I said in my birthday post that I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, work-wise. Well, my CEO just fumbled a steel-toed boot.
(Did I take that analogy too far? Probably. Do I care? Not really.)
I just received a company-wide email that stated in order to improve “internal synergy” we were going to “reduce layers” and “leverage leadership across divisions”. What this corporate-speak boils down to is that there will be a reduction in force (layoffs) coming in the next two weeks. Now, I don’t really believe I’ll be at risk in this. The way the email is worded, it sounds as though the different divisions of the company will start sharing more corporate-level resources and eliminate redundant positions as a result. I work on the “branch” level, not the regional or corporate level, so I’m probably relatively safe. But the possibility still exists that I’m not safe. The possibility also exists that people I rely on for information and support will be losing their jobs or taking on a significant amount of additional responsibility. It’s well-documented that I Do. Not. Like. Change. (Not documented here, just, you know, in my head. And among people who know me. Or something.) So any change in the “who do I call about this one thing” picture gives me nervous tummy.
Even the (what I believe to be relatively remote) chance that I myself could be caught in this causes a little bit of a PTSD thing internally. (Not to make light or diminish those who suffer from actual, documented PTSD.) I have been unemployed for two stints in three years, totalling 12 months out of the last 38. The end of my employment was completely and utterly unexpected both times it happened. Two different times within two years, I was left sitting in my car in the parking lot, dazed and reeling from the shock. Even though I know I’m good at this job, my boss isn’t one to spend a lot of time on positive affirmation, leaving me to constantly wonder if I’m good enough at it. I thought I was pretty good at my last job and I ended up fired. So there was constant, low-level anxiety regarding the state of my employment even before this announcement.
I also take a little bit of issue with the way it was announced. A mass email, alluding to a reduction in force before it has happened, with little indication who might be affected just causes people to worry (obviously). Sometime in the “next couple of weeks” it will all be sorted out and we will receive additional emails outlining specific changes of responsibility as they occur. So why the broader announcement in the first place? I think they’re trying to put people at ease so that the changes don’t come as a shock, but it’s having the opposite effect on me. I suppose what I’m saying (500 unnecessary words later) is that the announcement is causing me a lot of worry for not a whole lot of reason and it irritates me that I’m letting it. But I’m probably going to have more anxiety than normal about my job for the next couple of weeks.
Although, I guess if it comes down to it and I really do lose my job, I can always just move to Texas with my sister when she goes.