the deep breath of stones

okay.

So I went back to work today. Exhausted — didn’t sleep at all last night, couldn’t find any comfortable position, my back & neck both decided to ache all night, no matter which position I lay in. So I’m a little loopy, a lot out of it, and despite the exhaustion, illness, frustration, fear and pain of the last couple weeks, I did not want to go back. I did not want to go there. I did not want to be there. I wanted to stay home & do *my* thing, not the workplace’s thing.

Now mind, the place I work is one of the best places in the country to work for. It’s very very hard for me to find anything bad to say about the place and usually the bad stuff is niggling minor crap that’s easily ignored or that gets worked out; I work with good people, the corporate culture definitely does not *feel* corporate suit, and the company itself treats its people the best it can. Hell, everytime I go out, I find myself recommending the place to other places’ employees (“hey, if you’re tired of this crap, my place is hiring, and you’ll love it…”) I do loss prevention — basically making sure that customers meet our rules, searching out folks doing illegal things with our service, AND helping us stay in compliance with the Patriot Act. This is a LONG way from what I was studying in college (audio production & writing) and definitely not where I ever thought I’d end up.

I’m not naming the company here because blogs are public. But I have to write about it. I have to spill my guts because I’m that shaken. That said…

A pattern repeated today, and it’s shaken me up; it’s got me revved and my gut rolling. Some background: the last two times the intestinal blockage issue has popped up, it’s been accompanied by a major financial shakeup or a loss of my job. Back in ’92, I’d just quit my job at Power 105 in Athens to take a sales job that turned out to be a huge freakin’ scam…and I was in the hospital with the blockage less than a month after that. In ’93, the intestinal thing popped up again, and the day before I was due back to work (at a 1-900 tele-psychic line), I drove to pick up Brett from the place, and found out that night that the company was bankrupt and we were being laid off that night.

And now, a couple weeks after the ER stay for the partial intestinal block, I came into work and got greeted by people talking in hushed tones of the private meetings that our center director had with the various teams just yesterday, meetings concerning severance packages & whatnot. We’ve known for the past few months that our company was moving in a certain direction and that this meant a lot of us would be moved around — but the timing of this particular announcement just shook me up. Basically, now, within 18 months, my particular department (about half the building I’m in) will be gone. Or a good 90% of it. My particular area is being kept, though greatly reduced — my team & its function will still be around after all the changes, but they’re not sure if we’ll have to re-post for the positions or not. (to folks who know who I work for — this does NOT mean the company’s in trouble; far from it. Quite the oppposite, in fact. I’m not going into details; that’ll give too much away that I’m not allowed to discuss).

The good news: it’s still about 18 months down the road or so, somewhat longer for some areas (such as mine). My severance package (if I don’t post to another area within the company or get to keep my job) will equate to about 4-5 months pay. And the company is expanding its tuition reimbursement program so that you don’t have to take classes that are a “business need” — you can take whatever you want in whatever degree or training you need, and they’ll reimburse it. (see what I mean about this place taking care of its people?). So all in all, there’s plenty of time to prepare, to job-search, to plan, to work harder on the home business & get that ramped up, rather than the lackadaisacal way I’ve been going about it for the last year…

…so why am I still shaken up? Why do I get the feeling that I’m being told something, and I have absolutely no fuckin’ clue what?

And, as Brett put it so wonderfully on the drive home tonight, why the hell are my guts tied into my job security?

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