Black Friday

By Jess
@JJ4Ever (4696)
United States
June 30, 2008 12:54pm CST
It all started last Friday when I got to work... Just to give you a little background, I have three other coworkers (four total, including me), which doesn't include my team leader (manager). There are five of us altogether, which is a very small team. Everything we do must be done each and every day, so it can definitely get hectic at times. Since there are four regular of us excluding my boss, we have two offices; two team members share each office, and my boss (obviously) has her own. My team leader was out of the country on this particular day. Back to last Friday... I noticed that one of my other coworkers was already at work, but wasn't in her office (right across from mine). I found it a bit odd, but didn't pay much attention to that issue because I'd been running a couple minutes late and wanted to have everything done before all of my coworkers got there. I find that the morning is the best time to get things done because fewer people are around to serve as distractions. (LOL) Speaking of distractions, just as I was attempting to finish one of my daily projects and move on to another, my coworker (the one who beat me to work) came into my office. She had a faint and slightly forced smile on her face, and I noticed she had her bag over her shoulder. Everything about the morning was odd, but I was definitely not prepared for what I was about to hear. She said, "My job has been eliminated, so I was just stopping by to say goodbye." I was in shock and couldn't believe what I'd just heard. I somehow found my voice to say, "I'm so sorry," give her a hug, accept the parting gift she gave me, and watch her leave the office for the last time. It hit me like a brick in the back of the head. Just when I thought that was bad, I stepped into the office next door to pick up where she'd left off...and I saw another manager packing up my other coworker's desk! By putting the pieces of the puzzle together, I learned that two of the four ladies on my team were asked not to come back. After I discovered that information, I was sure I was going next. Fortunately, I was wrong. The lady who shares an office with me (and myself) are still employed. Later we found out that over one hundred people from the company had been laid off; they all received phone calls Thursday evening and were asked not to come back. It was nothing they did, but the company would've gone bankrupt if something wasn't done. While I feel a loss for all those who are no longer with the company, I'm so grateful to still have a job! As you can probably imagine, I had completely mixed emotions all day on Friday and really never completely recovered from the shock of it all. The following Saturday meant a lot more to me than I anticipated due to the events that transpired the day before because Saturday was my one-year anniversary of being with the company full time! A couple things I want to mention are that, number one, I've been at the company the shortest of all four of us. In other words, I have absolutely no seniority. Yet they chose me to stay. Also, my manager was out of the country during these events, which was probably quite hard for her as well. She'll return and see the ghost town this place has become! I know this choice the company made is for the best and am excited to see the new changes that'll be made for the future. However, I'm sad for all of those who had to lose their jobs, especially the many friends I made here. All of the people who were hired and trained a year ago at the same time as me a year ago were laid off; I'm the only one left! It's a very odd feeling. So many questions have floated through my head... "Why me?" "Why am I still here and all of these other people are gone now?" "What made them choose me before him or her?" I have no idea and can't answer those questions; however, I'm truly thankful I'm still here. This huge lay off took three months of planning, and each employee that still works here was hand-picked. What an honor! My assumption is that the company kept the employees it couldn't afford to lose. Having shared all of these events and thoughts with you, I'm really interested in getting some feedback on this experience. What do you think of the situation? Have you had a similar experience?
2 people like this
4 responses
• United States
1 Jul 08
Hi JJ! Wow, I can imagine how strange you feel...elated and sad at the same time. Congratulations are in order! It's hard to say why you were chosen but you must be doing something right....just take it for what it's worth and keep doing what you're doing. Good for you and again, Congrats!
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
1 Jul 08
Thanks, Kashmere! Yes, there was definitely a mix of emotions when I found out what was going on and that I was staying. I'm just very surprised they cut two people from our already small department. We've been quite busy considering the now shorthandedness, but I'm not complaining as I have plenty to do each day! That makes the day go a lot faster, too, as you can probably imagine. I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you for the congrats. I'm so glad I made it to my official one-year anniversary with the company! I think a lot of it has to do with when I got engaged this past Valentine's Day...I went to tell my boss about it. She was excited for me, but she asked if I was planning on staying. I said, of course! I'm very glad I put in a good work for myself (LOL) because that could've been the difference between them letting me go or keeping me on as I try to be a good worker! I guess it all goes back to a person's character, what they do when no one is looking. If I'm being honest with you and with myself, I know that there have been times when I could've and really wanted to cut corners. I'm just glad I was decent enough not to for the sake of the company and now for my own sake! I don't think cutting corners really does much except save people time. Of course, they have to go back later and correct what they did. I don't think that's the way work should be done, to tell you the truth. It's better to take a little more time to do something right than just to do it quickly to get it done and move on to something else. I guess my occupation has a lot to do with quality being better than quantity. I don't know why I go onto that whole thing, but I'm sure that has a little bit to do with why I'm still here! Thanks for your feedback on this subject. It's great to receive your response. Take care, my friend!
