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Looking Back at 2008

It was the day before Thanksgiving in 2008. I walked into work and spent the morning chatting with co-workers. I swung by the company store (where they sold company products at massive discounts) and looked at the almost-bare shelves. The ladies who ran the company store were both colleagues and friends and I had done many system enhancements over the years for them. When I collected a large handful of random stuff and went to ring up my purchases, they looked at me, smiled, and told me to just take it all – free of charge. Everything left over was just bring boxed up and sent away to other plants and they were happy to give things to me.

My team was then ushered into the main conference room. The once bright and cheery room that boasted huge canvases of children and families playing in the sunshine now had blank walls and wires curling up like haggard old tree branches. I looked around at the casual attire (jeans, sweatshirts), bags of popcorn and sodas that were all part of the “company morale” signifying Corporate’s desire to keep people from leaving too soon. But today, it didn’t matter. I don’t really remember anything said to us in that last meeting except for handing over my key card. I know there were a few excited people – those close enough to retirement that they were being “bridged” a year or two early – but mostly everyone was somber, feeling in those last moments all the years of memories that were being effectively stopped. At that moment, we were all losing our jobs. The press was littered outside, I remember being told multiple times not to talk to them, and as we walked out past those eager for a glimpse and statement about a moment raw and painful in our lives, our department drove down to a nearby restaurant for an early lunch together.

I was the baby of the group and due to my young age received a meager severance package. Listening to those around me I felt comforted knowing that we were all in this together. We’d all find something. We’d all be there for one another. Slowly, one by one, we did all find new jobs.

Now here we are almost 9 years later and nothing really has changed. Just a couple weeks shy of my 8 year anniversary with my new company and I quit. The difference though is that I’m all alone this time around. Maybe I have more skills and experience this time around but my confidence in myself and my abilities has never been weaker. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to sell myself to another company so they can bleed all my energy and life and then toss me aside. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’m sick.

But I’m also free. I realize this is one of those transition times and I’m going to be taking a few weeks to catch my breath before plunging back into the waters of job searching. Maybe I can regain some confidence. Maybe I can catch up on some sleep.

The good news is I actually might also have some time to blog and some more interesting content then waxing about being stressed and how my boss is evil. Ha! Ooh, maybe I might even have some time for a blog makeover that I’ve been desperately needing for a couple years now. The possibilities are endless!

Thanks for hanging in there with me. ❤

Ali