Ever since the mystery of the expired Visa hit on Thursday, my phone has been ringing off the hook. Mostly people are just really shocked, and harbouring suspicions it wasn’t accidental as well as wondering what will happen next. Last night a friend of mine called and added a new twist to the conversation – a sense of outrage that I wasn’t asked to take over my former teacher’s main class. Huh?
I mean, a few months ago I probably would have expected this also. After all, I’ve taught her class about 50% of the time during the last 5 or so months. I have the most experience and, so I’ve been told, a good teacher to boot. And it would provide continuity for the class since they already know me. But, I wasn’t. And I’m entirely OK with that.
One of the eight worldly concerns is worrying about our reputation. It’s a big one for me. It’s one thing to anoint oneself an outsider. It’s quite another to know that you are also viewed that ways by others. It stings a little. But, it hadn’t occurred to me that this was a slam on my reputation until my friend implied I should outraged. But, I think I’ll pass on dwelling on this. Life is too short.
This week is not starting out auspiciously. On my way into work this morning, I got a ticket that I totally deserved. The CHP officer was quite pleasant and it was over with a minimum of fuss and drama
When I walked into the office I was immediately pulled into a big mystery meeting. The mood was somber. When everyone had gathered my manager announced “There is a staff reduction today (long pause). If you are here in this room, you are not affected. Everyone looked around to see who was missing. There were some friends who were not there. While we may still have jobs, it doesn’t mean that we weren’t affected.
So, today I say good-by to two people with whom I’ve worked for about six years. Fortunately, unlike some of the other who were laid off, they are probably going to be OK financially, and they seem to be at peace with this. I’m worried about some of the others and their abilities to find another job either due to their health, age or skill set.
It was weird to watch one of my friends walk out the door for the last time. And while there are always platitudes about staying in touch, getting together for lunch, etc. the odds are I will never see her again. It’s a lesson in impermanence – someone I saw five days a week for six years, in a moment, steps out of my life forever.
There’s a big conference call this afternoon with the big wigs who will explain to us why they made the decisions they did. I don’t think it is going to make anyone feel any better. These were our friends, our colleagues, and they are being treated as if they were doing something wrong. There is something so cold about being told to immediately pack up your belongings and be out of the building by mid-afternoon. Some of these people have a whole life’s career stuffed into their office and to have only a few hours to pack and say good-by seems unnecessarily cruel.