This week has been a particularly stressful week. It’s been under speculation for months that my company, (I’m not going to say the name), was going to have layoffs. For the past three months the rumors have been swirling about when this was going to occur. It can make one very unsettled. I never experienced this kind of anxiety before. To be honest I never had to worry about having a steady income. Up until last year I was still living at home. I didn’t have to pay rent. The only bills I had to pay were my cell phone, car insurance and if you want to count gasing up my tank as an expense.
The first year and a half after I graduated college I had barely any source of income. I started interning at a radio station for a morning radio show right after I graduated. I loved it. It was exactly what I wanted to be doing for my career. The only part that sucked were the hours. Did I mention that I had to be there at 4am 3 days a week? Actually there was two things that sucked…I didn’t get paid either. My plan was to only intern for a couple of months and then hope it would lead to a paying gig. As you can imagine my plan didn’t go as planned. Six months later I still had no income and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. My mom was now, to put it nicely, threatening me to get a job or she was going to kick me out of the house. I didn’t know if she would actually follow through with her threat, but I knew I definitely didn’t want to find out. So I started looking for a better job. Luckily I didn’t have to look for very long. I got a promotions job at another radio station. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing, but at least I had my foot in the door. Although yet again there was a sucky part. I was working part time for minimum wage. In other words the bare bones, zippo, zilch, nada. I had enough to pay for my bills, but nothing to actually start saving with. I continued working for the internship and the radio station for another 6 months until one day I actually worked up the nerve to ask if I could start getting paid. When I was informed that they couldn’t right now I knew that meant that I probably never would be. It was time to pack it in. The next few months were spent working for the part time job until I realized that wasn’t going to be enough either. That’s when my current employment opportunity came around. I began working as a temp. This was a very substantial pay increase. Remember the sucky part of every job? Well this time I wasn’t getting benefits. This was something else I never had to worry about since I could just be under my mom’s benefits, but funny thing is once you graduate college that’s no longer allowed. I was at least able to actually start saving money for the hopes of one day getting my own place. After another long 8 months I finally got hired as a permanent employee. This time the job was full time, not minimum wage and I received benefits! Plus I was finally able to afford my own place!
A year and a half later I still have that job. Now the only sucky part brings me back to those layoffs I mentioned and those layoffs happened on Monday. Imagine starting your day with your boss gathering your whole team together first thing in the morning and telling you all that the company will have layoffs today and that people in this room would be affected. I immediately felt a lump in my throat and I felt the tears filling up in my eyes. I didn’t wan to lose my job and I didn’t want any of my coworkers too either. I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. This leaves one very unsettled. I could not focus on my work all day. Over the next few hours the rumors started swirling about who was being let go. Everything was becoming more and more real. Not that it already hadn’t. All I could think about was how I would feel if it was me. Would I be able to control myself or would I start crying? Most likely the later. I know that I’m a single girl with no kids and really no “major responsibilities,” but my responsibilities are “major” to me. I have rent to pay and bills to pay now. I don’t want to have to take ten steps back and move back in with my mom and find another job only to end up with another part time minimum wage job. After five hours that felt more like five days our boss gathered my team together again to inform us that if we we’re still here as of that moment than our jobs were safe. I felt like I could finally breathe again.
When the day was finally said and done 12 people were laid off in my department, 62 in my division and 8,700 worldwide in the company.