So there I sat, it was mid-April or early May. I was a mere few weeks away from hopefully closing on my house and closing in on nearly three months “officially” on the job, and there I sat, huddled into a cube with Sheryl, ready to take any Service Center calls that might come in, while attending a department conference call.
We were about 13 slides into the meeting, when suddenly the head of HR said, “… And the two Leave Administrator positions will remain as is and there we will have three open Associate Services Center positions.”
It took a moment to sink in and at nearly the same time Sheryl and I looked at each other in a panic, as we realized that was our job.
I can only imagine what the actual conference rooms reaction was a floor below us, but you could hear the silence in the room as everyone realized we were just told a lot of us would no longer be working for the company.
The meeting continued, they discussed that severance would be paid out and they would assist associates in finding new jobs. They told us if we wanted to keep our jobs, we would need to re-apply and interview. They gave no time line, no indication of what to expect. A few brave souls questioned the severance, the positions and the last days but we only got words that danced around the truth.
The meeting came to an end and my heart was in the pit of my stomach, my body was cold and I was beyond confused as to how to feel.
According to the Business of Labor Statistics.gov, in September of this year, employers took “1,316 mass layoff actions involving 122,462 workers.” So possibly, going through company layoffs it all just part of growing up, or at least part of growing up now.
After the meeting, it was almost like everything had never been said. No one acted differently, my boss would briefly reassure Sheryl and I that the future would be okay. But, no one addressed the elephant in the room; no one said what was really happening.
Finally, communication went out about when the job postings would go up… and then they got delayed.
When positions slowly did begin to go up, I began to apply. I applied for positions hire then what I currently had, positions I was not qualified for but figured, “what the hell, it is worth a shot.”
I went through the interview process for the higher position, made it through all of the interviews before the position listing for my current position was posted.
Then, days before my scheduled interview for my current position, months after the meeting, after I applied and after I interviewed for the higher position. Some time, around the end of August, right before I was going to finally going to interview for the position I currently held I got a phone call about the higher position I applied for.
Scheduled for a 15 minute phone call, I headed into the vacant office, dialed into the meeting.
“Heather, I wanted to tell you everyone thought you were a very strong applicant and everyone was also very impressed with all you have accomplished and everyone you have connected with in your short time here,” I remember the lesion telling me. “… But, in the end we had eight applicants for the position and … well, you were outranked.”
For a while I was angry and upset, I couldn’t believe they had not selected me. It took a car ride home, some fresh air and time alone for me to remember that I never really wanted the job, I just wanted the chance. I had gotten the chance, I had taken the chance and I did the best I could do. There was nothing to be upset about, nothing to be angry over and it sure wasn’t anything I should have been giving myself a hard time about.
A few weeks later I finally interviewed for the job that I did every day. I rambled on for an hour and referred to one of the interviewers by the wrong name. I walked out feeling good, but still unsure about what the future would hold.
Two weeks went by and finally, with Labor Day looming in the near future, the announcements were made.
I arrived to work early Thursday morning, not on purpose, just because traffic was lighter then usual. I was sitting at my desk, attempting to make phone calls for things that didn’t matter when my boss ran out and told me I had to take a call in her office. An IT team member that I had been trying to get a hold of for days was finally on the phone. We chatted, asked questions, got answers and at the end of the day were left with no resolution.
“Hang on one second, I have something I need to go over with you,” my boss said while shuffling through paperwork.
Instantly all the possible mistakes that I had made in the recent past ran through my mind.
“We have decided that you will be one of the associates that we will be moving forward with into Future State.” I had got my job.
I don’t think my boss was happy with my reaction. Unsure what I was feeling, I sat in her office, emotionless and replied, “Oh.”
Everything was kept a “secret” for a month or so, but in a department of a bunch of chatty girls, their were whispers of who was selected and who wasn’t.
Finally the big announcement came, a corporate team email went out & my name was actually spelled correctly. There it was, my name along with two other team mates, the only three to carry on.
It has been a strange past few months in the office, with last days looming in the future and an abundant work load expect for those chosen to stay, everything related to our move into Future State seems to be with mixed emotions.
By the end of the year, the majority of the team that I have grown to spend every day with, question, joke, work and bond with, will be gone.
In today’s world, I should really just be happy to have my job, happy that I can continue to pay my mortgage happy that I can pay our electric bill, my student loans, for my car. But deep down inside of me, I am slowly beginning to hate everything that I am doing to make my ends meet.
So, with a job secure in the future, I have begun to slowly begin my search for a career that I don’t just tolerate but love waking up and going to every day. Slowly I will put my resume out there, complete applications and hope for the best.
I just wish 13 years ago, when I was a starry eyed, bright future imagining, optimistic that nothing could ever go wrong kid, that someone had told me it doesn’t always work out like you planned… or maybe I don’t. Maybe this is all really just part of growing up. Maybe this is just part of the path to adulthood.