Friday, April 15, 2016

It does not suck

It's been almost 5 years since I left a job I was really invested in. And a few months later, started this blog. I'd like to say there was some plan, a notion of what would happen, that I would get better, that I would find people who could help and everything would be all right.

In reality, I remember being overwhelmed with negative feelings: sadness, anger, betrayal, disbelief, fear of running out of money and dying a pauper from early-onset Alzheimer's. What the future held, I did not know.

It feels really good to be here, in this place looking back. And there's a reason that it's today, a reason beyond perspective and gratitude for many gifts.

Today through LinkedIn I learned that the remainder of my team was laid off. By my count, it's at least the fifth layoff at that site in 5 years. A search engine barfed up some official statements that made me glad to be a spectator:

  • "The layoffs were a recalibration in response to changes in the business [...] some of the jobs are moving to locations closer to customers."
  • "the [performance] evaluations led to job loss for the employees ranked in the bottom 10 percent.“It’s painful, but it’s an exercise we go through … to ensure we have a high performance culture”
  • "we're getting out of the cellular modem business"
  • "we are constantly adjusting our workforce to meet the demands of the most competitive market in the world... The pace of change is increasing in the industry, accelerated further by industries converging"
Is your BS meter going off? Mine too. Hopefully the rest of my team is not compromised financially by this, or emotionally, or in any other way. I'm glad to be free of the place, and maybe they'll get there too. 

It still feels like a personal and professional betrayal, a waste of life energy, and a bad investment of my time. I'll never get those years back. I have lost trust in the system of work, in employers and colleagues and maybe that's something that will propel me into a new phase of being on my own. I was lucky to find a lot of help getting through. I will also say this - it's delicious to be on the other side, looking back.

They finally had to pay out. For a former CFO running the company, who counts pennies like they're his own and there will never be any more, it probably caused him physical pain. 

It does not suck.


  1. California is a right to fire your ass state. There are no laws protecting any worker to "be there."

  2. Terris, thanks for pointing out what the next "employment" post needs to be. Many employees in California (especially Silicon Valley) who are not members of a union can be fired at will. Most tech workers sign an at-will employment agreement. However, California also has the most progressive, stringent laws for protecting workers with disabilities. I was protected under those laws. My employer decided to promote their own interests and interpret my situation as leaving of my own free will. And I'll talk about that a bit later.