Folks, I know there is a reason work is called work. If it was meant to be fun all the time, it would be called fun, or Disneyland, or maybe even beer. But nope, its called work because sometimes it just aint fun. Today was one of the worst of those days.
Today was NOT an easy day at the Mighty P. It was a day where there was a series of layoffs in the department I support in my role as a trainer.
First and foremost. I best wishes go out to those who were the subject of the layoff. It wasn’t that long ago I was one of those on the receiving end of the notice. After 19 years at the same company, having done nothing wrong at all, it was hard to suddenly be looking for a new job. I found out that even I turn to ice cream for comfort food..
Of those that were let go today, some had been there longer than I, others less, but all had been there quite a while. I didn’t have a chance to talk to any of them, but I do believe this came as a surprise to each of them. (I at least read the writing on the wall and had an idea the axe was about to fall. It doesn’t make it less painful, but the shock is less)
As will most companies, ours has a very well-defined rumor mill. And let me tell you it was humming early. Rumors were flying early on who, how many, why and what happened next all day long.
This is bad on any given day, but it was made worse today because I was training 2 people who had just been promoted to this department. They are also both relatively tenured employees, and each of them have their own sources of the grapevine. Right after lunch I noticed that neither of them was really listening to me.
Now, as a trainer, I can honestly say this is NOT unheard of in my class. We were covering contracts today, and there is NOTHING more dry or boring. I am used to people looking a bit zombieish on this day of training. This was different though.
I was watching them look at their computers, then look at each other and squirm. There was some serious discomfort here. This meant I had to reach down and use a skill I am LOUSY at. I had to deal with feelings.
Editors note: I am an anomaly in the training/HR world. Most people in this department are very social, empathetic and compassionate. They want to talk about someone’s feelings when the person is stressing or sad. I, on the other hand, am not of these. I am one helluva trainer, my classes are informative and fun to be in, and people come out ready to succeed in their new roles. Working with feelings, though, is hard for me…
So we stopped and I asked what was going on. They were worried, and understandably so, that people in the department would now think they had taken the jobs of those laid off and would therefore be hated by the masses. I spent the better part of an hour reassuring them this would not happen and explaining why this was. (For the record I honestly believe this to be true, they will not be disliked.)
After that hour, I was spent, and so were they. Luckily, we were close to the end of the day. We finished up some miscellaneous stuff, and I cut us all loose!
Now I had planned to have a light dinner and crash out. But after today, I decided that once again I needed pasta! So for the second night it a row it was back to the Italian Kitchen here in Spokane.
And a big plate of lasagna, plus a glass of wine! It was the perfect place, quiet, dark, relaxing, and the perfect meal, damn good, filling, meaty and cheesy, AND pasta!
I know what each of these people are going through tonight. I wish I could tell them it’s not the end of the world and that there is life after the mighty P. Tonight, though, I really hope they have someone like Michelle who will just be there and listen and let the fear of the unknown pour out. (It’s what I needed back then)
My day was nowhere near as bad as their’s. I wouldn’t even begin to compare mine to what they went and are going through. But I am very glad I had wine and good food. I just wish I was home and could give Michelle a hug tonighth.
Even though they aren’t readers of the blog, I wish them all the best! Like the wind folks!