Yesterday my boss stopped by and said that she wanted to talk to me. She said my position has been eliminated and she was very sorry. As I thought I was prepared to hear it, I said "Thats fine". She said "No, thats not fine". We talked for a long time, finally somewhere in our conversation I couldnt stop the tears.
HR came and talked to me and took me through all the forms. I was in a daze, at times I didnt even hear what she was saying and asked her to repeat a few times. It was so unreal staring at the Separation forms.
I should be grateful that I have a seemingly awesome deal. My last day of work isnt until the end of this year and because I will be on maternity leave then, my last day of work will be the day I choose to come back to work from my maternity leave next year. So effectively I still have a good six months and more to stay on my employer's payroll. I guess I should be grateful for that. Right now my brain cant process anything beyond the sadness.
My colleagues who have worked for the same company for 18 and 34 years respectively were also let go. Can you imagine working for a company that long and then being told to go? What kind of message does that send in today's world? Do not be loyal to any company because at the end of the day, all they will think about is their bottom line?
One of my colleagues had been proactive and has already started interviewing. I do not have that option - who do you think is going to hire me when they take one look at my pregnant tummy? In these times of job competitiveness when the job market is just about starting to open up, I doubt if any one is going to say "Come work for us and you can totally go on maternity leave right after you join". And then "Yes, we know you will need special considerations when your child is young and we would be happy to give it to you". I dont really have any super super rare qualifications, I am easily replaceable :( So I feel like that is atleast out for now.
My employer is a fortune 50 company so it doesnt really make sense to go take outside chhota mota temporary contract assignments; I would rather keep my employer on my resume. My manager will not give me any new assignments to work on so its essentially career stagnation until I find another job next year and start working.
How will things be post baby? Will I be able to find a job that would not be too demanding? I know right now that I do want to continue working. I was so lucky when R was born, I could switch to a part time flexible hours position for 2 years; so lucky. I guess I should be grateful to my employer for that.
(As if on cue, when I walked downstairs to make my early morning snack for myself, I noticed my old time fighter - an old tiger barb, dead and floating in my fish tank. He had been amazingly resilient and would terrorize the other milder fish in the tank. All the other barbs had passed away over a period of time and I replaced them with non aggressive fish but I hadnt had the heart to do away with this one. It felt like the end of an era, I worked for six years for my employer, it feels like the end of an era for me too. I just sat down and cried, I dont know for whom - myself or my fish, I think it was for both of us and all the other hundreds of people - young and old, stressed, and forced out to venture into a tough tough job market)
Well, I will focus on the positives and believe there is a reason for everything to happen. I will clean my fish tank this weekend and buy more peaceful non aggressive fish :) I will ask to work from home alternate days now; why bother tiring myself out everyday when I can work out of my Pjs. I can drop R off later, she can sleep in and will pick her up earlier. I can do all the thousand pending things that I need to do to get my house in order. I have the time for it. My current project deadlines are for end of August so I will try to get excited that it is a blessing in disguise and I can chill out and get ready for the baby as I wont really be doing any work in September/October timeframe. I just dont see the peace and happiness in it right now but when the time comes, I will be so grateful; I am sure.
I will believe that I will have a smooth delivery and we will have a healthy baby. I will find a reliable loving nanny and I will look for another job. I will get another job and my new employer will be sympathetic to working mothers. Next year same time, I will be a mother to two and working at a new job and enjoying the summer with my family, I am sure of it. I just need to keep the faith and stay happy. This too shall pass....