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This morning at approximately 10:30am EST I was laid off from my job.  I "felt" it was coming, had a very strong intuition that I was going to lose my job but someone from HR had the talk with me on this bright and sunny New York City day, which took approximately 10 minutes.  It's official.  I am now in a very special group of good folks, our ranks ever growing, of those who no longer have a job.

To be honest I'm still quite numb.  I don't have any feelings about what just happened.  It's very typical for me to go into complete coping mode when met with traumatic, highly stressful and/or unpleasant news.  I was all business packing my personal affects, dotting my I's and crossing my T's so I could leave in the most highly thought of and professional manner possible.

If you've been following along on some of my diaries of late, you'd have noticed that I've had some big changes go on in my life, one of them being my boss resigning his position as a high level exec to pursue consultant type gigs or work of a more entrepreneurial nature.  I've worked with him for almost 13 years.  His last day at my company was Fri., March 1st.  I, in my best off-the-cuff style said, "How long do you think it will be until the axe falls on me?"  We had this chat a few weeks before the public announcement was made at my company and before it hit the street.  He genuinely believed that I would be ok, untouched, unharmed and would be allowed to continue in my job as an executive assistant working for the remaining senior level staff running things at an administrative level from behind the scenes as I'd always done. A piece of me clung to that optimism yet I had a rather restless weekend and was able to distract myself with the good company of someone who is quickly becoming a dear NEW friend.  My gut told me something bad or big was going to happen to me today.  This morning during my morning meditation/prayer session I asked for extra strength and courage today, "I'm going to NEED IT."  I even said to my kitty cat "Now WHY did I say that?"  HA!

Well bless my boss' optimism.  After being given the talk he was my first call to make sure that I could count on him for a letter or recommendation.  He was shocked and felt just terrible that I had been let go.  He will be kind enough to put out some of his own feelers in the next few days and weeks to see if someone might be in the market for an exec or administrative assistant.  I'm sure I'll be in touch with him a bit more than I thought I might be sooner rather than later.  He even had the nobility, the great integrity of character to say to me, "If I thought in any way that my leaving would have precipitated your being let go..."  To which I stopped him from completing that statement by saying, "You did what you had to do for your life, your happiness so don't even go there.  You deserve every good thing that's going to come your way.   Let the chips fall where they may."  And I still wish him every happiness, success,and good health and thing in life no matter what happens.  He's a rare gem of a human being and I feel so honored and privileged to know him and love him.  Yep I loved my boss, not in any type of inappropriate way.  I have very deep feelings of love, admiration, respect and awe for him.  I believe him to be an exemplary example of humanity.  That will be something that never changes no matter where life takes me.

As layoffs go it's not terrible.  I will be getting some severance and I can file for unemployment even while accepting severance which I was unaware of, but glad to know.  In my farewells to staffers I've loved and cared about at my job I was able to get some headhunter recommendations which I will treasure AND USE.  Now that I'm home in the quiet of my apartment and in the safety of these four walls the tears want to make their appearance.  I'm beginning to feel scared and sad for what I had to leave behind: a great job of 14 years, a staff in my department comprised of wonderful, wonderful people and some solid and terrific acquaintances that hold a very special place in my heart and always will.

What's next for me?  I don't know.  It seems so unthinkable that a human being can be disposed of so quickly.  I hold no illusions and always knew that I would and could be tossed out with trash as I have been in the name of doing business, downsizing, saving money, streamlining, blah, blah, blah...And I know all too well that corporations are NOT our friends no matter what insidious type of spin advertisers want to assign to all these companies...My strongest sense is there was some politics involved here as well - where ISN'T there - and some malice of a personal nature leading to my dismissal which I won't elucidate on.

What's not talked about, except here is I'm 53 years old soon to be 54 and without a job.  I have bills to pay like every executive who has tenure and who are safe and secure in their positions.  I've known people who are 40-something and who've been through the fires of hell trying to get another job and haven't been able to get one.  Or they've gotten one and it's no where near what they had been paid.  So now they work two or three jobs to make ends meet.  I think about the fact that I will, at least for the time being, NOT pay COBRA for continued med coverage to the tune of nearly $700 per month as I can't afford that drain on my nestegg.  Well actually I could afford to for a while but I don't want to do that because WHAT IF I have to search for a year, two years or more...THAT I can't afford.  What none of those people that decided to axe me know is that I have cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia that should, SHOULD be screened for any change for the worse every six months.  I now WON'T be doing that until such time - if I'm lucky - be able to work full time again and receive medical benefits.  I'm going to roll the dice and trust that the Universe isn't going allow me to get deathly ill or NEED treatment until I get another job hopefully with benes.

My last diary was about It's Said When One Door Closes...another one opens.  Well goshdarnit!!  I lost my best friend of 17yrs due to a nervous breakdown Feb 5, my boss told me he was leaving the company I'm now a FORMER employee of on Feb 12th and his last day was Feb 28th.  And now after 14 years, I no longer have a job!!!  That's three big friggin' doors that went BAM!!!  Heckfire what is going on?

Does anyone in New York City know of a headhunter for exec or administrative assistant's?

Peace to all,
DEC

Originally posted to Dumas EagerSeton on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:54 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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