Friday, November 5, 2010

laid off

I arrived at work on Monday with 50 or so cookies in tow. They were ready to be passed out as soon as I heard word of the first layoff. We all knew they were coming but were all wondering when would be the first one. There was a 10 minute conversation with friends and coworkers about our dread and concern for the day. I returned to my desk to go about work as usual when I got a call from my manager.

Me - "Hello."
Him - "Can you come to my office?"
Me - "Sure."

I walked into my manager's office knowing that this might be it. I watched for the cues. He closed the door. This was truly it. He had a piece of paper intentionally hanging 1/4 of the way out of a manila folder. I read it upside down. "Last day worked is Nov. 1, 2010"

He went on to nervously explain the procedure for the layoff. I remained calm and did my best to reassure him I will be fine and have already been looking for other work, space-related work, not weapons. I told him I knew that he had a very hard day ahead of him too. He told me that he was always pleased with my work and that he would be happy to provide a reference for me. I appreciated hearing that.

I went on to talk with friends, old acquaintances and new acquaintances throughout the morning while handing out cookies to anyone I saw. I know the cookies didn't fix anything but they were a nice conversation piece and a little sugar brings smiles to people's faces. In total, 77 of 495 employees were laid off, or about 15%, which was less than the 20% we were warned about 3 1/2 weeks earlier.

In the end, I am happy that I got laid off from designing weapons. The big picture disgusted me at times but also brought me to a better appreciation of our military. I enjoyed the daily work but was overwhelmed at times by the consequences of weapons. I feel good that I got laid off instead of someone else because my job was not necessary for my family to survive. I feel for and pray for those that got laid off that desperately need their income. That was the hardest part of the day...seeing others struggle.

Now I am figuring out what life looks like for me without a job outside the home. I have 2 kids that go to preschool/school 4 days a week. I love this mix for them and they need the school. Now what do I do with my time?

I did the stay-at-home gig for 4 years and it didn't workout so well for me. It left me depressed and sucked some major joy out of life. I am concerned about this happening again. Bryan is very encouraging and not rushing me to get a job again but to explore if I can enjoy not working for awhile. I am trying that for now.


Sarah Browne said...

We love you Raquel! So sorry to hear about your lay-off. If you want to know more about Andy and my story, he has posted a blog about it. You can read that one and I also posted a comment on my blog in response to your comment. Hang in there and be at peace in the stillness of this time of transition. Love you.

John said...

Sorry to hear you were laid off. Glad to hear you aren't working on weapons anymore. I hope you can enjoy this transitional period.