Yesterday, the recession hit closer to home. You know when you feel like you're invincible, that anyone else can lose their job, but not you because you're special and somehow you are protected. Yesterday I was proven wrong.
300 people in my workplace were let go. We were told to queue according to our surnames, to see the human resources personnel, to learn of our fate. I was fortunate enough to have a surname with a rare first letter, I did not have to wait for long. Those few minutes went by too quickly that I did not have a chance to prepare myself, to catch my breath, to be ready for whatever news I was going to be given.
My turn was up, I went in, gave the lady my name, and waited for her to check the list. She told me I was not on the list, she had to go and ask her supervisor. While I waited there, others were looking at me. All of them had the same look, an inquiring look, probably wondering if I was going to be given good news or bad news. A long few minutes later, she came back and told me simply "you will not be impacted". And with that one sentence, I breathed out slowly, not realising I was holding it in. Yes, I was not let go. I was not let go, but more than 300 people in my workplace were.
My relief to her answer was not a happy kind of relief. I was relieved, there should be no doubt of that fact, I am human after all. But, if you were there and you looked around and you saw people weeping and others trying to put on a brave face. Suffice for me to say, it was not a happy kind of relief.
The seriousness of this did not hit me until the next day. That morning, we were told if we did not have anything worthwile we were working on, they would have to re-evaluate why they were having us there. There was just no time for us to catch our breath. That was the moment that I thought this might be the time to have a back-up plan. A plan where, if this economy gets any worse and they have to let me go, I can happily say to myself, "That is quite alright, I'll be on my way, I have an exit plan anyway". So, quietly and nervously, I proceedeed to plot my way out of this mess.
Don't misunderstand. I adore working there. There probably is not a lot of places that I can say to be so ruggedly beautiful. I hope with all my might I won't be let go, but if I do I vow not to be unprepared as I have been this time around. It will be hard to leave this place even if they do not feel the same way in return.