Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Workin' for the man every night and day.

For the last two days, I have been loitering about in Layoffland.

I don't even really know how to describe it. It's like the worst alternate reality ever, a combination of a totally ghetto version of Funkytown and It's a Small World After All.

Make sense? Good.

So, yesterday, Corporate Behemoth let the axe fall on folks on floors 17 through 8. And today was floors 7 through 3. All told, the carnage is estimated to be 200-300 people. And not just nameless, faceless people. They laid off the guy on my floor who is addicted to iced tea and makes the real deal - hot water and tea bags, then ice - several times a day. And the guy a floor up whose wife is very, very pregnant with their second child. And my friend a cube away who I just always want to hug because, well, she's just that nice.

And the rest of us? We spent the last two days standing around, hoping our phones don't ring and beckon us to a meeting with a VP and an HR representative. We're making lists of our fallen comrades. We're listening to the groans of "Oh, nooo ..." when internal gossip channels add someone else to the list. We're wondering how the hell we're going to do all the work that still needs to get done. And some of us are wondering what our jobs are now and just who we report to.

It is exhausting.

And without going into too much detail - because Lord help me, I am so sick of only talking about Layoffland for the last however many days - I can tell you one thing: Corporate Behemoth is handling this horribly.

Yes, I have a job and I am fortunate that I don't have to worry about rationing my yogurt purchases just yet. But it's becoming more and more apparent that shareholders are more important than anything else, and the people who do the work are viewed as a low-end commodity. And that hurts my heart.

Now, if you'll excuse me? I'm going to take to my bed.

4 comments:

mel said...

Oof. Cha Cha, I'm so sorry to hear about this stress. This very thing is one of the reasons I left my previous job. It was horrible. You never knew if you were next, what friends were being booted or what benefit they would seize in their next attempt to 'avoid layoffs' (riiiight). It was sickening to know, like you said, that I (and my co-workers) were less important than the shareholders and the dollar.

I hope things calm down soon and some bit of normalcy returns to C.B.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I feel sick for you. Sounds like Corporate Behemoth took a page out of Kimberly Clark's book--they handled their layoffs just as badly--6 times in the last 3 years. During one, the VP had the audacity to tell a JOKE during one of the meetings where people were locked in a conference room. Folks only knew who was getting axed because of the names being erased from meeting memos--you can imagine the IM and texting that took place under the table.
It's so disheartening to see how greed controls sense.

Tracye said...

Glad to read you made it through! My place lays off Every. Single. Year. Other than a mild flitter of concern every December & February (prime times for us), it doesn't even phase me any more, because it happens so often - if my numbers up, it's up. But really, it's no way to go through the day. And it sucks when it's your friends.

Iron Needles said...

I understand.

I know what the feeling.

On both sides of Layoffland.

And it pretty much sucks.

And I don't think it's ever the same.