Approximately 12 hours ago I was sitting in bed having taken a mental health day off. Absolutely nothing was going on at work and I had just finished with a big project so I felt like I earned it.
I got an email on my Blackberry from a girlfriend who mentioned that "[The company] has been laying people off, I heard." Eager to get some details, I called my girlfriend on my cell phone when a call from the company came through at the same time. I took the call. It was my boss.
She started out by telling me that she didn't feel right having to say what she needed to say on the phone and asked me if I wanted to come into the office. "Just say what you need to say, right now," I said, my voice cold and even. I was already reaching for my pen and a random pad of paper. She explained to me that my position had been eliminated and I no longer had a job effective at that moment. She explained the severance package a little. I took notes. She faltered in the middle saying again that she felt it was wrong to have to tell me all this on the phone and not in person. I merely replied "Keep Talking. Finish Saying What You Need to Say to Me." We made arrangements for me to get my severance package delivered.
My voice broke and cracked only at the end of our conversation. I was glad of that. I sat staring into space after I clicked my phone off. I was out of a job. It came with no warning. I wasn't the only one. In fact, there were a bunch of us in the same boat.
The next few hours were a whirlwind of phone calls, tears, reviewing of paperwork, reviewing of my financial situation, more phone calls, more tears, more calls to the company to find out who else was being piled into the boat with me.
After a while I managed to get over my initial panic because I realized I had enough money to last me for at least six to eight months, if necessary. If my unemployment lasts longer than that I still have options, I can still start over. I felt very lucky. Much luckier than many of the others I'm in this same boat with because I'm a single woman with no mortgage, no kids, no car payment and a very supportive family. The fact that this has happened right before the Holidays is not going to make things more difficult for me.
Many people asked me what I'm going to do. The current plan is to relax for at least a week and then slowly get back into looking for another job. The Holidays are a lousy time to job hunt so I don't expect much to happen. After the first of the year, I'll be pounding the pavement along with everybody else. Of course, this plan is subject to change.
Life has really gotten strange now. 24 hours ago I was waxing poetic about the Momentary Dance and musing about how I see myself differently because a man pulled me into his arms a few weeks ago. Now the company has given me one huge kiss off. Oddly enough I sense that these two happenings, unrelated as they are, will twine together around me. How I change and stay the same will be affected by these two events. It's going to be an interesting ride.