Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm Mr. Bright-sized.

brightsizing n. Corporate downsizing in which the brightest workers are let go. This happens when a company lays off those workers with the least seniority, but it's those young workers who are often the best trained and educated.

I got laid off today.

I am not one to write about work on the Internet. I don't think it's fair, and I don't want to be punished later in life because I have opinions about work. Apparently that sort of talk is for the water cooler and not on the Internet.

The situation is this, at my nameless workplace. I got laid off. My position no longer exists.

I know this because a big boss at work as well as some fake-nice HR lady told me so.


In a conference room with a box of tissues and some bottled water. As she brightly talked about how this was going to be BETTER. She was trying to sell me on my three weeks of severance pay as something to be overjoyed about. Like it was severance Christmas and I had been a good girl.

They kept talking about how the new structure of our unit will better serve our partners, and all I could think was, what about us?

In my department of 36, all but about 8 got laid off, including Shiftless Badger. There are positions in the new structure for us to compete for, but you would be doing so with your tail between your legs ready to beg, borrow, or steal to be continued to be paid.

Many of those 8 who retained their jobs spent the day either being dicks about retaining their jobs and how this change could be good for us. The rest of them are mad at us for belonging to the newest, hippest club out there. The laid-off club.

Not that anyone has said laid off.

"Re-aligned". "Right-sized".

It's hard to rationalize this.

That I put in AWESOME, hard work there. I did some killer stuff. Big, important people know I do good work.

And for what?

It's like work dumped me. I feel slapped in the face and punched in the gut.

And now I'm in an abusive relationship, because it hit me, and I have to crawl back for more. I have to go back to work for WEEKS before the "end date". Or I have to go beg work to take me back and interview for other jobs. Which, if I am lucky enough to get, I'll no doubt resent.

I tried drinking beer, but I couldn't get drunk.

I tried pigging out, but my stomach hurts too much.

I have been smoking cigarettes and saying words that hurt the ears of baby Jesus.

I have been calling my co-workers in the department who still have their jobs awful names out of spite.

I cried on my parent's answering machine. I accidentally said the F-word while I was crying about my job on my parent's answering machine.

I cried on my boyfriend's shoulder. On my friend's shoulder. On the couch.

Luckily, I have tickets to the Cat Empire show in Baltimore tomorrow.

It's nice to have something to look forward to.

F, man.



dan said...

That really sucks a few life lessons
1) Getting laid off makes you realize that you can make through most anything (I've been there done that, what doesn't kill you only makes you strong right?)
2) It also makes your realize that you should always hold animosity towards any employer (f' the man) just take their money and leave, once you learn to stop caring about any job you have, you have a new found feeling of freedom.
3) Good job working the greatest band evar into the title. "The Killers are the greatest band ever"

If there is anything I can do to help lemme know.

Freewheel said...

That sucks. Hopefully you'll find a new employer who values bright, young employees.

Janet M Kincaid said...

Boy, do I feel your pain. I've been there. Twice. And both times totally SUCKED. (And still suck.) The bugger is when they tell you you're bright, blah blah blah. As if you're supposed to feel better. I mean, it's flattering, but it doesn't pay the bills, right?

Here's what I've learned out of my two (and possibly three) experiences working here in D.C. and being told I was "bright" and "accomplished" and so on.

First, what they're really saying, "You're smarter than I/we (your boss/the organization) am and that makes me look stupid."

Second, "You get stuff done. I'm a lazy shit. You're actually doing work makes me look like a slacker and I can't have that."

Third, "You're more than qualified for this job and we know you'll get the job done, but this is D.C. and we want you to fawn all over us and kick our asses. Rumor has it, you actually speak up and accomplish stuff, but we're personally not feeling the love ourselves."

And finally, "You could do my job."

Take comfort in knowing you've maintain a work ethic that is head and shoulders above the rest and, if you choose to stay in D.C., don't let the *ssholes win!

Janet M Kincaid said...

Whoops! I just re-read that. Point #3 should have said, "We want you to kiss our asses..." not kick. Sorry 'bout that.

The King said...

Brightsize that job for you, ma'am? No thanks. I'd like my paycheck, please. Here's to five weeks of stealing office supplies and long, possibly liquid, lunches. I couldn't have asked for a better partner in crime.