Sunday, September 13, 2009

Persevere. Because We Can.

It was the morning of April 9, 2009. I had only arrived a short time ago to work when a Director, from another department, requested in a low voice that I attend a meeting in the conference room in 10 minutes. That same Director too walked over to the youngest tenure of my staff inviting him to same meeting. Strange, I thought, that a meeting be called on the quarter hour, on a Thursday; certainly not a SOP for our work week.

I finished an email to a customer, sat back in my chair and pondered why this Director invited us to a meeting. A dark premonition crept into my imagination that many now a days have since seen and may continue to see for a while, LAYOFF. I took a deep breathe stood up and leaned over to one of my peers and said "I think there is a layoff today but it looks like there is only 2 of us involved from our department, think good thoughts."

With that, I turned and walked to the meeting where upon I was sitting in a room with about 20 other members from various departments I normally don't interface with in regards to daily business. In walked the VP Sales who welcomed and apologized for the news he was presenting.

There are those of you who have fallen prey to the economy and the "L" word that understand what followed next. I won't go into a diatribe of how poorly it was handled, how many had no indication it was coming and that Senior individuals responsible for this financial situation were not accountable but we all know the final outcome, reduction in workforce. Yes, those that actually produced were let go. A frightful and gut-wrenching episode still occurring with regularity through the U.S. After 36+ years with a "can-do" attitude for this company, I was identified as no longer needed and dismissed. We were provided supportive information regarding unemployment benefits, Cobra etc etc. and if anyone wanted to speak further they could take their personal case offline with the VP and General Consul.

At that I stood, turned, asked for my special packet, walked to my desk but was unable to retrieve any personal contact information collected over the years on my pc. Truly a life time of info accumulated over 3 decades. The PC had been locked out. We were given the rest of the day to clean out our desks.

I mention all of this because it was at that moment while looking at the PC I knew I had to leave with my head held high and a positive attitude. Many of my peers came to me with tears, regret and am sure thoughts of "there but by the grace of God go I". I thanked them all for their years of working together, friendship and that I would continue to keep in touch.

Scary, after 36 years things have changed in the outside world. I knew, but never with the realization, that I would have to actually look for a job, when I had no job. I had at times over the years thought what it might be like with other companies and had placed my resume in several websites in hopes that someone would see what I had contributed to and offer the "job of a life time". Now I am in the throes of painstakingly reaching out at every opportunity in hopes that I can be recognized.

I strive daily to keep a positive outlook while job-hunting. I have a wife that provides support daily giving me the silver-lining I need when things just aren't going right.
The world has changed, as I said, with creation of the "30 second sell yourself" resume. Phew~! All you need to be is a great journalist in order for someone to actually notice you. Some have the knack for this task and actually, from what I gather at looking at profiles posted all over the internet, jump from company to company in order to achieve that perfect profile. I'm not sure what happened to dedication, integrity and the love of the job. I suppose the world has changed.

I am, as of today, September 13, 2009, still applying for the opportunities presenting themselves daily and know, no feel, that at any second that phone will ring.

It will ring. I will persevere.

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