Well this is a new one for me: a ‘real time’ post and the very real prospect of getting laid-off.
This is the kind of thing that needs to be captured right now. If I’m not laid-off I probably won’t go back write about what I was thinking today. And if I am, well, there’s a whole set of considerations worthy of much longer posts.
OK, a little background. I have had my current job at a large pharmaceutical company for nearly 18 years now (come November). We started off as a much smaller company and were bought out several years back. I have beaten the odds and bucked the trend by managing to avoid several rounds of lay-offs over the years as the company grows and changes direction.
Today and tomorrow my company is rolling out its next ‘Transformation’. That’s obviously one of the multitude of words a corporation can use to describe what they are doing. I’m sure you can list all the others!
I honestly don’t know how my department will be affected. I could range from all gone (very unlikely) to some percentage of cuts, to no change at all. What I do know is that even if I’m not affected, many of my colleagues in other departments will be.
Here’s a lay out of my thoughts on the matter, which range from “who cares” to “oh crap!”
Yay! I get to ‘quit’ and they will pay me off too!
I have to admit that my first mental response was of the “Yay!” variety. It seemed perfect: Mr. PIE and I have set our FI date for 2018 when we will quit and move to the mountains. If I can get to close to one years’ salary as a severance (I have been there a loooong time!), then we could easily change that to 2017. Heck, we could probably do it today, but as you may be aware we are very conservative folks.
I get to spend time getting our house ready for sale. Additional costs will be easy to cut – the cost of me working is quite high: before and after school care, tolls and gas, still too many convenience meals etc. etc. We essentially live just on Mr. PIE’s salary right now. Most of mine goes to savings. We would be fine.
If I don’t get close enough to a full years’ severance I could work. I’m thinking a part time very local job (I am DONE commuting!) Starbucks would do, I’m pretty flexible and if I know it’s just short term it could be OK.
The slightly odd side to knowing that we’re OK is in talking with my colleagues about the impending doom. As you can imagine, there’s a good mix of gossip, rumor and opinion going around. I’m well known as a level headed kind of person but I feel distinctly odd that I haven’t got the worry lines that others have about this. It makes it very hard to talk about. Several years ago I would have been feeling very concerned, much the way most of my colleagues are. I’m dreading anyone asking me what I’ll do if I’m laid-off. I really don’t want to blithely answer “Oh, I’m OK. I don’t need to work” That is the WRONG thing to say right now when everyone is feeling so sensitive. I’m keeping my mouth shut and head down as much as possible.
Ugh! and Oh Crap!
This is the other side of the coin. The less confident side. The severance could be really stingy, leaving us re-writing our Excel spreadsheets with the potential of our FI plans being derailed. I’d have to look hard for another well paid job to see us through two more years. I’ve got several reasons this is a horrible prospect: I currently work four days a week which is great for scheduling around weekends and kids. The chances of finding that again in a new job are minimal. I mentioned before I am DONE commuting. A new job in my field would almost certainly require a commute.
I think I’ll know one way or the other by the end of tomorrow. Between now and then work is not going to be a pleasant place to be given what will be going on around me. I will update one way or the other at the end of the week. Until then it will be a case of ‘Carry on and Keep Your Head Down!”