Friday, May 29, 2015

Life As We Know It

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - E.M. Forster

I don't think it is a day that I will ever forget but I think it is a day that I needed to have and that everyone should really go through it once in their lifetime.  It is one of the most humbling days, most trying days you can have.  It is one of those days all you want to do is sit in a ball and cry and ask: Why me? How am I going to manage my finances? How am I going to pay my bills? What did I do to deserve this?  To say I was scared out of my mind, pissed, sad and every emotion in between was an understatement. 

But, I was also embarrassed.  I did not want anyone to know.  I was ashamed.  I did not want the judgments, the gossip and just the overall hurt that are sometimes felt from individuals unintentional comments and words.

On April 15th, I reported to work a little after 9.  A little later than normal but I had been there until after 7 pm the night before as Runner was traveling for work which makes work life crazy and I had also been in meetings with the boss discussing delivery issues.  At about 9:30 am, the boss came in and asked if I had a minute; I said sure.  Of course, what would play out next, never entered my realm of thinking.  

We entered the conference room and the CFO was sitting there and I jokingly said, "Well, this can't be good."  His response was "No, it is not."  Of course that sent my mind racing of, is this some kind of Performance plan, are we not getting bonuses this year because we hadn't so far, but instead I got, 

"The Company is restructuring and you did not make the cut.  Today is your last day.  Here is your severance package and your separation agreement.  Feel free to have an attorney review the agreement if you feel it is necessary." ~  CFO

Then I was asked if I wanted to clean out my office now or come back later.  That was it.  Short and sweet.  No explanation.  No thank you for busting your ass the past year cleaning up the messes that were left behind by other people we fired.  No thank you for working so many nights and weekends without additional pay.  Of course, my boss being who he was, never said a word during any of it, he let the CFO do all the talking.

Obviously I opted to come back after hours to clean out my office and do it when just a few were left in the building.  It truly is a humbling experience being escorted out of the building.  My parting comments to my boss were: 

"You bust your ass for a company and this is how they repay you.  So very generous of them."

Ultimately there were three of us that were let go in the coming days.  Two of us from operations and the Vice President of Marketing.  I think it is safe to say that not one of us saw it coming.  There had been rumors the company was looking at merging/buying another company and there had been dog and pony shows but ironically I was the one telling people that we just needed to keep doing what we were doing.  We couldn't get our job done in a 40 hour week the way it was, how could they possible get rid of us?  Silly, silly me.

The past month and a half has been a learning experience.  Obviously I kept this on a need to know basis and after about a month in, I am fully at peace with everything.  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.  I know I have grown from this experience and that I will be better off from it.  I have put my trust and faith in God and so far, he has taken care of me.  

Of course, when I have those moments of weakness, I do have the Unicorn here to bust me in the ass and tell me to get my stuff together.  She kindly gave me one day of mourning on loosing my job.  I was allowed one day of tears and then from there, I needed to be focused and get stuff done.  If I have down days, she kicks me in the ass and pretty much tells me to get over it, the only person I can control and worry about is myself.  She really is a cheerleader in my life.  I am not sure how I was blessed for her to come into my life but very thankful for it.

Now, how unprepared can one be for this you ask?  Oh...I don't know...I had not updated my resume since I took the job in October 2012.  Then there is the fact that in reality my resume really was still dating back to circa 2007 as I knew Runner at the company and being that it was so small, it was just a matter of getting an updated resume in their hands.  This thing had no objective, no results I produced.  Thankfully Unicorn and Grace helped me get that updated as best as possible so I could start sending out applications by the following Monday.  One day to mourn and by business day four of being laid off, I was sending off resumes.

Since then I have been firing off resumes for all kinds of jobs.  I have had referrals from all kinds of sources.  I have been blessed to have a lot of my customers that I worked with in this last role either offer to be a reference, ask for my resume to pass along or even line me up with an interview. The SIL asked if I would at least consider jobs closer to home as I have a niece and nephew that would enjoy seeing their aunt more often, so where I will land is God's will.  Ironically my first phone interview was with a company in Omaha.  Ultimately I did not get it but I thought it was funny since I could never get an interview in Texas when I was trying to move here.

I have had one offer so far.  The job was not the right fit for me and I had to decline, but it was an offer.  The interviews keep coming and at some point, when the time is right, the right job will be offered. 

Of course, I have learned that navigating the unemployment system in Texas is also a treat.  You hear the don't mess with Texas stuff all the time and they pretty much say that all over the place when you log in every two weeks to request your unemployment, note what you have been doing in your search, etc.  Silly me, fearing "don't mess with Texas" told them about the job I declined because it asks if you declined any jobs.  Now keep in mind the "rules" are that after 8 weeks of being unemployed, you have to consider jobs that are 25% less than what you previously made.  Well the job I turned down was far more than the 25% pay cut and since it hadn't  been 8 weeks, it shouldn't be an issue, right?  WRONG.  Apparently I missed the part that I only should report the jobs that I turned down that were "suitable" in nature.  As a result, my unemployment is on hold until further notice until they have time to investigate.  They are unable to give me a timeline of how long this "investigation" could take.

Oh the can only laugh and just keep trudging along.  Beating myself up is not going to help the issue and I can only control what I can control.  So, in the meantime, I will keep applying, keep interviewing and keep saying the rosary.  There is an odd connection to the days that I say the rosary to the days that I get emails for job interviews and/or job leads;  coincidence or Divine Intervention?  I think I'll stick to the later and keep saying that rosary.  

And now you know "The Rest of the Story...Good Day." ~ Paul Harvey

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