oddly enough, the morning started with a jovial email exchange with my husband. the corporation i worked for (lovingly referred to as pantiesbymail.com by my brother) had sent an early email stating that 400 associates were being laid off that day. i forwarded it to my husband who, knowing how i had been feeling, asked me if i would be running to the front of the line or casually sashaying? i laughed it off… thrilled at the prospect of being let go but pretty certain it wouldn’t be me.
i was informed around 12:45pm, while walking back from the cafe with lunch in hand, that indeed i was wrong.
from 12:45-2:30pm, i listened to my manager, then HR, then some ridiculous woman from a career management service talk to me about all of the details of the separation. i was trapped in a hot office and i wanted to go home. when the last person came in (the aforementioned ridiculous woman), i was all done with that place. i still had not eaten the majority of my lunch and had cried enough that my face was splotchy. she was trying to talk to me about resumes and my job search and i had nothing for her. i am sure her job was tough that day as i was one of several associates she dealt with. however, i really did not care. i was done being nice. they wanted me to go and i was ready.
she finally left and still being a bit splotchy and not wanting to draw too much attention to myself, i decided to stay in the office and call my husband. the first thing i asked him was whether he would really be alright with me as a SAHM for awhile? we had discussed the topic frequently in the past few months but this was now a reality. he eagerly supported me and we agreed to meet at home to spend some time together before getting the kids from daycare. i let out a deep sigh when we hung up. love him.
i headed back to my desk and tried to be discreet, going quietly through all of my network files and emailing anything i could think i would want/need to my home email address.
i had been told that i would be able to leave the building before any announcement was made to the team. this turned out to be incorrect as i soon had IMs and emails flying at me, checking on me, offering kind words. i had so very little for anyone else at that point, i muddled through responses but all i really wanted to do was leave.
i grabbed all the pictures of my family from my desk, shoved them in my bag and walked out. once outside of the building just before 3pm, i felt a million times better – almost like the weight of the world was off my shoulders. siyanara.
i may go so far to say i hated that day, at least up until 3pm. i did not like how it felt to be laid off mainly because the action on their part took major decision-making about my life out of my hands, at least temporarily.
now i look back and can recognize that i needed a push considering the mental place i was stuck in after processing through staying home versus working. i am not sure i would have ever pulled the trigger and i was this close to being miserable.
being laid off forced me to challenge many beliefs i had about myself and offered me the opportunity to change my perspective. with a decent financial cushion, i also had the ramp down time necessary to get our family on a more strict budget.
we are officially on one salary now and it’s not the least bit intimidating. i am living a new chapter in my life and am really, truly happy. i always thought i knew what i would do with my life but honestly, i don’t mind the bit of uncertainty. i know i am with my kids now and focused on my family and this feels so good. better than any project, web launch, database cleansing, floorset and – yes – even better than the associate discount.