Monday, January 16, 2012

Layoff Watch: Day One

4:05 AM. This is the day. No weird layoff dreams involving Tony Randall, though I did have a repeat dream of the head lice currently making our lives an adventure chanting at me from the top of my head in the voice of Roz from Monsters, Inc.:

6:45 AM. Arrive at work. Card still works in the card reader. That is a good sign.

7:36 AM. Visibly startle when the new email chime sounds.

7:38 AM. Decide to hide in the bathroom for ten minutes to let the whole email scare thing blow over.

8 AM. That stupid song about Memphis is on the radio.

8:19 AM. A sudden upwelling of hope and relief. Don’t really know why.

8:43 AM. Return from posting documents in the ECC. Deathly quiet over in the OCB, but then again it’s been that way since the Great Confusion began just over a month ago. No one waiting at my desk for me when I get back. Relief.

8:44 AM. Eavesdropping on phone conversation concerning engineering group and layoffs. Speculation is that since subs were already let go, no CWI personnel will be impacted. As a sub, indignant at throwaway implication. But as a sub, also pleased to still be here. Seriously, though, SCC mentality exists here in full.

8:47 AM. If you ever get the feeling that I’m wasting too much time on this Layoff Watch, well, put yourself in my shoes. But right now, back to work!

8:50 AM. Eavesdropped phone conversation has now drifted on (ha!) to an impending blizzard heading our way. Must remind myself to batten down what hatches lay unbattened, and pat myself on the back for moving the camper to Grampa’s over the weekend.

9:24 AM. Return from second bathroom break of the day. As an old man, it’s my right to pee. A lot.

10:05 AM. Upwelling of hope and relief at 8:19 AM reinforced. For some reason. Maybe all those prayers that have been said. Many prayers. Was afraid that God was just going to say “Bust Everybody!” Just joking, of course.

10:23 AM. Heavy footfalls in the hallway make me cringe. But it’s just one of the analytical lab guys. Fears fading. CWI likes to do its layoffs in the AM.

10:32 AM. Looming blizzard is becoming much more of a worry than layoffs at this point. Another good sign.

10:57 AM. Heart attack. Phone call from an unknown number. Turned out to be from AMWTP concerning a document we’re working on. Heart may start beating again in a few minutes.

11:05 AM. Following conversation in the OCB while delivering documents:

Jerome Starks (SOM): Hey Brian, how’s it goin’?

Me: Pretty good.

Jerome: Yeah. We’re here.

Me: Yes, sir!

Also, a lab employee congratulated me for still being here in the cafeteria. Have to assume she’s talking about “here” as in having a job, not “here,” as in the cafeteria.

Life is good.

11:52 AM. Like Deccan Riobe from Terry Pratchett’s “Moving Pictures,” this is turning more into a chronology of my bathroom breaks. But I’m STILL HERE using the bathroom.

11:53 AM. Footsteps coming. And going.

1:05 PM. Another phone conversation. Periodic talk of layoffs. Nothing concrete. Nerves take a momentary jangle. It is eerily quiet here, though.

1:16 PM. Still eerie.

1:29 PM. Anxiety up a little. Rumor (damn them) has it that layoffs at the facilities will be spread through the week, rather than one day, one facility. That would break tradition from the past. Whistling past the graveyard.

1:34 PM. Boss says layoffs will continue throughout the week, and he got that from one of the higher-ups. So three more days of anxiety here. Not looking forward to that. Might reconsider hiding under my desk.

2:11 PM. Thought: Maybe less anxiety. There are many CWI complexes; they’ll work one a day, as was said earlier. Could still be some personnel shuffling, but if the ax doesn’t fall on RWMC’s day – today – chances of staying increase. So back to that roller-coaster euphoria. Wheeeeeee!

2:13 PM. Again, corporate communication is key. But they laid off one of the professional corporate communicators last week. So it goes.

2:15 PM. More slow, heavy footsteps. Another analytical lab employee. May have to get them bells.

2:37 PM. Vadinho on layoffs: “Don’t let them net me.”

3:01 PM. Trying in vain to overhear muffled layoff-related phone conversation involving my co-worker who last week said, among other things, “Well, you don’t have a mortgage right now, do you?” and “I hope you stay, because I don’t want to be here alone. We need two writers. [Long pause.] But, of course it could be me who goes . . .”

3:04 PM. Of course, I’m no better. Hearing that others have been laid off at RWMC today, my only thoughts: Well, they didn’t come get me. Selfish bit of scum that I am.

3:39 PM. During my fourth potty break of the day, I decided that if they come to lay me off, they’re going to have to chase me first. That’ll give me time to . . .

4:53 PM. Caught up in a document review (yay work!). Forgot to be stressed out about layoffs. Thus ends Layoff Watch Day One.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, Brian. You wrote Day One so well. I listened to Al pray extra-hard for you when we said our bedtime prayers, and I've been praying all day. We will continue. And I do wonder how many employees develop post traumatic stress disorder over days like this! Standing with ya.