The Downsized Diaries

My journey to my next career.

Posts Tagged ‘emotions

Separation Meeting Scheduled

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(l-r) Skip Johnson, me, Kenny Wicks, 1993

(l-r) Skip Johnson, me, Kenny Wicks, 1993

First of all, no, I didn’t get a weave.

I call this the “My Two Dads” shot. This photo is from a dear friend,colleague,and mentor, Ken Wicks’, IBM 25th anniversary luncheon in Chicago, atop the Standard Oil building. Ah those were the days.  I had attended the other guy’s, my manger Skip Johnson’s, 25th anniversary luncheon a year or so prior.  (Skip passed away in 2005.)

What’s with the nostalgia, you ask?

I’m scheduled for my official separation meeting on January 12 now. Yep. Even though I knew it was coming, the fact I have a meeting scheduled on the calendar crystalizes it in my mind.They offered me the option to meet off-site, but I want to go in.

I’m not trying to be dramatic or wallow in self-pity. I’m just coming to real grips with this. I mean, I’ve never been a job-hopper, I’m intelligent, I have a well-honed midwestern work ethic, I’m creative,good looking(hey had to break the list up somehow).

Doesn’t matter now.

I’m not bragging when I say it will cost more to teach someone what I and so many others like me have achieved the last 20 years than it would to keep us. Brain trust is not valued, it seems.

I want to let you in on a little secret: Laying people off won’t solve these companies’ problems.  It won’t.  Oh it makes good press. ” Spacely Sprockets slashes X jobs! We took swift action! We are slashing costs.”  Skip used to use the expression “They’re not moving the car forward, they’re just backstage pulling the curtain making the scenery go faster.” (think old Hollywood road movies)

Doesn’t matter now.

I’d imagined having a 25 year dinner in the future too, IBM-style, with all my friends and family…stainless steel Rolex (Do they still do that?) 5 more years after that, retire and start the rest of my life.  Indeed the times they are a-changin’, Mr. Dylan. Indeed.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’. –Bob Dylan, 1963

Written by Krista Summitt

January 7, 2009 at 10:40 am

Posted in Reflections

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Skinned Knees and Job Searches

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Spent  a good part of the day at a friend’s house job searching online. On the way up her steps, I tripped, fell headlong and skinned up both knees pretty bad. I have not done that since childhood, and the pain was so intense at first I had to just lay there for a minute and let it subside. Despite being a good friend I’ve know for years, I didn’t tell her of my spill. Somehow in my mind I equated my fall with a failure, on top of my “failure” in the job world, and I didn’t want to be a pain.  I sat there and “suffered in silence” for 3 hours, praying the blood wouldn’t seep through my slacks. (It never seemed to hurt this bad when I fell off my bike as a kid.)

Without being melodramatic, I think today’s minor embarrassment is a metaphor for the feelings that people can encounter when laid off.  Something happens to you totally out of your control, yet you blame yourself, beat yourself up, do a number on your self-confidence. Rather than reach out for support,you choose to suffer in silence.

To all those out there experiencing layoffs, it is not a reflection of you, its not your fault. It can’t change your character, your nature, your spirit, unless you allow it to.

Off to apply more triple antibiotic cream…

Written by Krista Summitt

November 24, 2008 at 8:14 pm