Friday, December 28, 2012
I have become unemployed.
After 20+ years at my place of employment, I was let go this morning.
I think I'm somewhat in a state of shock. I didn't expect to work there forever, but I expected to at least be there for the next year or two.
The owner, a man I'm grateful to for my 20+ years of paychecks, decided to retire. He is 70, so the loss of my job due to something like this was not totally unexpected. What was unexpected was the way in which I received the news.
Yesterday, he let the five of us full-time employees know that there would be a company meeting this morning. The way he said it to me did not sound like it would be something good being announced. I thought that he might be telling us something to do with our employment ending at some time in the future, so I braced myself for that sort of announcement. I hoped for something more pleasant, but given his age, and the general downturn of business for us lately, I thought that it would be bad news.
I had no idea it would be this bad.
He did, indeed, decide to retire. But the good news, as he told us at the meeting, was that he was selling the business to another person. Operations would continue. I won't go into the other details discussed, but it seemed to me that the worst was that some adjustments would have to be made and perhaps I wouldn't be able to be as free and easy around the office as I had become accustomed to; maybe take on an additional duty or two of some sort, some small cutback of hours or perks.
I was really pleased for him, actually. Why shouldn't he have some time to enjoy things and not worry about business? He works hard.
Then, after the meeting, he asked me to come into his office. Again, without going into a lot of detail - I was told that, as part of the sale, payroll and staff needed to be cut. And, of the five of us, I was the payroll and staff cut.
I conducted myself with all due dignity. I told him that I understood his position. I thanked him for putting bread on my table for 20+ years.
What really hurts is that I went back to my office and found my computer locked. I had wanted to grab a few small personal things - mail, photos, music files, writings - and perhaps put them onto a flash drive. No. Standard business procedure to lock an ex-employee's computer.
As though I were not to be trusted after 20+ years. That was cold - and unnecessary. I hadn't created a scene. I had pretty much thanked him for everything and told him how much I understood his position. And then I was told that I couldn't come back on my own to clear out my things, that I would have to be accompanied. And my computer was locked.
That will stay with me. It makes my final thoughts concerning the place not as pleasant as I would have liked.
That's the news for today. I may be away from this space for a while, or maybe I'll post something every day as I sort through my feelings. I don't know. My life has suddenly become much more unhinged than it was yesterday. In any case, as I said to one of my co-workers before I left, I always land on my feet. By the grace of God, that has always been the truth, so I do expect life to continue...
Soon, with more better stuff.
P.S. I am unable to access my usual e-mail address as of right now. Please feel free to use these addresses:
firstname.lastname@example.org -or- email@example.com