@Polly1 (12648)
• United States
30 Jun 08
First off, congrats on keeping your job. I can see where you would feel bad for everyone else that is laid off. That is sad for them, its too bad the company didn't give the workers more notice. I hope that everyone that got layed off is able to sign up and get unemployment benefits. Apparently management must have choosen the most productive and better employees to stay on. It probably doesn't seem fair to some of the others, but the company has to lookout for themselves, that is if they want to stay in business. The want to keep the best workers and you must be part of the best. Be proud of yourself, don't get a big head about, but its ok to be proud. You are doing something right. Thats not to say the other workers were doing something bad, you just did it better then them.
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
1 Jul 08
Your response reminded me of a funny story that I just have to share with you! Two buddies were walking through the woods, and they hear growling coming from the bushes a ways behind them. All of a sudden a bear jumps out and starts to come after them. The first guy pulls tennis shoes from his bag and quickly puts them on. Meanwhile the second guy asks, "Why are you putting on your tennis shoes? You won't be able to outrun the bear!" "I know," the first guy says. "I only have to outrun you!" He takes off. (LOL) I guess my case and point is that as long as I'm ahead in my career and bringing new ideas to the table, I won't be left behind. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to continue my career because I love it, and it obviously means the world to me to stay here. I feel honored. My manager will be back to work tomorrow, and because she was gone through this entire ordeal (although she did know it was going to happen), I'm interested to hear what she has to say about it. Thank you for your compliments and your wonderful response. It's always pleasant to hear from you!
@gabs8513 (48710)
• United Kingdom
30 Jun 08
When I worked it happened a lot and like you I wondered why it did not ever get me I felt sorry for the People but in the same breath I knew that could have been me The thing was though we got more and more work pilled onto us but I loved my Job very much and I just carried on till I got the Illness and they bullied me out of my Job I know I could have only done the Job for about another 4 years before the Illnes caught up with me and made me stop but it would have been another 4 years working Sweetie I am sad for the People who lost their Jobs but I am happy that you have kept yours
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
1 Jul 08
Hello and thank you so much, Gabs! I appreciate your happiness for the outcome of my situation. I'm so grateful it wasn't me that was told not to come back because only a couple weeks ago, I signed an apartment lease for a year (12 months total unless I renew at the end of the time period). I don't know what I would've done had I lost my job. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are thinking the same thing now; however, I know that many of them were married and had a spouse that could "bring home the bacon," so to speak, until they could find another permanent and full time position or career. Speaking of career, for so many of the people who are now gone, this really was their career. It was their life. Many people did it to pass the time and bring home a little extra money. Now they have nothing to keep them busy. I know many who are thankful it happened so they can have their summer off. What a great idea! They must be in school teacher mode where they work during the fall and winter months and get the spring and summer off. I almost wish I were in that occupation, but I don't think I have the patience to deal with students! (LOL) Anyway, I know you've seen this process time and time again. I'm sorry you had to give up your job over an illness. I agree with you that without a doubt you could've stayed there many more years. You're a very determined person, Gabs! Whatever you put your mind to, you can and will accomplish. I'm glad I still have the opportunity to do the same here. I can't wait to gain my seniority and grow with the company. Thanks for your response!
• United States
30 Jun 08
You told me you were going to start a discussion about what happened. Whew.. Thatis a tough situation. Some people would go through survivors guilt. "Why did they get let go and not me?" Something the pastor at the church said yesterday is that when we obey God we step into his favor. It would be easy for you to say "I must be so good they could not get rid of me" However when we remember what the word of God says. "It is God who gives yo uthe ability to gain wealth" Even if you are that good it is God who made you that good. It sounds to me that God likes you (not as much as he likes me) hehe. Just kidding. But His favor will cause things to fall into place. He can open doors that men can't open and he can close doors that men can't open. (Take aminute and think about that phrase)
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
1 Jul 08
That's an excellent thought for the day, how you said, "He can open doors that men can't open and he can close doors that men can't open." I'm going to be thinking about this as my day progresses. It's something we really must all try to grasp because so many times we try to do thing ourselves. It's the truth that in all reality, I had nothing to do with my still being here because God gave me the ability to work and "gain wealth," as you said in your response. Thank you for putting me back in my place if and when my head starts getting big, and as I begin to lift off the ground. (LOL) I definitely needed your response because it puts emphasis on the correct person. Obviously this is where I need to be right now and not just to work, have a job, and get money. I'm sure there's a deeper, more meaningful reason. I'd love to fulfill whatever needs to be done beyond the normal occupation. I really appreciate your response.