Surviving RestructureBack in August, just before I went on vacation, we got some bad news where I was working. It seemed that the company had decided to let go of about 25% of its work force and "restructure." I was given a stay of execution. I could expect to work for another month or two until my current project was completed. I saw a lot of people box up their stuff and leave that day. Just a few days earlier one of these folks, a former colleague from a former employer, was telling me how he felt so fortunate in having found this place when our previous employer had been restructuring and letting people go. Well I could see the handwriting on the wall. It's time to get looking. I posted my resume on the various job sites and started submitting my name for listed positions. I told my boss right away that I would be looking. He said that I had to do what I had to do, and he understood. Things started looking up. While on vacation I got a few calls and actually set up a couple of interviews. I kept my boss informed of this all along. As I can now see, that was a mistake. I thought I could trust him. I really thought we had a professional rapport and mutual respect. My delusions came to an end when he took me aside and told me to pack up my stuff. Look, I knew it was coming. The work had dried up and there wasn't enough to keep two people on staff. If he had simply said that, I would have understood, shook hands, and gone on my way without an ill thought. But that was not how he handled it. I was scolded for spending too much time looking for another job. This was, according to him, "unprofessional." He insisted on escorting me to my cube to clean it out, and I was escorted from the building. Did he really think I was going to sabotage something? Or is this what he would have done in the same situation? I am at a loss to explain his behavior. All of the time I took off was vacation time I had coming. I had gone so far as to do some work at home to keep up with the schedule. And all the time I was interviewing, I was under the impression that he approved. If he hadn't, I certainly would not have kept him informed of my activities. This whole episode has left a bad taste in my mouth. I can understand a company doing what it has to do in order to stay in business. But I can never understand somebody who betrays a confidence. Well, I was played like a trout. I believed in the basic integrity of my supervisor and payed the price for my naivete. After nearly 40 years in the workforce you would think I should know better. But I still have this childlike optimism that people are basically decent. I now know at least one more person who is not. So now I'm "between gigs" looking for work. I have enough saved that money isn't a major problem right now, but I really want to find work as soon as possible. As for my former boss, I wish for him that, as he goes through life, he is treated with the same level of consideration by everyone he meets as he showed me on my last day.
¶ 5:42 PM