A sincere thank you to all our readers and commenters both here and on Twitter. I really felt like the blogging community had my back during these last couple of days. What a warm, thoughtful and caring bunch you are.
As you can see from the title of this post, I survived the lay-offs and I’m very happy with that outcome. Mr. PIE and I can continue our march towards early retirement on our own terms. There’s no re-writing of the plans (for now) and all will continue as planned (for now). The conservative PIEs like a good bit of certainty in their lives!
Having said that, given what I learned about the generosity of the severance packages I would have been quite satisfied if I had been laid off. I’m not pretending it wouldn’t have hurt. I would have been licking my wounds and feeling sorry for myself for a while, but in the end we would have been just fine.
The last couple of days at work were truly horrible. Speculation and gossip gave way to the news that 25% of my department would be losing their jobs. These are friends and colleagues I have worked with for a minimum of eight years, many much longer than that. There were tears and grief all around. It’s going to take many months to get back to a sense of normalcy. There will be tough days to come as my colleagues gradually drift away (yes, the severance was generous like that) and my department reclaims its focus.
While I’m still processing this news, the power of financial independence is thrown into sharp focus. This has been a lesson in the very real importance of not having to rely on your next paycheck for your well-being. The majority of my colleagues will be scrambling to find their next job; those who were not laid-off breathed a collective sigh of relief that their job was safe. I found that I viewed the proceedings from something of a unique perspective, I felt removed from the panic and even something of an outsider. It’s a good feeling.