It’s unofficially official. I’m being “released” from my job in mid-January. I didn’t do anything wrong. “It’s not personal. It’s business.” Yup! There’s nothing like a tired cliché to make the “we’re letting you go” process seem even more surreal. It makes me think of that movie, “You’ve Got Mail.” Losing my job, after 15 years of hard work, certainly feels personal.
I got the news on December 10, 2014. For the first few days, I felt like I was in mourning. I went through the typical stages of grief. It HURT! More than I thought it would. I kept wondering what I could have done differently. I wore a rubber band on my wrist because I couldn’t allow myself to cry while I was on the sales floor work. Negative thoughts would roll around inside my head. Why doesn’t my company want me? After fifteen years of service, this is how they’re repaying me? It’s not fair! That’s when I’d snap the rubber band on my wrist. OUCH! Stop that! You’re NOT dying. I’d remind myself. You’re in excellent health. You have PLENTY of skills. You’ll apply for unemployment benefits. You’ll spend some MUCH needed time with your family. You’ll find another job. This is NOT the worst thing that could happen to you.
The truth is, no matter WHICH company you work for, EVERYONE is expendable. Besides, I’m NOT getting “fired,” the company is “releasing” me. That’s the term they like to use. As in: Be free, Juli! Run away! We’re releasing you into the wild. If I’d been a part-time employee, I’d still have a job. ALL of our part-time workers have been given positions within the company at other locations. But…there’s no space for more management. It’s that simple. I’m leaving on good terms. If a position were to open up down the line, I’m still rehireable. Although…I don’t see myself traveling back down that path. They did give me advance notice. (A good thing.) I will be receiving a lump sum bonus for sticking it out until my release date. (A VERY good thing!)
Sooo…that’s THAT! Ready or not, I’m about to enter the next stage of my life. I’m not sure what that’s going to look like. I suppose that’s what unemployment is for, to give me a little time to think and adjust. I’ve NEVER collected unemployment benefits. I’ve never had the luxury of staying at home with my son. Whenever I’ve had some vacation time, I’m usually so exhausted, I can’t relax until my vacation time is practically finished. I keep going, going, GOING! There’s no time to plan for new possibilities. But now that I’ve had some days to adjust, I don’t know, maybe things will work out. I’m going to be HOME on Christmas Eve. Working in management, I haven’t had a Christmas Eve OFF in over 15 years, possibly closer to 20! My company recently changed its holiday hours. Yesterday, corporate decided to extend their Christmas Eve hours to 10pm instead of 8pm. This won’t affect my store, as it is closing, but I have to think about others in our company. They work SO hard, and this is how they’re repaid? It seems…harsh. There’s so little notice. Less than seven days before the holiday? That doesn’t give employees a lot of time to change their plans. It’s something to consider. It makes the grieving process easier.
I thank you all for your support! JH