And the Axe Falls Swiftly (or how I learned to Keep Calm and Carry On)

It’s been a little late in coming in comparison to others, but the financial “situation” finally hit my company today. This hasn’t been a great day. In addition to being sad it has been quite odd.

Odd, because of the kinds of people that have been let go, how high up the effects are being seen and how little we still know of what this will all mean. Tomorrow will reveal more once the dust settles and we see who is still standing. What is really odd, in a way, is that I myself didn’t have my email get locked down and get a call to go upstairs to be handed my offer to skedaddle.

No I’m still here. This is odd because no one and no level seems to have been spared falling under the scrutiny, being measured, and in the end cut loose or kept. People left today who I thought would never leave. The safety measures one always assumes are in place in any company that has been around long enough for people to build internal alliances and networks were not in place today. Senior people, expert people, people with kids or infirm parents, people who were one step away from general management, friends of friends and friends of someone’s sister or cousin… members of all of these categories left today.

I’m hoping tomorrow it will all be over. For now. Tomorrow, I’ll go into the office and start calling to see who is still picking up and then maybe the next day, when we’ve all counted heads and mourned the missing, we’ll start figuring out how we pick up the dropped balls, shake off remaining sorrow or resentment and get going again. Some are already mumbling, ‘why bother?’. I’m hoping that by tomorrow those people will have realized that although it feels like business has gotten really personal, it is  business after all. And if we don’t figure out how to turn around what we have in our control to do, we’ll be letting our personal problems get in the way of business and will be soon finding ourselves out of this business entirely, clutching settlement offers of our own.

Today I lost subordinates, colleagues, friends and even a boss. I have the office to myself again, at least for now, and a plan for a new set of responsibilities that will allow me to move with my guy to Nberg. I can’t shake the guilty feeling that I saved myself from the axe by voluntarily demoting myself by moving and making a deal for a new position; perhaps if I had quit outright (like I almost did) maybe I could have spared someone else a job they wanted to keep just as it was.

I think the company is handling this better than many, as long they are able to carry out the offers they have made – and we know that was is promised is not always delivered – then this will be at least in that sense humane. But it’s sad and I hate it, and I worry that we haven’t seen the end of it.

I’m having a glass of wine on the balcony of (what is still for now) my apartment, watching the sun go down and thinking of the people I’ve enjoyed working with who are probably not having such a great evening, but who (I hope) are at least making the most out of the fact that they don’t have to worry about much this week other than whether to accept their walking offers and, unlike me, they can can definitely sleep in tomorrow and sleep it off.


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