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.