Tales of the Young and Unemployed

Posted on October 29, 2008

As I got off the PATH this morning, storm clouds ruled the skies over Jersey; the chill wind almost an omen of the day to come.

By the time I came in, I was soaked; I barely had time to pull off my sopping jacket before my manager’s manager came to my desk, his countenance haggard, face wrought with defeat. This normally loquacious fellow had but two words for me: “Let’s go.”

And so I followed him, past rows and increasingly empty rows of cubicles, to a deserted office overlooking the tempestuous Hudson. My first boss and mentor was already seated, a grave expression also on his face.

They kept it short and sweet. “So as you’ve heard, Barclays has been doing some cutbacks, as part of the reorganization. Unfortunately, you’re going to be one of the ones impacted by this change.”

Impacted? I almost asked how these “changes” would affect our daily operations. Then reality began to sink in, and I realized that this was the epitaph for my career.

My boss’s manager went on to explain: “This was a decision made at the highest levels – way above us.” He himself is an SVP, so I started to understand just how rough the whole process had been. “We fought and fought, but these cuts are pretty much cutting into the muscle and bone of the organization.”

And so, after much speculation, wishin’ and hopin’, and uncertainty, I am unemployed. For real.

I shook both their hands and grinned. “Well guys, it’s been fun. Thanks for having me on your team for my…very short career.” Then, leaving them a bit bewildered at my serenity, I went down to the HR office to claim my severance package – what we’ve lovingly dubbed the Blue Folder of Death.

How do I really feel about it? Earlier, I compared losing a job to the breakup of a serious relationship or marriage – hour for hour, a 9 to 5 job makes up 23% of the week. So of course there’s some degree of emotional investment, which is definitely not FDIC insured. There’s an inevitable sense of loss, but also a relief that the uncertainty is gone, things having been decided for you.

And honestly – we just went through the world’s largest bankruptcy! Nothing much can shock me anymore; it’s a wonder I was around for as long as I was. By buying Lehman, keeping (and paying for) us for nearly a month, and then letting us go, Barclays has effectively bankrolled my severance. Very charitable of them, I must say!

So what will I be doing with myself now? Catching up on sleep of course, and all the reading I’ve been meaning to do. Perhaps I’ll have some time to brush up on PHP and finally make some changes to this blog. And, most importantly, several of my friends have commented that this is life’s way of telling me move on – to my dreams of creative writing, perhaps. Whatever I decide, it sure is nice to hold the reins to my life once more.

» Filed Under Everything and Nothing, Work

Comments

2 Responses to “Tales of the Young and Unemployed”

  1. RobNo Gravatar on October 29th, 2008 10:23 am

    Yea, I’ve been there, for me it was a kind of release. Like you said in your last sentence. I went from IT into Sign making though ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck ๐Ÿ˜€ without being too cheesey, your dreams are always a good way to follow at these times ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. AncaNo Gravatar on October 29th, 2008 10:45 am

    I agree with Rob re: your dreams are always good to follow at these times.
    Even though you do get attached to a job, it is just a job after all, and there are billions of them out there.

    Good luck with whatever you’ll decide to do, Nigel. I’m here for you if you ever feel down or need to talk about whatever. just DM me ๐Ÿ™‚
    *hugs*

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