Sunday, January 25, 2009

Irony . . . It's what's for Breakfast

'So, what's new Shopgirl?' you ask. Well, lots actually.

Hmmm... where do I start? Oh yeah, I'll give you an update on my
stress test. Good news! My ticker is A-O.K.!! Guess I am a good test taker after all (and I didn't even study!) Can I get a woot woot?

But . . . I got that news on Tuesday, January 20th. Heart all good on Tuesday.
Wednesday, however, was another story:

January 21, 2009 (just 3 days shy of my 9th anniversary at work) I'm called into an office to be told that I'm one of the 114 people that my employer is laying off due to the economic downturn. Hmmmm.... might want to check my heart-rate.

Yes, just 3 days shy of my 9th year anniversary, I was let go from my job. At 9:30 am I was a member of the recruiting "team." At 10am - I was an 'ex con employee' and was being watched as I quickly packed a few of my personal belongings from my desk before I was escorted paraded out of the building. The entire "getting rid of me" (and two other of my co-workers) took less than an hour. People, I'm a recruiter - and an interview with our company takes about 3+ hours, but to give you the boot? Roughly 45 minutes from beginning to packed up and in your car driving out of the parking lot. NICE. Way to keep the "HUMAN" in Human Resources.

To be honest with you, I'm a little relieved. I hadn't been all that happy for the past 6 months or so. I did like my job, I just didn't LOVE my job. I will miss the people that I worked with. Nine years is a long time and I met and made a LOT of friends there. I will also miss the travel (which ironically, I wasn't going to do much this year anyway - because of the economy). I will miss MOST - the jewelry DISCOUNT - I have no other words than, now, I have to pay retail. : (
But I won't miss the political BS that is all to common in the corporate work place.

I'm a little fried to say the least. I never really expected to make a career in Human Resources. For those of you that know me personally (and those that know me really personally) you know that I am SO-not the HR kinda girl. But, I have to say that I found my niche' there for awhile, in recruiting. It was a rewarding job to go out and meet new people and introduce them to a new career that could possibly change their livelihood for the better. I took my job to heart, I wasn't just looking for a "body" to fill a position (no, that's my dating life, oopsie - that's another post.) but I truly wanted not only a good candidate for my company, but I wanted the company to be a good fit for my candidate. My numbers proved that too. I hired many, many employees and had the lowest turnover (candidates that left or were fired) rate in the group. I was good at my job. So, why did they "let me go?"

Well, I asked that same question. And this is what I got:

"Due to the economic downturn, the company has had to make some tough decisions and has decided to perform a company-wide reduction in force."

Or something like that. But she literally, read it from a script. Never looking us in the eye as she said it. I don't blame the person who actually had to deliver the news to me - it wasn't HER decision - she was simply the messenger. And, really, I don't blame the company either. I went to college - even took a business class or two. I know that when times are tough, you cut back. I have in my personal life - I am no longer the Shopgirl I once was. This is also "not my first time at the rodeo." Ironically enough, I was laid off from a previous job at the EXACT SAME TIME OF YEAR about 11 years ago. Why can't these things happen in June or July when the weather is perfect for working on my tan?

But, what I want to know - is why did I lose my job (someone with 9 years seniority, 18 reviews that were ALL "above expectation," and the recruiter with the MOST hires) and not my co-worker who had less seniority and less hires, etc. etc.? Of course I didn't get that answer and to be honest - I really don't want it either. I am just letting it go. They let me go - I'm letting them go. Well, a few rants and raves here and there - but I'm entitled - yes?

I have to keep moving forward and not look back. I made it through my last lay off 11 years ago. That company even paid for my breast reduction - after I was gone. Talk about a severance package! Ha!

I did receive a decent severance package this time around too - which hopefully will keep me going while I look for another job. I know I'm talented enough to get another job, but the problem is - so are the 100+ people who were also let go and the other 100's out there that have been let go from the 100's of companies around here and the U.S. So, while I'm trying to be positive and keep my chin up, it's a little scary right now. But hey, on the bright side: my friend Dave and I are on the Atkins diet and cheese is allowed on the diet right? Didn't the government used to give out that box of cheese to the unemployed or something like that? Hmmm.. that will come in handy now. Ha ha - just kidding. Well, ask me in a couple of months. . . .

I know that I'm not the only one out there in the blogging world who is and has gone through a layoff recently - it is a sign o the times right now. Life will go on (it will be different) but it will go on. The sun did indeed, come out the next day. (Seriously, it was a GORGEOUS - although cold, sunny day in Ohio on Thursday.) And I got to enjoy a walk with my pooch instead of sitting at a computer searching for resumes.

I am going to take some time for myself over the next couple of weeks and do a little soul searching and try to figure out what I want to be "when I grow up." I've even come up with a few ideas and I'm taking suggestions - so feel free to comment with any career ideas. Here's what I've got so far:

1. Dog Walker - but really, I only want to walk MY dog - do you think anyone other than the State of Ohio Unemployment Agency will pay for this?

2. Personal shopper - of course - I have to find clients who actually STILL HAVE JOBS and can afford to keep shopping and then also pay someone else to do it for them. Minor obstacle.

3. Channel Surfer/Couch Potato - hmmm.. No potato's on Atkins.

4. Blog reader and now commenter - since I won't get in trouble at "work" anymore for blogging. I think this is the winner.

5. My own boss - of what, however, I don't know.

And, I think there's a boss already here at home - Daisy Dog. While she's OVER-JOYED that we've been able to walk every day and during the day, no less. I think she is displeased that I'm also "here" all day too. This was HER domain from 8am-6pm M-F. There's going to be quite an adjustment over the next couple of weeks!!

Well, that's all I've got so far . . . I'll keep you posted on anything else I come up with.