw them. Really. (Now I come to the anger part of my grieving process.) I seriously considered changing my computer password to FUCKY0U – with a zero instead of an “O” for added password security ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then I realized that the person who would be unlocking my computer when I’m gone is probably going feel like crap, already, and I don’t need to take it out on them, when it’s the company, not them, that’s making these changes.

So, I nixed that idea – tho’ I must admit I got an evil smile out of it, when I thought about doing it.

And I paid attention to my drive.

And when I got to work, I pulled on my good dress coat over my best suit (one of our reader community suggested that I dress well for my exit interview, and I did – pulling out my best dress shirt and suit and making sure I had good socks to wear). I pulled myself together and strode into the office like I owned it.

Just one last time.

And then I got to work.

It’s been extremely hard going today. The layoff is a huge elephant in the room, and nobody is saying anything about it, because I don’t think anyone knows anything for sure — all we know is that it really sucks. After years of being reassured by HQ that the division would be allowed to continue as it is, that’s all about to change, and between the sense of helplessness and the sense of loss and the sense of betrayal, it’s hard to concentrate on much of anything.

So, I wait for the word… I will be at the library for another half hour or so, then it’s back to the office to finish up. I had anticipated having another couple of weeks to finish things up, but they may just tell us to go home and not come back. That has happened to people already – just pack up the workspace and go home. No handoffs, no transition. Just boom. That’s it.

And I really feel for my coworkers, because they are basically screwed without the knowledge and experience I have. I’m not being conceited – it’s true, that I have made a point of learning to do all the things that others don’t want to do, and I’ve made a point of doing them very well. So, there’s a massive learning curve, and some of it will never be learned, because it comes from 17+ years of on-the-job experience, and nobody in my group who does what I do has more than 10 years “in the saddle”. Most of them have maybe 4-5 years, that’s it.

Yeah, it will be much easier to go, than to stay.

But still, my hands are shaking, my gut feels like it’s filled with iron shavings, and my head is pounding.

Keeping it together under conditions like this… it’s hard work. But I’ll survive.

I just wish they’d make the announcement and get it over with, already.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. Iโ€™ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuriesโ€ฆ and the folks who do know, havenโ€™t fully realized just how itโ€™s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. Iโ€™m coming out from behind the shields Iโ€™ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

11 thoughts on “Live blogging from layoff-central”

  1. I think you’re doing remarkably well, that is a LOT to deal with. I am glad you were able to get out and go to the library, good for you, that’s a great strategy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Either way, I do hope this resolves soon for you. I remember being there myself years ago, way before TBI and the tension was thick enough to cut with a knife. I was part of the third round of layoffs and honestly I walked out of there whistling and quite happy. It was, as many work places are, unbearably toxic for those who have a conscience.

    And I think dressing up is a brilliant idea too….they can fire you, but they can’t take your power away. Great strategies here, self-care is the best thing anyone can do in times of stress, especially when it’s ongoing. Cheers! I’m pulling for you. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. I hate clicking “like” to acknowledge this post.

    I truly hate this for you – for anyone and for everyone stuck playing this sick waiting game. I am appalled at the inhumanity of Capitalism most of the time, but nver more so than as I read something like this on Election Day. I wish I could do more than vote “against,” however, and I pray that someday there will be options I can embrace eagerly again. Cash is NOT king, and people can be treated kindly and considerately, even when tough economic choices are in the works. Since what goes around DOES “come around,” must they ALL be “blind and toothless” before they are willing to try something different?

    One of the affirmations I have printed out, posted as a sign above my desk, was given to me by one of my first metaphysics mentors, Eric Pace. I offer it to you because I have nothing else to offer, really, other than my prayers for your well being: “I walk calmly through this seeming madness.” Reading it – or saying it inside my head – has gotten me through times of more than a few bizarre circumstances where I might otherwise have tanked emotionally. (It reads better than it “says,” however.)

    This, too, shall pass?

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC –
    ADD Coaching Field co-founder
    (blogs: ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld – dot com!)
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”


  3. Thanks very much – the layoff did not happen Monday… or Tuesday… I’m wiped out from waiting for the shoe to drop, so I’m going to go back to my regularly scheduled program of focusing on developing my skills for what’s next. Whatever happens, happens. As long as I’m rested, I can handle it.


  4. Thanks very much – yes, it’s pretty rough sitting and waiting for what’s next. I’ve done it for the past two days, and I’m totally wiped out from it. I don’t know what the answer to all of this is, but if nothing else, it is sharpening my desire to do something constructive for myself. And just live my life, no matter what happens.

    Thanks again – love the quote about the seeming madness!


  5. Excellent, good for you. It’s so hard to budget our brain bucks during ‘normal’ events. Stress just zaps the living daylights out of us!

    My wish for your is whatever centers you, helps you have peace of mind and comfort. My heart goes out to you, this is a lot of stress.


  6. Thanks very much – I have a feeling that things are going to work out okay. The panic from the other day has subsided… and I’m more in my right mind about things. I think it’s safe to say that there are never any guarantees about jobs and “security” and such, so it’s just as well that I adopt an attitude of being ready to transition to new opportunities when they arise — or the old opportunities go away. It’s just more realistic. And frankly, I think I was getting a little complacent, anyway. By keeping sharp and not “letting myself go” I will improve my prospects — and also reduce my overall stress, when changes inevitably come.

    It’s all a learning process, really. So, I’m learning. Thanks for your support.


  7. You are so very welcome, I’ve always been impressed by how you process everything life throws your way. You have a lot going for you and you always find a path through – that’s rare for a lot of TBIers, aw heck, even for a lot of non-TBIers! ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Thanks! I do what I can… I’ve tried lots of other things, and they don’t work very well, so I have to be flexible and just keep going. Yep, I’m still here… ๐Ÿ˜‰


  9. I think that’s excellent! And, I suppose that’s a majority of our life post-TBI, is simply finding what works and what doesn’t. I like what you said about being flexible.

    I remember hearing or seeing a quote that said, “Steady as a tree, fluid as a river.” For some reason that stuck with me. ๐Ÿ™‚


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