Friday, January 10, 2014

Well, That Was Awkward

A couple of days after achieving my six-year work anniversary at AOL, I got laid off.
With that in mind, having just hit the same milestone at my current job two days ago, I was a bit unnerved this morning when I received an invitation to a mandatory meeting with my SVP in the afternoon, particularly given that there were several HR representatives included among the invitees.
Fortunately, while the meeting did concern a major reorganization, I was not directly impacted by it, nor was anyone on my team.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for many of my colleagues.
Added to the general “that sucks” vibe of it was some serious awkwardness.  During the meeting, they put up a color-coded org chart showing who was and was not impacted by the reorg.
Along with a handful of others, my team kind of stood out as being and island of the unaffected color in a sea of the blue that represented the people who were affected.
(My team not being affected was also specifically mentioned several times.)
Obviously my sympathy for the others wins out over my feelings of personal discomfort, but as my team and I walked out while the others were being handed pamphlets that outlined the details of their potential severance packages – they have the option to re-apply for the limited number of positions that will be available, or to try to find another job somewhere else in the company – I have to say that I felt like we were getting some pointed – and pointy – stares in our direction.
Still, while it definitely is a shame for all those affected, and they have my sympathies…well, I’ve been through this kind of thing so many times that I’m kind of inured to it.  It’s pretty much the nature of the beast, and it’s a potential reality that those of us who work in the industry face every single day.  (And will continue to face.)

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