Employment’s End: Fifty Shades of Pink

What exactly is a layoff? Is it only a raised middle finger, wrapped up in terms like “outsourced”, and “long-term business strategy”? Is it a crisis, or is it something more? Whatever it is, it can be a hard pill to swallow, even if it is printed on a pink slip of  paper.

“There’s no Manager! People always think there’s a manager – some magic manager who’s going to put things right. Well, there’s not!” – Dilbert, Season 1, Episode 12

With over five month’s notice given of the layoff, the work dynamic changes. Suddenly, Managers, Team Leads, Senior Agents and Advisors are all in the same position. Responses to the situation will vary, but all now face the same deadline. Fancy Job Titles carry less meaning when they have an expiry date.

Supervisor: Best before August 31st, 2013
With great power comes an early expiry date…

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
– Winston Churchill

Hearing the news – although it was expected – was still a shock. It’s like realizing the needle is on empty, when I thought I still had half a tank of gas left. It creates a sense of urgency. Now that the shock has worn off, I have come to accept the approaching ending of my current job, but I also look forward to a new beginning.

I see many of my co-workers as friends. I do hope I will have an opportunity to work with many of them in the future. I am likely to lose touch with some of them, but I am unlikely to forget any of them. They’re a great bunch of people, and I am privileged to have worked with them.

Somehow, this particular deadline – although extremely intimidating – does still have at  least one positive element – the annoying aspects of the current job will end. A layoff can mean crisis, but what is interesting to note is that in Chinese, the word “crisis” (危機) is made up of “danger” (危) and opportunity (機). Even in the chaos it brings, a layoff can mean a new beginning,

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